This is a truncated version of the EFA Chicagoland Chapter News. If you would like to read the full e-newsletter, visit the archive, where you can also subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox monthly.


  • Winter Prep. Whether you’re winterizing your car, home, or yourself, the city of Chicago reminds residents that the overnight parking ban began Dec. 1, we should update (or create) a Smart911 profile, and businesses and building occupants must remove snow from walkways. We further suggest making sure you have a few pantry-staple recipes and necessary medications on hand in case we all get snowed in.
  • New Website. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State has a new website: ilsos.gov. The new address is a .gov website, which denotes official government sites. It’s also been redesigned for easier navigation to its services, including business services such as LLC filings and assumed name renewal.
  • Get Lit. Stop the presses! Netflix started a book club. Hosted by Uzo Aduba, the new series invites the actors and writers of its latest book-to-screen adaptations to “dive into the depths of how beloved characters, themes, and stories are brought to life on the page and on screen.” The first episode discusses Passing by Nella Larsen.


Discussion List on Hiatus

The EFA Discussion List went on hiatus at the end of 2021 to fix some behind-the-scenes things. To provide readers with other means of connecting with editorial colleagues, I compiled a list of the numerous other ways to connect:


StoryStudio Pub Crawl for Writers

Chicago’s own StoryStudio will hold a month-long virtual intensive in February 2022. The Pub Crawl for Writers features classes and events centered on the publishing world and culminates with a Pitch Week (Feb. 23-27). The cost is $265 and includes access to the entire month of events, though Add-On Sessions such as agent, editor, and query letter meetings (and apparently any booze, as with a more traditional pub crawl) must be purchased separately.

New and Proposed Laws to Keep an Eye On

Several new changes or proposed laws may affect our businesses in the coming year:

  • Tax Reporting Change. If you use Venmo, Stripe, PayPal or other payment app, beginning Jan. 1 those apps will be required to report a user’s transactions that total, in aggregate, $600 or more for the year.
  • Anticompetitive Acts. The Authors Guild released a statement in support of the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, which would—if passed and signed into law—curtail anticompetitive practices used by book sellers such as Amazon.
  • Family Biz? Two proposed changes could affect estate planning and inherited wealth. If you run a family business, be aware that a proposed change to the STEP Act would eliminate receiving a stepped-up basis upon the death of an owner. And the proposed change to the 99.5% Act would decrease the estate tax exemption.


By Amy Spungen

  • The Writer’s Co-op. What is the value of your work? In the first episode of season 4, Jenni Gritters and Wudan Yan answer these questions: How do we use the value of work we provide our clients to negotiate prices? And how do we come to understand that our work is valuable? (Love their insiders’ perspectives on journalism!) (Episode 1, Oct. 25)
  • Deliberate Freelancer. Work relationships can be terrific…or the opposite. They can bog you down, becoming more of a hindrance than helpful. Don’t worry, though: Host Melanie Padgett Powers has some tips on paring down your network with the goal of building community intentionally. Bottom line: Simplicity is a good thing. (Episode 119, Nov. 18)


For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.