Welcome to ASJA's webinars page dedicated to helping freelancers develop their skill set and broaden their professional horizons. Here you can find recorded sessions on a variety of topics that can help you at any stage of your career. Please check this page regularly for any new and upcoming sessions. Please note that all ASJA webinars are recorded, and that masterminds are generally not recorded unless otherwise requested by the presenter.

ASJA Mastermind - Reported Vs. Personal Essays: How to Make the Most of Your Story Ideas

Wednesday, September 22, 2 - 3:30 pm ET
ASJA Members: $30
General Public: $55
This event has reached full capacity and is no longer taking registrants. The recorded session will be available for purchase after the webinar has taken place.

Publications, including the Washington Post and the New York Times are increasingly prioritizing reported essays over personal narrative essays. In this webinar, you'll learn how to come up with ideas for reported essays (a little secret: they tend to evolve from the things you wonder about and want to investigate). We'll talk about salable topic areas (psychology, parenting, relationships, mental health, health, nutrition, wellness and science) and dissect an effective reported essay. Unlike personal essays, reported essays hinge on outside sources and information. I'll explain how to go about reporting an essay.

You'll learn how to:

  • Do preliminary research for a reported essay pitch (reviewing press releases, pub med, etc., and conducting preliminary interviews with at least one source).
  • Identify the best experts.
  • Find diverse sources and how many you should include in a reported piece
  • Where to find expert sources who are well-versed in a particular topic area.
  • Craft a pitch for a reported essay. (A hint: You should be able to explain what the story is about in two sentences or less.)


Amy Paturel has contributed essays to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping and O, among other publications. Two of her pieces were featured in Newsweek's "My Turn" column, and she garnered two "honorable mention" awards in ASJA's personal essay category. She has been teaching an online essay writing workshop for more than a decade and her students' work has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Marie Claire, and many other publications.

Parul Kapur Hinzen is an arts and culture journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal EuropeThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Esquire, ARTNewsArt in America, Guernica and Slate. She was previously a press officer at the United Nations and spent a decade freelancing from Europe. She founded the Books page at ArtsATL, Atlanta's leading arts website, and headed book coverage there from 2010-2014. She is also a fiction writer and is at work on her second novel. 



Multiple Stories From Your Interviews and Notes

Wednesday, October 13, 2 - 3:30 pm ET

This webinar will be free to ASJA members and non-memebrs. 

We all interview a variety of sources to produce magazine, online and newsletter articles, and other content. But how often do you pursue more than one story angle from your collected material? In a virtual education webinar on October 13, ASJA members and experienced writers Linda Marsa and Beth Howard will share their tips for how to mine multiple story ideas from your interviews and notes, and potentially increase your income from groundwork already done. They'll also talk about the ethical and legal issues around pursuing multiple takes from a story, and how to work within the constraints of contracts where publications assume all rights to the material, which is becoming more often the case.



Beth Howard is an award-winning health writer based in Charlotte, N.C. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications and websites, including U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, AARP, The Washington Post, Prevention, Better Homes & Gardens, and Reader’s Digest.




Linda Marsa is an award-winning journalist and a contributing editor at Discover who covers medicine, science and the environment. A former Los Angeles Times reporter, her work has been anthologized in Best American Science Writing and has appeared in National Geographic.com, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Nautilus, Men’s Journal, Playboy, Parade, Pacific Standard and Aeon. She authored two books, most recently: Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Harm Our Health and How We Can Save Ourselves, an ASJA award winner which the New York Times called “gripping to read.”

Expand Your Personal Brand With a Sound Online Marketing Plan

In this content-rich presentation, Stephanie Chandler shares proven content marketing strategies that you can use to build an engaged audience online. You will learn how to:

  • Identify your Tribe of Influence—and it may be bigger than you think
  • Understand and attract your ideal audience
  • Optimize your website to increase site traffic and generate leads
  • Get visibility with online media opportunities
  • Build a loyal base of email subscribers
  • Produce and promote videos, webinars, and online events

With so much competition, it is critical to build a marketing plan that leverages the many opportunities available online. Whether you’ve been a freelance writer for years or you’re just getting started, a plan that includes effective content marketing strategies can have a dramatic impact on your business growth.

Speaker: Stephanie Chandler is the author of several books including The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan and The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan. She is CEO of NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com, a vibrant educational community for experienced and aspiring writers, and NonfictionWritersConference.com, events conducted entirely online since 2010. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired magazine.

Click here to purchase this recording.

Podcasting to Promote Your Business

Podcasts are extremely popular, with millions of people listening to shows every week. This presents a new way to promote your writing, ideas and brand—and find novel sources of revenue. In this webinar, four writers who also became podcasters will share their secrets to developing, launching and maintaining successful podcasts and answer all of your burning questions. Bring along your idea for your own podcast to ask for advice.

