Hola desde Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! I just returned to my apartment today after spending the last 20 days in Turkey and Egypt for vacation, not work, which was absolutely glorious.
I’m honored to share that Travel + Leisure published a feature about my work and me as a part of their ‘Women On The March’ series for International Women's Month.
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If you’d like to work with me, I offer consultations where I workshop pitches and allow writers to pick my brain about the industry: LolaAnnMendez.com/Consultation
I filed 10 articles (about 8,400 words) and it was my highest grossing month of the year (I surpassed $5K!) thanks to a long $1.25/word assignment and two branded content assignments. Of the articles, 7 were assignments (editors contacted me to write the story). The other 3 articles were commissioned pitches (editors bought the article ideas I sent them). I sent 68 pitches this month—three were commissioned, four are being considered, 16 were rejected, and 45 are pending a response.
Several were timely simultaneous pitches and a desperate attempt for me to write about the ancient Egyptian sites seen in ‘Death on the Nile’, but that movie came out months ago and the only pub interested in it wanted to pay .10/word. I haven’t had time to follow up on my April pitches.
I’m dedicated to advocating for my rights as a freelancer. I’m refusing to sign contracts with kill fees, or to accept work under my base rate of .50/word. I’m also trying to be better about asking to amend vernacular in contracts that are predatory such as indemnification clauses but I haven’t had success getting publications to change those. I need to bite the bullet and get an LLC to protect my hard-earned money.
I lost out on two assignments this month because they didn’t meet my requirements. One for $750 because a publication wouldn’t remove their 25% kill fee clause from the contract. Another because the pub couldn’t meet my rate, required unlimited rounds of edits, and expected next day turn around at .40/word. I was on vacation so it wasn’t worth the rush job. A third piece was commissioned months ago but another editor finally told me the assigning editor had given the assignment to someone else. These are exploitative practices that mistreat freelance writers.
My piece about the Amy’s Kitchen boycotts was killed for timing reasons and I’d still love to see it placed as I did four interviews including one with a worker who was allegedly hurt on the job. If any editors are interested, let me know and I’ll send the draft your way. Happy to make edits so the piece is a fit for the publication. There’s another timely news hook with this story too.
My portfolio can be viewed any time at LolaAnnMendez.com. In April, I had 6 articles published including my first print magazine article for Wine Enthusiast and a blog post for Wix. I have upcoming pieces in new-to-me publications including The Washington Post, The Today Show, Experience Life, and Scott’s Cheap Flights.
I always post my calls for sources on Twitter.com/LolaAnnaMendez. Newsletter subscribers get a first look at what I’m working on. PR folks and individual people (when relevant) are welcome to send pitches for the stories for which I’m currently working.
So far for May, I'm looking for PR pitches for the below stories:
-The Best National Parks in Central America
-Food brands that feel-good on the surface and their underlying issues
After spending about a week in Turkey and almost two weeks in Egypt, my mind feels on the verge of exploding from all the sites and information I soaked up on the trip. It was fantastic to visit places that I’ve always dreamed of seeing and I’m eager to get back to MENA later this year.
May will be just as jam-packed with back-to-back press trips to Lima, Peru; Victoria, Canada; and Alaska. I’ll hopefully be in PV for Pride for a few days before setting off to my 70th country which is also a press trip, but I don’t have my flights quite yet so I’ll keep the destination a secret for now. I’ll tell you about it in the next newsletter.