February 2, 2020 (Updated )
“Subscribe to my newsletter” is basically the 2021 version of “subscribe to my channel” – and we’re not the first ones to call it. Tools like Substack and Mailchimp have given individuals the power to easily and efficiently mail a large group of people about literally anything.
While researching this piece we may or may not have signed up to newsletters about cats, tea, and chocolate. This probably says more about us, though. Joyous content about cats and food aside, newsletters can also prove incredibly handy when searching for a job in journalism.
Whether you’re looking for an entry-level journalism vacancy, a freelance gig, or funding opportunities, email newsletters are fighting the mysticism and elusiveness that so often surrounds this industry.
As well as clearly detailing various openings, some newsletters also offer support, advice and tips. There’s a real sense of community, and a shared understanding of this darn complex industry. Over the last few weeks these newsletters have made us laugh, they’ve made us think and they’ve made us feel very grateful to those who have spent an unimaginable length of time putting them together.
Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the freelance mailers you could be getting, we’ve selected 18 that we think are a must for your 2021 inbox – and all subscriptions are free unless otherwise stated.
Out Of Office by Lizzy Dening
Improve your Monday mornings with advice and emotional bolstering from Lizzy Dening’s Out of Office. Recent editions have looked at how to actually work with other people, tackling overwhelm, and why starting a podcast can be a fulfilling side hustle. It’s like a warm mug of lemon tea to start your day, basically.
Lizzy told us: “Being self-employed can be a lonely experience (even without a pandemic!) so I started Out Of Office to help create an inclusive community for like-minded women.
“The weekly newsletter provides an opportunity for me to ask experts lots of questions about different elements of being your own boss – from handling finances to fending off burnout – as well as space to connect via Zoom social events, accountability chats and a private Facebook group.”
LANCE by Anna Codrea-Rado
A freelance favourite, LANCE, was established by Anna Codrea-Rado, the queen of analysing all things related to freelance work. Formerly known as The Professional Freelancer, it lands in your inbox every Friday, with a beautiful illustration and a short essay based around an area of freelancing you might struggle with.
Recently, Anna has looked at how other freelancers are friends (not competition) and freelancing rules she’s changed her mind about over the years. More than 10,000 people get this in their inbox every week, generally because it’s really super.
We Are Black Journos
We Are Black Journos is much more than just a newsletter – but their exclusive monthly mailing isn’t one to be missed. The organisation, set up by Hannah Ajala, is here to “embrace and elevate ourselves as Black journalists, but those who aspire to work in the industry of journalism and media.”
Expect plenty of jobs and opportunities, as well as interesting stuff from across the community. Plus, they also have a great podcast too.
Freelance Writing Jobs
Appearing in your inbox every Thursday is this cheerful and GIF-filled newsletter written and compiled by Sian Meades, focused on UK opps that are either freelance or part-time. Every opportunity is paid, and Sian refuses to list things which pay badly.
You’ll also find details of editors who are actively seeking pitches, often with information about the kind of things they’re looking for.
The Peak District By Beth Kirkbride
If you’ve ever wondered what you’re doing with your career, this is a newsletter to sooth your soul and tell you it’ll all be OK. This weekly mailing from Beth Kirkbride, founder of The Indiependent, shares her personal experiences of trying to crack journalism – from the North, in a London-centric industry.
The Peak District asks important questions. How much work should> you do as a freelancer? What actually is a proper job? And is self-employment the same as WFH? Spoiler, it isn’t. Plus, it also highlights freelance opportunities, events, and plenty of job opps – the majority of them outside of London! Best of all, it’s completely free.
The Opportunities By Journo Resources
Time to plug our own newsletter? Yep, we’ve reached that point. Our Tuesday mail-out features a mini-essay every week about working within the journalism industry, as well as more than 50 journalism jobs and opportunities.
We only include staff jobs that have a salary listed, and the newsletter is also neatly broken up into sections depending on if you’re looking for staff work or freelance, and how much experience you have. Oh, and it’s also free.
Opportunities Of The Week By Sonia Weiser
In July 2018, freelance journalist Sonia Weiser decided to share her phenomenal freelance job finding skills (try saying that three times fast) with the world via a newsletter. And when we say phenomenal, we mean phenomenal.
She scours the internet and all of the social media platforms to find the best opportunities. You do have to pay for this one, but it’s only $3 a month, and if you can’t afford that there are some ‘pay-what-you-can’ and sponsored slots. We’d also highly recommend a Twitter follow too.