Ruthie Bowles is the host of The Defiant Business Podcast. She is a brand and marketing strategist who helps her clients go from uncovering their authentic brand voice to attracting clients through magnetic marketing. Owner of Defy The Status Quo, she helps soul-driven entrepreneurs at all stages of their brand development journey. Ruthie is also married and a mom to four human kids, three goats, seven ducks, and 12 chickens. She served in the U.S. Army as a translator and intelligence professional for over eight years. Ruthie loves reading, painting, playing on her guitar, and new experiences. 

Jennifer L.W. Fink is the creator of BuildingBoys.net, co-host of the podcast ON BOYS: Real Talk about Parenting, Teaching & Reaching Tomorrow’s Men, and author of The First Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys. She’s a longtime ASJA member and mother of four sons.

Cindy Kuzma is a Chicago-based freelance writer, author, and podcaster who focuses on health, fitness, and endurance sports. She’s the co-host of The Injured Athletes Club podcast; co-author of Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries; and frequently contributes to Runner’s World, Women’s RunningSELF, and other outlets.

Melanie Padgett Powers is the owner of MelEdits. She is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer, managing editor and copy editor/proofreader, primarily working with membership associations and health care organizations. Melanie is the creator and host of the Deliberate Freelancer podcast, which focuses on the business side of freelancing. Learn more at www.MelEdits.com and connect with her on Twitter @MelEdits.

Click here to purchase the recording

What the PRO Act means to Freelancers

The last few years brought a legislative focus on how to classify independent contractors. It started in California with the passage of AB5, and moved to other states like New Jersey and New York. The PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act introduces the strict version of the ABC test into federal legislation for the first time. While this ABC test would mis-classify many independent contractors as employees for labor law purposes, it is the first step in codifying the ABC test into labor, employment and tax law, per President Biden's stated campaign plan. This session will put the PRO Act into context, explain how it may impact ASJA members and other freelancers, and discuss what is happening to combat the legislation. 

Speaker: Debbie Abrams Kaplan is an ASJA member who fought against ABC legislation in New Jersey in 2019-2020, and is now fighting the insertion of the ABC test in federal legislation such as the PRO Act. Debbie is the ASJA advocacy communications chair for PRO Act legislation and a co-leader of Fight for Freelancers NJ and USA.

Moderator: JoBeth McDaniel is a nonfiction author and journalist, and the chair of ASJA's First Amendment Committee. She is a plaintiff in the ASJA NPPA federal lawsuit against California AB5, which restricts or bans some types of reporting for freelance journalists. She lives in Southern California. 

Click here to access the recording

Develop and Enhance Your Writing Coaching Business

Have you thought about sharing your writing expertise with others through coaching? Then our next event is for you! Whether you are looking to launch a writing coaching business or learn new skills to bring more to your existing clients, freelance journalist and writing coach Rebecca L. Weber is available to guide you in our next mastermind session. The lesson will be tailored to the interests of the class.

Rebecca L. Weber is a freelance journalist and writing coach who has written for CNN, the New York Times, Dwell, Marie Claire, and many other publications. Rebecca hosts The Writing Coach Podcast and coaches writers in both private 1:1 and small group settings. Born and raised in Boston, she is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. Visit her online at www.rebeccalweber.com.

Click here to purchase the recording

How to Do a Tedx

Has giving a TEDx talk always been on your bucket list? Do you wonder how others speakers get to deliver one, two or even more TEDx talks throughout their careers? And you think you have what it takes to do the same? Then you can't miss our next event. We're bringing together an eclectic mix of experienced TEDx speakers as well as a TEDx events organizer to share the ins and outs of how to give a TEDx talk. From advice on how to land a TEDx talk to practical tips on how to structure and organize your talk.

Damon Brown helps side hustlers, solopreneurs, and other non-traditional creatives bloom. A best-selling author, 2x startup founder, and 4x TED Speaker, Damon's latest title is Build From Now: How to Know Your Power, See Your Abundance & Nourish the World. Learn your strongest creative resources at www.buildfromnowquiz.com.

Dawn Reiss is a Chicago journalist who has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, TIME, The Atlantic, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune.com, Chicago Tribune, Shondaland and many others. She is a former Dallas Morning News and Tampa Bay Times staff writer. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @DawnReiss or DawnReiss.com

Arthur Zards has been producing the Midwest's largest ideas based event, TEDxNaperville, since 2009. His speakers have amassed over 25 million YouTube views and growing. He has coached and shaped the ideas of over 250 distinct speakers, from high school students to billionaires, astronauts to Olympic medalists, and even an entire marching band. When not helping speakers be their best, he helps organizations create virtual events and experiences.

Moderator: Kate Hanley is a bestselling ghostwriter, author of How to Be a Better Person, and host of the "How to Be a Better Person" podcast. Kate has a dream of giving a Tedx talk and will not hesitate to ask the questions that will help us all leave the panel ready to go write and deliver a killer talk.

