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.


  • Rate Hike. Will 2023 be the year you finally raise your rates? Congratulations! However, if fear of “your rates are too high” complaints is holding you back, perhaps these 16+ kind but firm responses will help you forge ahead.
  • Winter Parking. A reminder for all who own (or are owned by) an automobile: Chicago’s overnight winter parking ban began Dec. 1 and will be enforced through April 1, 2023. The ban is in effect even if there’s no snow.
  • More Words. Hasbro and Merriam-Webster have added about 500 new words to the seventh edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.” From “adorbs” and “dox” to “Jedi” and “zoodle,” you’ll be racking up triple-word scores in no time.


Freelancers Beware? In-House Talent Marketplaces on the Rise

What does the future of freelancing look like? According to Jon Younger at Forbes, it’ll be as disruptive as usual—except now public freelance marketplaces will be disrupted by in-house talent marketplaces instead of being the disrupters.

“In the very near future, prop or internal organizational talent marketplaces (short for proprietary) will be competing actively with public talent marketplaces,” writes Younger. Noting that freelance platforms like Upwork disrupted the talent market by connecting clients with freelancers from anywhere in the world, he says the next evolution will involve HR departments and create internal marketplaces of vetted freelancers.

Younger writes that freelancers should also “expect new and innovative variations, [such] as where trade associations create a prop talent marketplace on behalf of their members, cities organize within a state or province, or where smaller organizations work together; for example, emergencymusician.com, a cooperative platform for musicians serving smaller organizations and bands.”

However, Younger adds: “Too many freelancers see prop marketplaces as little more than digital talent warehouses. Many complain that the likelihood of interesting or regular work through the platform is low.”

Public freelance platforms also have their downsides—from low rates to the stress of working with clients who’ve never worked with freelancers before—but competition with prop marketplaces may bring much-needed improvement.

“Public freelance marketplaces are providing an exceptional bridge between the traditional workforce of the industrial economy and the transformative workforce of the digital economy,” Younger writes. “But, they will not prosper in the face of disruption by prop talent platforms without adapting to the higher expectations of freelancers.”


By Amy Spungen

  • The Deliberate Freelancer. In this episode, Melanie Padgett Powers explains “How to Line Up January Work Now.” The bottom line: hustle now to prevent a slow—possibly very slow—start to your work in the new year. And when she says now, she means NOW. Don’t bother with the last two weeks of the year, she advises, as that’s usually not a good time to snag new clients. She has some great suggestions to keep in mind as you do the hustle on the front end of December. (Dec. 1)
  • The Writers’ Co-op. It’s such a relief to know that even the most experienced of us freelancers aren’t perfect. In their episode “Mistakes Were Made,” hosts Wudan Yan and Jenni Gritters share illuminating (and, frankly, entertaining) examples of when they “screwed up” and what they learned in doing so. They gently encourage us to own our mistakes in order to move forward more confidently. (Oct. 3)
  • The Indispensables. Host Bruce Tulgan started this podcast to focus on how real people in the real world become indispensable in their jobs. In this episode he interviews freelance editor and author Pamela Haag on “Revising, Editing, and Tuning In to Others.” Arguably the most interesting part of this wide-ranging conversation is Haag’s advice on dealing with authors’ egos. (Not surprisingly, authors vary in sensitivity to helpful criticism.) The only negative in this episode is the uneven sound quality. (May 19, 2021)


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