Creating a Bigger, Better ASJA

I never imagined becoming a full-time freelance writer. Let alone doing this for five years.

But thanks to the support of other writers and organizations like ASJA, I’ve been able to transform what should have been a stop-gap after another layoff into a viable, long-term career.

Community is so important for writers, particularly when you’re self-employed. ASJA has developed a 1,000-plus strong community of professional journalists, authors, and writers, but we know there are thousands more who could join our ranks and benefit from the knowledge, career advancement opportunities, and camaraderie ASJA provides.

It’s why I’m proud to serve as recruiting chair and collaborate with other ASJA members on the membership committee to welcome aspiring and long-time freelancers into our organization.

This year, we’re focused on growing ASJA by launching and reinvigorating several programs:

  • Fall Membership Drive: Kicking off in October, the fall membership drive is one of our biggest recruitment pushes every year. We’re doing something a little bit different this year by launching a Q&A series with ASJA members. We’ll promote the series on social media to attract prospective members to a new, dedicated landing page for the fall membership drive where they can learn more about the benefits of ASJA membership.
  • ASJA Associate Member Mentoring Program: We’re actively recruiting professional members who can work one-on-one with associate members to help them develop their skills and grow their freelance business. If you’re interested in learning more or signing up, please reach out to program chair Lori Ferguson at and get details here.
  • Outreach to other journalism and writing organizations: From online groups for new freelancers and women writers to established organizations like the Asian-American Journalists Association and local press clubs, there are so many organizations ASJA could collaborate with to grow our mutual writing communities. New ASJA Associate Member Chair Parul Kapur Hinzen is focused on developing an outreach program with these groups to build our membership ranks, especially among associate members. We’re in the beginning stages of this effort, so if you have any suggestions for organizations that would be great to connect with, please let us know.
  • Referral incentives: As a reminder, ASJA is still offering a 25% referral bonus for referring a new member. If you know someone who could benefit from joining ASJA, encourage them to learn more about the organization and start their application today.
  • Conference Ambassador Program: We’ll continue to run the Conference Ambassador program for ASJA’s regional and national conferences, where we pair current members with non-member attendees. This program is a great way to introduce writers to the organization, enable them to informally network with ASJA members and experience firsthand how ASJA can help them launch and grow their freelance career.

We have so many ambitious goals for ASJA membership programming next year, but we need your help — especially during our fall membership drive. We’re currently seeking professional and associate members who are journalists, do content marketing, book writing, ghostwriting, and more to interview for our Q&A series (tentatively titled, “How I Became a Freelance Writer”). If you’re interested in participating (or have general membership recruitment questions), please email me at By highlighting your success and the diverse work of our membership, we hope to show prospective members that freelancing can be a rewarding, financially sustainable career path.

We’d love to recruit as many new members as possible. With your help, we can grow the ASJA community for years to come.