ASJA Members, click here to access the recording

Non-members, click here to purchase the recording - $10

Secrets of Book Publishing with Susan Shapiro: A Case Study

Are you a seasoned writer looking to publish your first book this year? Or perhaps you're an established author looking to fine-tune and improve on your future book launches? Then you're in the right place! Join us for our virtual session with the renowned Susan Shapiro where we'll discuss the launch of her new book "The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology" and how she went about the publishing process. From conceptualizing the idea and finding an agent all the way to marketing and book promotion post-publication. Don't miss out on an opportunity to take your writing career to the next level!

Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor, freelances for the NY Times, NY Magazine, WSJ, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Elle, Oprah, Wired & New Yorker online. She's the bestselling author/co-author of 14 books her family hates like the writing guide The Byline Bible and new memoir The Forgiveness Tour (which an ASJA award helped her publish.) She teaches her popular "instant gratification takes too long" courses at The New School, NYU, Columbia University and in private online classes. Follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet, Instagram at @Profsue123

ASJA Members, click here to access the recording

Non-members, click here to purchase the recording - $10

Coping with Pandemic Anxiety

It is normal in this totally abnormal time to at least sometimes feel like an emotional basket case. EVERY aspect of our lives feels upended from anxiety over our health and those of our loved ones to economic duress (worse than usual for freelancers!) to the limbo of not having an end date to this crisis.

Join, ASJA member, author and therapist, Sherry Amatenstein, to share feelings, learn strategies and essential dos and don’ts to help you weather this crisis.

ASJA Members, click here to access the recording

Non-members, click here to purchase the recording - $10

Freelancing and the Pandemic: Content Marketing

Freelance content marketing guru, Jennifer Goforth Gregory, along with content marketing experts, will talk about how to keep clients coming back for more, even during these difficult times. Get insight on how COVID-19 is impacting content marketing and how freelancers can proactively manage their content marketing businesses through these unprecedented times.

ASJA Members, click here to access the recording

Non-members, click here to purchase the recording - $10

Moderator: Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Speakers: Clare McDermott - Clare McDermott is the co-founder and head of research at Mantis Research, a marketing consultancy that helps brands publish and amplify original research. Before launching Mantis, she was the founding editor of Chief Content Officer magazine, the leading print magazine for content marketing executives. Clare also ran a content marketing consultancy called SoloPortfolio for over a decade; there she helped enterprise technology and consulting brands embrace a publishing mindset. 

Nick Clunn — Nick Clunn is a senior editor in the Forbes Content Studio, which creates original content in partnership with Forbes advertisers. He specializes in multimedia work, collaborating with designers, artists and photographers to build webpages that best suit the story. Before becoming a branded content editor, Nick worked as a staff writer for daily newspapers and won several awards for investigative reporting. He lives in Jersey City with his wife and two children.​

Jason Anthony — The Foundry at Meredith— formerly the content studios at Time Inc.—is the force behind some of the most dynamic titles in custom publishing. Jason Anthony has been an innovator in this creative division for 15 years, and is the currently the editor of Proto, an award-winning science magazine created for Massachusetts General Hospital. He can speak to how writers can break into custom publishing and the skills and topic expertise that editors are looking for today. He will also share examples of his work with CVS, the New York Stock Exchange, Caesars Entertainment and other industry leaders who lean heavily on well-reported, well-written journalism to connect with their audiences.

Pitching Our Stories and Ourselves in a Time of COVID-19

This virtual panel, with Jack El-Hai, Damon Brown, and Robin Henig, will discuss and take questions on different approaches to developing and pitching our stories and expertise in decidedly unusual times for freelance writers. The panelists will cover developing intriguing story ideas, proposing stories, and marketing ourselves when our usual methods of doing so may need tweaking. 

ASJA Memberlick here to access the recording

Non-members, click here to purchase the recording - $10

DAMON BROWN helps side hustlers, solopreneurs, and other non-traditional creatives bloom. As a best-selling author, two-time startup founder, and three-time TED Speaker, Damon co-founded the popular platonic connection app Cuddlr and led it to acquisition within a year, all while being the primary caretaker of his infant first son. He now guides others through his one-on-one coaching, Inc. Magazine column, and public speaking on platforms like TED. He also teaches speechwriting at the premier performing school Heroic Public Speaking. Damon’s latest book is Bring Your Worth: Level Up Your Creative Power, Value & Service in the World, the follow-up to his best-seller The Ultimate Bite-Sized Entrepreneur: 76 Ways to Boost Time, Focus & Productivity on Your Big Idea. He was the first Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Toledo Library. Join his community at JoinDamon.me.

JACK EL-HAI, a past president of ASJA, is the author of many books (most recently The Lost Brothers: A Family’s Decades-Long Search). He has contributed to The Atlantic, GQ, Discover, Scientific American Mind, Wired, and many other publications, and is the writer and host of the true-crime podcast Long Lost.

ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG is a long-time freelance writer and author of nine books, most recently "Twentysomething" (co-authored with her daughter, Samantha Henig), "Pandora's Baby" (about early efforts at in vitro fertilization), and "The Monk in the Garden" (about Gregor Mendel and the founding of genetics). She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, where she is a contributing writer, as well as National Geographic, Scientific American, and others. She is also the proud recipient of ASJA's Career Achievement Award.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson