Freelance Life

3 Awards from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists

nj-spjThe New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced the winners of its annual writing competition today (for work done in 2016). I’m thrilled and honored to share the news that I earned three prizes in this year’s competition in my home state.

Each of the three awards is for second place in its respective category:

A full list of the winners is here—and there is some really great journalism in the links by all of my colleagues in the industry. Congratulations to all the winners!

When the Call Came

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 4.28.11 PMIn 17 years of writing for marine magazines, I’ve rarely had the chance to craft a story like this one that Yachting just published. I’m so thrilled to share it here.

Originally, this was supposed to be a much shorter piece, maybe 500 words at most. The reporting revealed that there was much more to the tale than any of us at Yachting originally realized, and the editor and art director worked with me to give the text several thousand words’ worth of room to breathe. We were able to take readers on an experience in the Atlantic Ocean that is at once heart-pounding and heartwarming, with some incredible photos like the one at right sent to the magazine by yacht crewmember Catherine Marks.

In the print edition, the headline was the same as on this blog post, “When the Call Came.” (The online headline, “Rescue in the Atlantic,” is more search-engine and social-media friendly.) I hope you enjoy reading the piece. It’s one of the coolest stories I’ve had the chance to write in nearly two decades of marine journalism.

3 Awards from Boating Writers International

bwi logoI was both humbled and thrilled to learn this morning that three articles I wrote in 2016 won awards in the annual writing competition held by Boating Writers International.

My feature “The Future is Now,” about the use of virtual reality in yacht building, written for Yachts International, earned first place in the news and analysis category. I also earned second place in that same category, for my feature “Miami 2.0,” about changes to the Miami International Boat Show, written for Yachting.

And in the business of boating category, my article “Securing the Boat Show Docks,” written for Compass, earned a Certificate of Merit.

A full list of all the winners is here. Congratulations to everyone who took home awards today throughout the marine-journalism industry!

Virtual Reality Enters the Yacht Industry

virtual-realityI’m super-proud of the lead cover feature that I wrote for the issue of Yachts International that is on newsstands now. It’s about the use of virtual reality in everything from the design to the construction to the marketing of yachts—a nascent field that has amazing potential thanks to the huge technology investments that many of today’s yachts represent.

Yes, superyachts are of course playthings for the rich and famous, but they also can be engineering marvels built with financial investments far greater than anything seen on land. (When was the last time you saw a $200 million house?) The addition of virtual reality to the industry presents some truly mind-bending possibilities, with some of the world’s wealthiest individuals now exploring the technology’s possibilities on multiple levels.

Look for the new edition of Yachts International on newsstands now, or head over to the Yachts International website to get a subscription.

Two Writing Awards from Boating Writers International

yachts-internationalExciting! I was thrilled to learn this morning that I earned two awards in the 2015 Boating Writers International Writing Competition, whose winners were announced today.

My piece titled “Florida’s Aging Bridges” earned first prize in the category Boating Issues, News and Analysis. It appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of Yachts International, where I am copy editor and contributing editor. The piece was an investigative analysis of federal, state and local data regarding bridges in South Florida, where yachts regularly cruise. The online version of “Florida’s Aging Bridges” is here.

I also earned a Certificate of Merit in the Travel and Destinations category for my piece “Into Antarctica.” It appeared in the August 2015 issue of Yachting, where I am charter editor and consulting editor. The Antarctica piece was about a luxury sailing yacht offering charters in a part of the world where most other yachts are not equipped to go. The online version of “Into Antarctica” is here.

It’s particularly gratifying to win awards for these two pieces, which contain entirely different styles of writing. The bridge article presents hard, cold data in a compelling way, while the Antarctica piece makes readers feel like they are in a remote part of the world. I am grateful that my editors at Yachting and Yachts International give me the chance to write in such a wide variety of styles.

My sincerest thanks to the judges and sponsors of the BWI Writing Competition. A press release listing all the winners is here—congratulations to every single one!

Meet Me at the ASJA Writers’ Conference

ASJA 2016I serve as the chairwoman for the Contracts & Conflicts Committee with the American Society of Journalists and Authors, which will be holding its annual writers’ conference May 20-21 in New York City. As part of this year’s event, committee members Milton Toby and Joan Burda will join me to present a panel called “Indemnity Clauses and Who Really Owns Your Notes: Legalities that May Shock You.”

I’ll be handling the indemnity clauses portion of the program, which will include results from a recent (and disturbing) ASJA membership survey that revealed 1) indemnity clauses are becoming ubiquitous in writers’ contracts; and 2) they are having a chilling effect on what writers are willing to report and publish. I’ll be talking about how to spot these contract clauses and negotiate them with publishers of all kinds.

Milt and Joan will discuss the ownership of notes issue, which is becoming more complicated (and frightening) than many journalists realize thanks to some recent court rulings that they will explain.

Care to join us? Registration for the 2016 ASJA event is now open. Our panel will be from 2 till 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Hope to see you there!

 

Are You Going to the Miami International Boat Show?

2016-miami-boat-showI had the pleasure of writing Yachting magazine’s February issue centerpiece: a nine-page preview of the upcoming Miami International Boat Show, which is moving to a new home this year on Virginia Key. The coverage also includes the new Yachts Miami Beach show, which is an evolution of the Yacht & Brokerage Show that has long been held concurrently along Collins Avenue.

If you’re thinking of attending either or both shows this year, then you can check out the digital version of the coverage that just went live on the Yachting website.

Even better: That link is a hub that will be updated with all kinds of news and information throughout the show, which will be February 11-15.

Enjoy!