Freelance forum: book your place for top tips and £20 byline pic

By February 22, 2017Public

freelance-logoWe asked, members have spoken, and now the date for our first Freelance Forum has been set — April 25.

Freelancers will have the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones as they network, swap notes or maybe just have a moan over a glass of wine and nibbles.

Experts will be on hand to provide one-to-one advice on tax and websites and you’ll even have the chance to update your byline photograph — or get a new one — for a fraction of the cost of arranging one independently. Photographs will be taken by Trevor Aston, who some of you may know from the Awards and other events. Images will be available via a password protected web link after the event. You can then simply chose the shots you want. Photoshop enhancement will be available for an additional charge, which you can agree with Trevor.

Tomek Wojcik will be on hand to provide tips on websites and SEO. He is the MD of Sumobaby Digital, a former web developer for Lycos Europe and Senior Search Engine Optimisation Manager at AOL.

We have booked private rooms at Champagne Charlies, which is just off Villiers Street, near Charing Cross, from 4pm to 8pm, with the idea that members drop in when they can.

Spaces, however, are limited — and if you want a byline photo (after a mini hair and make-up make-over) there will be a charge of £20. It will also help us if you can indicate when you are likely to arrive so we can try to avoid bottle-necks.

Priority will be given to working freelancers, but members who are considering the freelance life are also welcome —however it is essential to confirm you place by completing the RSVP form below.

RSVP Freelance Forum 2017

    This event is free for MJA members only. However you can join the MJA and then attend the event for free. If you select to join you will be redirected to the application form once you submit your RSVP. Guild of Health Writers may attend for £15 if they do not wish to join the MJA.
    The event runs from 16:00-20:00 but in order that we can ensure everyone has the chance to speak to the various experts on the night, we are asking you to attend during a specific time slot.
    For a fee of £20 you can get a quick hair and make-up tidy-up and have a byline picture taken. Once you submit your RSVP you will be asked to pay your fee by paypal/credit/debit card. Images will be made available via a web-link after the event. Photoshop enhancement will be available for an additional charge.
    We will endeavour to ensure everyone gets the slot they book, but you may be contacted if it looks as if your requested time slot is oversubscribed
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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Rachel Pugh says:

    This is a really good idea and I applaud those who have initiated this freelance event. It is not always easy to remain buoyant in today’s economy – and that’s speaking as an eternal optimist! I’m really looking forward to see how other people in my business are faring. In Manchester there are very few medical journalists, so it will be a treat to meet some!

  • Content Editor says:

    Thanks Rachel, if it’s a popular event and members find it useful, we might make it a regular fixture in the MJA events diary. Look forward to catching up and swapping notes on the day.
    Jane Symons

  • Rachel Pugh says:

    Excellent – I hope that it proves popular. I would encourage non-London freelance medical journalists to come to the event to ensure that it becomes an annual fixture. I will make a point of seeking you out Jane! all the best, Rachel

  • Madeleine Bailey says:

    Gutted not to be able to make this event as I’m not in London next week and I would very much welcome similar events in future. I do have a question for the tax experts though, which I imagine others will be asking. Given the recent tax changes to the flat rate scheme, which means that VAT-registered journalists will now have to pay 16.5% VAT on turnover rather than 12.5%, is it worth remaining VAT-registered (assuming turnover is under the £81K mark)?

    • Jane Symons says:

      Hi Madeleine, Yes, I’ve been grappling with this question, too, and will certainly ask our man on the day.
      From conversation with my own accountant, it looks like there’s very little benefit in remaining VAT registered if you are under the threshold and don’t have to register.
      It very much depends on your expenses. If your allowable expenses are more than 2% of your turn-over, you can stay in the simple scheme and continuing paying at 12.5%. But the big catch is ‘allowable’ expenses. Travel, software, accountancy fees, and a load of other expenses are not included in this 2%. You can claim more if you go onto the fully accounted system, but you might end up doing a load of paperwork, and/or incurring more accountancy fees, to save less than £100. The exception may be a year when you are planning to buy a lot of new kit – computer, laptop etc.
      It would be great to here from other members. Does anyone do the fully accounted system? How much of a palaver is it?

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