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Let’s Talk Rates! How to Ask for What You’re Worth and Get Paid on Time

Learn about setting rates (and raising them) from long-time freelancers at the PWAC Toronto February seminar. Note, Editors Toronto members are eligible to receive the PWAC Partners discount.

PWAC Feb 25 seminar Let's Talk Rates

Date: Monday, February 25, 2019
Time: 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Location: Miles Nadal JCC, Room 318 (third floor)

Why is talking about freelance pay rates and money in general so challenging? In this seminar, we ask long-time freelancers to share advice on how they’ve set their rates and how they’ve raised them over the years.

Speakers:

  • Carol J. Anderson, an editor, proofreader, researcher, and writer for the private sector, non-profits, and government
  • Allan Britnell, freelance writer and editor and past-president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
  • Diane Peters, a writer and editor who has covered a variety of topics for national publications and also teaches writing at Ryerson University
  • Suzanne (Sue) Bowness (seminar moderator), a long-time freelance writer/editor and writing teacher

To learn more about the seminar and the speakers, visit pwactoronto.org.

As always, PWAC Toronto evening seminars are FREE for PWAC members, and while non-members who register online in advance receive a discount.

The organizers ask that you please register in advance so they know how many people to expect.

REGISTER FOR THE SEMINAR

Recommended reading: Sue Bowness shares a preview of our seminar topic in her latest Networds Blog post.

Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

By Elizabeth d’Anjou

Looking for advice on editing the editing life? Whether you’re a beginner looking for tips on starting out or an old hand looking for another perspective, veteran editor Aunt Elizabeth is ready to address your queries. Submit them to [email protected]—you may find the answers you are looking for in next month’s column.

Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

(1) Dear Aunt Elizabeth,

I’m a freelance copy editor in my early 30s, with a partner who also freelances, albeit in another field. We want to start a savings account and eventually a family, but due to the feast-or-famine nature of our work, we are not sure about where to start. What approach should we use to set aside money for the future amidst financial uncertainty?

Sincerely,

My Clock Is Ticking

Dear Clock,

No wonder I never had kids—given the huge frustration I recall early in my career of just trying to plan a modest vacation (when I had the time I never had any money to spare, and when I had a bit of money I never had any time). I couldn’t even have imagined trying to arrange for a maternity leave. Since then, the government has introduced an EI maternity leave option for self-employed Canadians, but its restrictions are such that its appeal is severely limited.

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Video: Watch Sunny Widerman discussing taxes for freelancers at our February meeting

At the February 2015 meeting of EAC’s Toronto branch, tax advisor Sunny Widerman spoke with editors about how to make tax time less frightening. Discussion topics included expenses, registering for GST/HST, and what the Canada Revenue Agency really wants from you.

For more information, contact Sunny at personaltaxadvisors.ca.

 

Taking the terror out of taxes

Taxes wordcloud By Carolyn Camilleri

For many people, doing taxes is like going to the dentist—a necessary evil that adds pressure more than it creates fear. So says Sunny Widerman, accountant and owner of Personal Tax Advisors. Unless, she adds, you are self-employed and looking at a mountain of receipts that you are not sure what to do with.

“People are always afraid that the Canada Revenue Agency is going to be very angry with them for not doing it right, even though most people don’t fully understand what they are doing in the first place,” she says.

Not knowing what to do leads some people to not file their taxes for a couple of years—and so the terror builds. But for self-employed people, a bigger concern than being audited should be GST/HST registration.

“People are afraid of the wrong things. The thing that everyone is afraid of—getting audited—almost never happens,” says Widerman. “The thing that does happen a lot is that [the CRA] comes back years later and says, ‘You should have been registered for the GST/HST, and we want the GST/HST that you should have been collecting three years ago, even though you never collected it.’ And it is hell.”

Keep in mind, too, that the cut-off for having to register for and file GST/HST is $30,000 income in any 12-month period; it isn’t based on the calendar year. So if you have one $15,000 job in December and another $15,000 job in January, that’s it—you have to register. It doesn’t matter that it was split over two years.
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The Daily Grind: Bloorcourt’s new café Bloomer’s

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

bloomersBy Chris Hughes

Bloomer’s is a brand new café that just opened in July on Bloor Street West just east of Ossington Avenue. It has an eclectic but homey style, with photos of dogs and family vacation spots lining the walls. The homey atmosphere doesn’t end with the decor—this café has a distinctly relaxed ambience, with the owners making regular rounds to top up coffee for their laid-back clientele, many of whom set up shop to work away on laptops and tablets. To top it all off, the entire front of the restaurant opens up onto Bloor Street, letting in the breeze to make it a great summer hangout.

