Upod Academy's "Super Pod" - Master Class for Freelancers - January 11-12, 2020

Upod Academy in action…

Upod Academy in action…

Upod Academy
Super Pod: Next-Level Freelancing
January 11-12, 2020
9:30 am - 4:30 pm PT both days
Los Angeles, California
In person and via livestream

Here's what people say about their Upod Academy experience

Susan Morrison, articles and “Talk of the Town” editor at The New Yorker, will answer your qs.

Susan Morrison, articles and “Talk of the Town” editor at The New Yorker, will answer your qs.

Distinguished Super Pod Speakers

Susan Morrison
Articles and Talk of the Town Editor @ The New Yorker

Vanessa Grigoriadis
Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, National Magazine Award-winner

Victoria Jaggard
Senior Editor Science & Innovation, National Geographic (print and online)

More speakers to come

Note: Some speakers appear via livestream; speakers subject to change or cancellation.

Join us in January 2020 for one the best Upod Academy lineups yet. With options to join us in person in Los Angeles or via livestream, you’ll connect with top editors and writers from The New Yorker, National Geographic, Vanity Fair and other top venues.

Learn what editors look for from freelancers, the do’s and don’ts of pitching, the mechanics of reporting and writing longform pieces, and the secrets of getting into the top magazines in the world. Guests join us live via Zoom and, when possible, in person. You’ll have the chance to ask them anything about ideas, pitching, editing, freelancer fees and more.

Between sessions, we’ll take whatever time is available to hear your pitches and questions about freelancing, and strategize about what’s working and what’s not in your writing career. One big goal is for you to use the weekend to earn back the price of admission within the first year. Usually, the payback is far greater than that. The community support, the insights, the “secret handshakes” of the media A-list—it all comes out of this remarkable weekend together.

In person session will include delicious home-cooked meals both days and the famous Upod chocolate typewriters (my wife is a pastry chef and chocolatier). So much heart at these weekends: Put your phone down, make some lifelong friends, step away from the noise and really focus on leveling up your freelance game.

Details are still emerging. Stay tuned @ Upod Academy’s private Facebook page.

Upod Academy
In person at Upod HQ:
12820 Bonaparte Avenue, LA, CA 90066
In person -$495
Livestream viewing* - $200
Venmo david-hochman-1 to enroll

*Livestream both day’s proceedings starting at 9 am PT - 4:30 pm PT. You’ll see all the speakers, listen in on the workshop conversation and have opportunities to ask questions of our speakers and share ideas via chat on the live Zoom conferencing link.

About Your host, David Hochman

Questions: davidhochman@mac.com

See Upod Academy's Most recent Speaker sessions

Upod Academy's workshops and webinars give you the support and direction to make remarkable things happen in your freelance life.

Next class: April 9-10, 2016, Los Angeles

New York Times Magazine contributor Paul Tullis speaks to a Upod Academy class in 2015

New York Times Magazine contributor Paul Tullis speaks to a Upod Academy class in 2015

I'm pleased to announce my next class: "Write Your Way Out."

Write your way through a rut, past old mistakes, to a new you. The focus will be on moving forward to your next level. April 9 and 10 in Los Angeles.

Working as a group, we will help you overcome past mistakes and land the gigs you most want. Students are expected to bring at five ideas to class, and will leave with one or two (but maybe more) near-final pitches ready to send. You'll get a road map for moving forward with your freelance life and access to a supportive circle of peers ready to hold you accountable to your pitching goals.

  • Analyze real pitches to understand the simple structures that sell to big-time editors.
  • Identify what's working and what's not in your pitches so you stop getting rejected.
  • Learn fixes to rookie mistakes that keep most freelancers from selling their work.
  • Hear prominent editors describe the habits of both good and annoying freelancers.
  • Discover how to cover for inexperience and lack of clips.
  • Learn the best answers to: What's the story? Why now? What should we care? Why this target? Why you?
  • Get the scoop on multiple submissions, negotiating rates and how often to follow-up.

The two-day workshop begins with a deep dive into your process. What are the problem areas and challenges? Where do you need help in breaking through to your next level? We will study actual pitches to see how easy other people make this look. We'll talk out your ideas and inevitably find a bunch (just below the surface) you didn't even know you had. We fine-tune the pitches that make most sense to send, and then sketch out a plan to make stuff happen in the days and weeks following the workshop.

the details

Write Your Way Out
April 9-10, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Los Angeles, California
With special guests (to be announced)
Location: Upod HQ

Here's where to sign up.

Covering The Candidates You Never Knew Existed

Upodder Craig Tomashoff is a former TV Guide editor whose new political book, "The Can't-idates," about anonymous super-longshots who run for America's top office, just got some love from People Magazine. Craig spent time in New Hampshire trailing the presidential hopefuls in hopes of landing a running mate spot or at least an ambassadorship. Well, he was also on a book tour.

This is actually a story of two Upodders. Longtime group member Bob Makela oversees Bobtimystic Books, the independent publisher that produced Craig's book.

"The Can't-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name," gets it moment in the spotlight at Book Soup in Los Angeles on March 25.


Upod Success


Upod Academy attendee Robert Spuhler has a piece in this Sunday's New York Times. Here's what he says, "So, after a year, a bunch of pitches, a major rewrite when one of the venues profiled in the piece closed, and, most importantly, all of your encouragement and editing skills, my piece on the Vegas music scene will be in the New York Times travel section on February 28." Congratulations, Robert!

Thinking of Upod Academy Two Years Later


Upodder Lynda Brendish noticed on Facebook that it was her two-year Upod Academy anniversary, which prompted her to write to her workshop group: "PodCad was definitely a turning point for me. I was sleeping on a friend's couch and not sure if I should go back to New Zealand and pack it all in or stick it out, but now I'm in my own apartment that I love (which is a good thing since I never leave it.) and have a very decent amount of work coming in. I'm still not where I want to bein my career and I have a lot of hard work in front of me, but I feel like it will happen. And I have so many of you to thank for the moral, emotional and mental support as well as the very real opportunities I have been connected with by people in this group - some of whom just trusted in my abilities sight unseen. THANK YOU."

Here's a link to an LA Weekly piece by Lynda.