Rachel Sanders

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade, but I became the editor of Story Board in July of 2012. I was fully freelance at that point, fitting writing assignments in between snack time, loads of laundry, school drop-offs, and all of the other work involved in raising two small children.

Now, after nearly ten years of satisfying and meaningful work, I’m leaving this role for a full-time job in journalism.

The work I’ve done here has meant a lot to me. It’s provided some income stability — a key to success for many freelancers. And I’ve also learned an enormous amount from the dozens of freelancers I’ve spoken with for Story Board, as well as the ones I forged relationships with through my membership in the Canadian Freelance Guild.

I wanted to leave a parting note to highlight a few great things on this blog to show how it is a very good resource for Canadian freelancers.

 

The Five-Minute Freelancer Q&A was supposed to be a quick-to-write and quick-to-read regular feature filled with advice from established freelancers. It ended up taking far more than five minutes to write AND read thanks to the extreme generosity of every freelancer I reached out to. They shared advice on pitching, professional development, finding work, and navigating the ups and downs of freelance life. If you’re looking for inspiration as we head into 2022, I encourage you to dig into those archives.

The Born Freelancer’s columns have been another regular feature on Story Board during my tenure. I’d like to thank him for being such a reliable and insightful contributor, and for sharing his wisdom about everything from nurturing your creativity, to making freelance New Year’s resolutions, to dealing with clients who are slow to pay. The Born Freelancer has written an astonishing 140 columns for Story Board (not many freelance gigs have that kind of longevity!) and you can find a full list of them right here.

A big thank you, also, to the many other freelancers who have contributed to Story Board over the years. They’ve shared their own experiences and tapped into the knowledge of other Canadian freelancers.

A few of the highlights include Robyn Roste’s posts about pitchingincome diversificationbuilding trust with clientsyear-end business planning and much more.

Lesley Evans Ogden has written advice-filled posts on pitchingbook publishingindemnity clauses and other subjects of importance to freelancers.

Monte Stewart’s posts on avoiding editors’ pet peevespitching science stories, and freelancing during the pandemic are filled with many valuable tips as well.

And you may also want to check out Steven Threndyle’s posts about book publishingbecoming an editorbilling, and, yes, another great piece about making freelance New Year’s resolutions.

Finally, I’d like to extend a personal note of thanks to the Canadian Freelance Guild, and especially organizer (and former president of CMG Freelance) Don Genova, for his guidance, mentorship and friendship over the years.

Don always has time to advise and support freelancers. If you’re not yet a member of the Canadian Freelance Guild, I encourage you to consider joining in 2022. The CFG provides members with professional development opportunities, support with contracts and other freelancing challenges, as well as the chance to connect and build community with Canadian freelancers of all kinds.

All the best for 2022, freelancers. May your pitches always receive responses, and your invoices be paid on time!

– Rachel Sanders

Postscript from Don Genova:

I met Rachel at one of our freelancer gatherings in Vancouver, an audio-listening session in the bowels of the CBC building, followed by a round of drinks and discussion at a nearby watering hole. At that time she expressed her delight in finally meeting fellow freelancers after years of working on her own without a lot of contact with people doing the same thing she was doing. While I didn’t know it at the time, Rachel was to become a very important cog in the CMG Freelance Branch with her communication, writing, and editing skills, and then later, as we transformed into the Canadian Freelance Guild, the person who unfailingly committed herself to creating new content for Story Board and also helping to promote all of our webinars, meetings, and other benefits to not only members, but anyone interested in visiting our Story Board blog and following us on Twitter.

Rachel was also the chief contributor to The ‘Lancer, CMG Freelance’s email list containing job links and other communiques, and became one half of our Job Bank research team at CFG. We’ve shared many long conversations about union politics, the frustrations and successes of freelancing, and our personal lives as we’ve worked together over the years. I’ve always been amazed at her ability to juggle her Story Board, Job Bank, and comms duties for CFG with her studies for her Masters of Journalism, working as a temp at the CBC, and raising a young family.

Of course I am delighted to see that all of her hard work has finally paid off in securing full-time employment as a journalist, and of course I’m sorry to see her go, she will be hard to replace. It’s a remarkable accomplishment to keep any blog these days updated and relevant to its audience, and the CFG will make sure Story Board continues to find a place in our communications portfolio. We haven’t been able to share a beer in person for nearly two years now, but I raise a digital glass to her now in wishing her the very best of success in her new position!

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