Perfect for just about any diet, this bakery café churns out a wide range of vegan and gluten-free baked goods including bagels, breads, cakes, and cookies. If those treats don’t catch your eye, then you should try their delicious butterless, vegan butter tarts or their caramel-glazed bread pudding. In addition to their baked goods, Bloomer’s offers two roasts of coffee, espresso-based coffees, and a wide range of teas including English breakfast tea and the South American yerba mate.

Wi-Fi network name: bloomers
Number of tables: 12
Number of power outlets: Five
873 Bloor St. W., open Mon.­–Sat. 8 AM–6 PM, Sun. 10 AM–5 PM

Chris Hughes is a Toronto-based freelance editor specializing in copy editing academic and educational materials.

 This article was copy edited by Valerie Borden.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café L’Espresso Bar Mercurio

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

MercurioBy Sara Scharf

Whenever I need a little italianità or crave a superior cappuccino, I head to L’Espresso Bar Mercurio. This family-owned “bar” (in the European sense) is located on the ground floor of Grad House, on the southeast corner of St. George and Bloor streets. It is always buzzing with the convivial chatter of academics, expat Italians, and various literati—Margaret Atwood and Lawrence Hill have been spotted here by my fellow editors. Light meals and pastries are made in-house and include a large selection of traditional Italian, vegan, and gluten-free goodies. I recommend the almond crescents and donut puffs, but the panini with sweet potato fries also has a cult following. Whether you’re working, dropping by for brunch on the weekend, or kicking back on the patio and pretending you’re in Italy, L’Espresso Bar Mercurio is well worth a visit. And all students receive a 20 per cent discount!

Wi-Fi: Available, but ask at the counter for current particulars

Number of tables: 35, plus a private room seating 14

Number of power outlets: Three

321 Bloor St. W., open Mon.–Fri. 7:30 AM–7:30 PM, Sat. and Sun. 9 AM–5 PM

Sara Scharf is a freelance academic editor and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, and she could use a cappuccino right now.

This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey.

Tips for finding work editing self-published authors

FreelanceBy Valerie Borden

The growth of self-publishing has created an exciting opportunity for freelance editors. To take advantage of this trend, it’s important to be aware of the many ways to market your editorial services and connect with self-publishing authors.

Recently, I spoke with three editors who have experience in self-publishing, who gave me useful information for the freelance editor.

Beth McAuley, senior editor of The Editing Company in Toronto, advises making your website inviting to authors, since many do not see the need to have a professional editor working on their manuscript. To allow potential clients to search for you, she recommends listing your services in the Editors’ Association of Canada’s directory. You can also write blogs and put up flyers where writers meet. In other words, “Go where writers go.”

Beth emphasizes, “Do not agree to anything unless you have read the entire manuscript.” By assessing the whole manuscript, the type of editing required can then be determined. From there, a contract or letter of agreement is negotiated, which defines tasks, fees, and timelines. It’s important to educate the novice author about the process of editing. It takes time to produce a good book and a lot of reading, assessing, editing, rereading, reassessing, and copy editing.

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The hidden agenda of my EAC mentor

By Michelle SchriverBusiness Partners Helping Each Other

My goal was to establish myself as a freelance editor. But in my darkest moments, I questioned whether that goal was a realistic one. I had completed Ryerson’s certificate in publishing, but with no in-house experience—or paid editorial experience of any kind—how would I win contracts?

In desperation, I found myself applying for posted jobs—exactly what job experts say not to do. Instead, experts say, you must identify what you want and go after it.

I didn’t listen.

I continued to apply for posted jobs, receiving little interest from potential employers. I felt lost—and like a loser.

EAC’s mentorship program came to the rescue—and BoldFace, too, because that’s where a post by freelance editor and writer Jennifer D. Foster came to my attention. If you’re a regular BoldFace reader, then you’re familiar with Jennifer’s byline, as she writes and edits her fair share of posts (and recently joined the Toronto branch’s executive committee as the seminars vice-chair). Her post profiling a coffee shop in my neighbourhood caught my eye, so I googled her. When I learned she lives close to me, I emailed her, offering to buy her coffee at the shop she blogged about.

She responded right away, saying she was willing to meet. At the appointed time, I waited for Jennifer at the coffee shop, feeling every bit the online stalker. Thanks to the Internet, I knew Jennifer’s educational background, work experience, and family status. I even knew her dog’s name.

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