Freelancers offered insight into how to be more effective

FREELANCE journalists are being invited to find out how they might become more effective and successful, courtesy of free courses offering insights into the likes of blogging, negotiating payment, being entrepreneurial and copyright.

Being hosted by the National Union of Journalists and being taught by award-winning Glasgow-based freelance journalist, Francis Shennan, the courses are taking place next month and August in various Scottish locations.

Each course, though, is limited to 12 places.

Funded by the Scottish Union Learning Fund and aimed at freelance journalists and staff journalists facing redundancy, the courses are part of the NUJ’s New Media Channels programme. This includes courses in digital convergence, Dreamweaver web development and Training the Trainer.

Shennan is former Daily Mirror and Daily Record sub-editor, and Scottish Business Editor at the Sunday Times. He has freelanced for national papers for 20 years and developed courses on freelancing for Edinburgh’s Telford College and the NUJ. He is Visiting Lecturer in Media Law at Strathclyde University and in Financial Journalism at Stirling.

His earlier short courses, used by both the public and private-sector, received feedback rating them from “very good” to “excellent”.

Says Shennan: “Freelances now must have business, technological, marketing and financial skills to adapt to the changing marketplace. Traditional freelance training has treated the freelance as a home-based version of a staff journalist. The Effective Freelancer will provide the knowledge to understand the dramatically-changed business and technological environments.”

Day One covers breaking into new markets, negotiating payment, establishing terms, chasing payment, improving returns, specialist journalism, handling money, record keeping, tax and deductible expenses, copyright and even personal finance.

Day Two covers the Internet, blogging, online publication, print-on-demand, and developing business plans and markets. It will look at enterprises such as the Huffington Post,, Liverpool Confidential and Guido Fawkes.

The Effective Freelancer will take place on Fridays and Saturdays: in Glasgow on July 16 and 17, Edinburgh on August 6 and 7, and Aberdeen on August 27 and 28.

To book a place, contact the NUJ on 0141 248 6648.