freelance writing

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.

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.