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Training alert

WE KNOW lockdown has been grim, costly and frustrating for many freelances. Now, as vaccinations against covid-19 continue to roll out and pubs and theatres get ready to reopen, it really looks like it could be lifting. So, what better time to sharpen up those skills and embrace new opportunities...

To this end, the Branch has organised Zoom sessions and is now taking bookings. If you sign up for both you could enhance both your online presence and your chance of getting paid a decent rate for your work.

First, on Tuesday 22 June there is an evening Zoom session which sounds a must for those who find it really hard to sell their ideas and get paid properly for their work when they do. "Pitch and Deal" costs £25 for NUJ members and £50 for non-members and will run from 6pm to 9pm. It is being delivered by highly-experienced journalists Louise Bolotin and Phil Sutcliffe, who have taught many freelances how to pitch successfully and avoid getting ripped off.

Please contact LFB Training officer Helen Hague at to sign up for this course.

Next up is a course which will boost your online presence and help "build your brand" if that's what you're after. Hamish Brown, whose Podcast courses for the branch have gone down very well with members, is running a day-long Zoom session on An Introduction to WordPress - "the world's most popular web publishing platform" on Thursday 24 June from 10am to 4:30 pm. It costs £35 for NUJ members and £65 for others.

Those who attend will be guided through technicalities and options before making a simple website in a live WordPress environment using a selection of freely available sample content or loading up some they have prepared in advance. Again, there are only ten places so grab one while you can if interested.

Please book for this course at

These promise to be quality sessions. The Branch is very keen to know what other training members want. The much-trailed branch training survey will be available very soon. We can't promise to deliver everything members want, but can try to chase down and flag up relevant training opportunities that we can't supply ourselves - as well as scheduling sessions members want. We really do need your input. Check the @NUJ_NUJ twitter feed and for details soon - and please do respond. It really shouldn't take long.

The NUJ centrally is also offering First Steps in Freelancing on Friday 15 October and Winning and negotiating freelance work on Friday 29 October 2021. Please follow those links for details.

And the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer Conference 2021 is well worth checking out if you want to hone or gain the skills that let you dive deep into data, make sense of company accounts or learn how to craft a Freedom of Information request. Tickets for events, delivered online this year between 5 July and 8 July, are selling fast. There are some free sessions planned. Find out what is still available on Twitter at #CIJSummer and on the Web. You can also access video recordings of recent CIJ talks and sessions for free.