Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Toronto Freelancer Editors and Writers group marks 10 years

Congratulation to the Toronto Freelance Editors and Writers list, which is (more or less -- record keeping has not been their long suit) 10 years old. The listserv was originally conceived as the freelancers' equivalent of the kind of "office bonding" that staffers sometimes enjoy. It has grown into a nice combination of homemade bull session and genuine support group. As such, it is a really good example of something that should be emulated in many places across the country.

Members can find out where to get a handyman one day and how to charge for second rights the next. Originally, six people gathered in the apartment of veteran freelancer and teacher David Hayes's apartment. (Now, the organization has more than 200 people signed up.)

As Hayes tells it, it started with six people gathered in his apartment, then incorporated a simple e-mail list, and is now run as a Yahoo group. Occasionally, the members get together for drinks and dinner. The list and the group is run apparently very efficiently by three people -- Hayes, freelancer Alex Gillis and Jess Ross (who is not technically a freelancer, working as ME at Homemaker's, but has a freelancer's heart and sensibility.) Hayes had this to say about the anniversary (which may actually be sometime this summer, no one's quite sure):

What began as half a dozen beginners trying to muddle through the early years of freelancing has become a group containing all levels of experience. Somehow, the beginners don't feel left out & the experienced folks feel they gain something themselves (along with their valuable ontributions to threads). Maybe it's simply a sense of community.

Newbies or wannabe members can reach the list at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting TFEW's accomplishment, D.B.!

Just a note that the way to join TFEW is by going to

Prospective members sign up with Yahoo, and then David, Alex and I, as moderators, check that the prospective member is in fact a freelance writer or editor.

10:25 am  

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