Finalist: Dog Writers Association of America

I’m thrilled to share the news that this story I wrote for The Washington Post has been named a finalist 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 finalists in this DWAA category and others. Best of luck to us all when the winner is announced in February!

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.

Live on the Bob Zadek Radio Show

Screen Shot 2020-07-13 at 3.04.39 PMAbout a week ago, radio-show host Bob Zadek read this article that I wrote in the new issue of Reason. It’s about legislation that threatens the careers of freelance writers and editors like me, as well as millions more Americans in more than 300 professions.

Zadek was kind enough to have me on his show yesterday for a full hour as the only guest, live on the air up and down the U.S. West Coast. We talked about my article and a whole lot more, to try and help listeners understand the threat this type of labor legislation poses. We discussed California’s AB5, New Jersey’s S863 and the federal PRO Act.

Yesterday’s show is now downloadable as a podcast here, or on iTunes or Stitcher.

Please, Fellow Journalists: Learn These Facts

ny-times-6-28-20I was incredibly disappointed this past weekend in The New York Times. I’m a print subscriber, and I truly value the news reporters and editors there. They do work that is second to none, anywhere in the world, when it comes to digging out and publishing important facts.

But the folks running the editorial/opinion page right now are a whole other story. They seem to lack even the most basic standards of research, most recently evidenced in this editorial that led the Sunday section. It’s about a labor law issue that my fellow freelance journalists and I care deeply about, because it threatens to destroy our careers. The Times Editorial Board blindly supported highly controversial legislation without even seeming to understand that basic fact.

I wrote this rebuttal today for DailyKos, urging readers to understand what this legislation really is. The Times Editorial Board led readers to believe that it’s only about the cost of an Uber ride. The truth is far, far more complicated.