Advocacy Efforts

ASJA takes its role as the voice of freelance writers seriously. This is particularly true with issues of national importance, including censorship, copyright, and legal or industry changes that prevent independent writers from make a living. Generally non-partisan, we do not endorse candidates for office but address issues via statements and press releases from our Board of Directors, as well as statements issued jointly by the Board and First Amendment Committee.

Of particular concern currently are the federal and state legislative anti-independent contractor laws that are already hurting freelancers in California and threaten freelance writers around the country. For that reason, in December 2019, ASJA joined the National Press Photographers Association in a federal lawsuit against the state of California. Assembly Bill 5, which took effect January 1, 2020, threatens to devastate the careers of California freelance journalists, including writers and photographers.

As these anti-freelance measures are debated in statehouses and Congress, ASJA has developed its Advocacy Tools for Freelancers. Collected and updated by ASJA members around the country, these resources are designed to help our members advocate for their behalf, both locally and nationally.

FAQs, Myths & Facts About the Anti-Independent Contractor Laws and the ABCs

Federal Legislation: The PRO Act

State-level Legislation

General Resources

ASJA has also been at the forefront of freelance advocacy for many decades. For an overview of past advocacy efforts, click here.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson