Career Freelancers are now begging Washington to listen

Today, I have an op-ed in The Hill about the PRO Act. This piece of legislation is scheduled to be taken up starting tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives.

I don’t know how to explain any more clearly why professional freelancers like me are so frustrated and terrified. Please give my piece a read.

3 Awards from boating writers international

I’m excited and humbled to share the news that I won three awards today in the annual writing competition of Boating Writers International.

My story for Passagemaker about how the boat-buying process changed during the pandemic earned first prize in the Business of Boating category.

My story for Soundings about all the chaos on America’s waterways during the pandemic, thanks to so many new boat owners being out there behind the wheel, earned second place in the Issues, News and Analysis category.

And my story for Yachting about boatbuilding trends in 3D printing earned third place in the Issues, News and Analysis category.

For a minute there, it looked like I might sweep the entire Issues, News and Analysis category. But my fellow marine writer and good friend Lenny Rudow took first place in the category with a story about seasickness that he titled “Barf-O-Rama.”

So, at least I got to laugh out loud while losing out on the first-place award.

Congratulations to all the winners in this year’s BWI Writing Contest!

Winner: Dog Writers Association of America

Updated February 15, 2021, changing “finalist” to “winner.” 🙂

I’m thrilled to share the news that this story I wrote for The Washington Post has been named the winner in the category of best newspaper article/any topic in the annual writing competition of the Dog Writers Association of America.

There’s a fun postscript to this article, too. The story is about the way the Covid-19 pandemic halted a lot of service-dog training, leaving people with disabilities without dogs to help them live their fullest possible lives. The man I wrote about in the story’s opener (pictured here) was struggling because he’s blind, and he needed a service dog to help him cross a busy road to get to the Tractor Supply store to buy things including dog food—while his wife was pulling double shifts as an emergency-room nurse treating Covid-19 patients.

The good people at Tractor Supply read the article, reached out to me and asked how to contact the man. They sent him a bunch of dog food, so he wouldn’t have to worry about crossing that busy road.

Congratulations to all the other winners in this DWAA category and others.

Dogs and books

Some big news today from the world of social media: There’s a new authors’ collective on Facebook called Dogs & Books where the authors of dog books talk with fans about all kinds of dog-related topics.

I’m excited to be one of the founding authors for this initiative. It’s the brainchild of Teresa Rhyne, who wrote the bestseller The Dog Lived (and So Will I) and who has a new dog book, Poppy in the Wild, coming out with Pegasus Books. That’s the same publisher as my second dog book, The Dog Merchants. A few other Pegasus authors, along with some authors from other publishing houses, are signing up to join the effort as well.

Our plan is to mix in all kinds of content, from Facebook Live “author talks” to conversations about interesting dog-related articles in the news.

If you’re a fan of dogs and books, please come and join us on Facebook.