Social Lives By Cattingdon
Christina McDermott is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cattingdon, a company that specialises in all things social. And they’ve got the credential to prove it, having worked for clients such as Channel 4, Babybel, and Bill’s Restaurants.
Alongside this Christina writes the Social Lives newsletter for freelancers working in social media. It’s got a jobs board, social media news, podcast and article recommendations, and the iconic Cat of the Week Feature. Paul the Liverpool South Parkway Cat is my current fave, just FYI.
The Friendly Freelancer By Linda A. Thompson & Selma Franssen
Creative freelancers can often run into questions that just can’t be answered by Google. So, freelancers Linda A. Thompson and Selma Franssen use their experience to figure things out in The Friendly Freelancer.
Freelance Feels By Jenny Stallard
We love this inbox offering from lifestyle journalist Jenny Stallard. Freelance Feels has been a long-running project promoting the wellbeing of those who work for themselves, initially as a website and then later as a podcast.
To our delight, she’s also launched a newsletter which means we can include her in this lovely long list. Her first edition is called Freelance Dry January and she writes extensively about the loneliness and isolation that can accompany being freelance. It’s beautifully written and refreshing to read.
She also has an incredibly wholesome Instagram feed which has lots of pictures of cacti, because, as Jenny puts it: “for me a freelancer is like a cactus. We can survive tough conditions but we still need love and water.”
FEMINIST GIANT By Mona Eltahawy
If you’re looking for a feminist, global news-based inbox treat, FEMINIST GIANT is the one for you. This is less about how to write, but instead keeping you on top of everything you should know about the global feminist news agenda before you do.
Founder Mona Eltahawy set up this twice-weekly newsletter as a space to talk about feminist and gender issues, and it’s a brilliant way to keep up to date.
Today In Tabs By Rusty
In similar vein but for the internet, Today in Tabs is the newsletter you need to keep yourself up to date with everything that’s been talked about online. No, trust us, this will save you so much Twitter scrolling.
Reborn with the rise of Substack, Rusty Foster runs through everything the internet has been talking about today, so you’ll never feel out of loop and can actually get on with some journalism.
European Journalism Centre
This is an interesting one. The European Journalism Centre is an international non-profit based in the Netherlands. This is less about direct opportunities and more about trends, advice, and data.
They offer six (yes, six) different kinds of newsletter, some of which are monthly, and some bi-weekly. They include insights and trends on data journalism, insights on how to take your first steps into the industry, and news around engaged journalism.
Also, fun fact, the team who put these together hail from 12 different countries and speak combined total of 15 languages. How impressive is that?!
If you’re keen to brighten up your Monday (and who isn’t) get signed up to this carefully curated email newsletter from MediaBeans. It’s no longer than a five-minute read, and includes both job and internship opportunities.
The website is equally clear and helpful, with handy filters which allow you to narrow down both your job type and location. There is a plentiful list of jobs outside of London, which we wholeheartedly applaud.
Northen Natter By Katie Baggott & Katie Williams
This newsletter encompasses Scotland and Northern England, releasing exclusive updates, guest posts, more journalism advice, and exciting job opportunities. release a podcast regularly too.
Freelance Pitch Calls By Hattie Gladwell
Struggling to find content and pitching calls from editors? Or, don’t have the time to endlessly search? Hattie Gladwell rounds up the best pitching calls in Freelance Pitch Calls.
There are a staggering eight different membership packages offered, ranging from one newsletter weekly, to twice weekly with bonus goodies and access to a Patron-only community of journos. The cost starts at just £1 a month.
Digital Snapshot By Kate Moffat
The Audience Agency’s Kate Moffat set up this digest every other week focused on all things social and digital. It’s focused on cool examples within the arts and cultural sector, but is very much relevant to a wider audience.
It’s basically a big of list of inspiration, with piles of cool stuff to wonder at, as well as industry news and gossip. It’s hard to stress how great it is until you actually read it. Kate has since moved on, but the newsletter is still great.
We’re not done travelling just yet, so here’s another fantastic global newsletter to offer you. IJNet is produced by the International Centre for Journalists and is particularly good at picking up on developments that could catalyse change in the media industry. Here’s their latest on TikTok, for example.
The newsletter is a pretty slick round-up of tips, training opportunities, grants, and more – and it’s available in seven languages. We’re still looking at flights… Holiday anyone?
And, finally, one last plug for our very own weekly newsletter, which appears in your inbox every Tuesday… If you’re not already subscribed you can do so here. It’s long but loveable with sections for new starter jobs, next steps jobs, and freelance gigs, as well as funding, awards and general advice.