Category Archives: Seattle

My talk about fact-checking

The Editors Guild recorded my talk about fact-checking last night and posted it to their YouTube channel, so you can watch it here:

Here’s a link to the PDF handout I prepared and refer to in my talk, with links to selected resources and information about fact-checking:
lisa-gold-fact-checking-eds-guild-handout

As I noted in the meeting description, fact-checking is about ensuring that a piece of writing and its sources are accurate, fair, and credible, and protecting writers and publications from errors, criticism, fraud, and lawsuits. I talked about the skills it requires (an obsession with accuracy, skepticism, critical thinking, the ability to do research and find and evaluate sources, and a willingness to ask questions), who does it, why it’s so rare these days and what types of publications/media generally do or don’t do it. I described the fact-checking process for a major magazine feature, what kinds of things you check and particular trouble spots, discussed some cautionary tales, gave fact-checking tips, and answered questions from the audience.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions. I’d also like to know if there’s any interest in me writing about or teaching classes on fact-checking, research, information literacy, or other topics.

For further reading on these and other subjects, browse my website/blog and my Twitter feed.

I’ll be speaking about fact-checking on November 14th

I’ll be speaking about fact-checking at the November 14th meeting of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild in Seattle:

Fact-Checking: Don’t Assume Anything

Whether editing fiction, nonfiction, corporate documents, or magazine articles, some responsibility falls upon the editor to verify the facts. Fact-checking is about ensuring that a piece of writing and its sources are accurate, fair, and credible in order to protect authors and publishers from errors, criticism, fraud, and lawsuits. Lisa Gold, a fact-checker and researcher, will discuss various aspects of fact-checking, offer tips and resources, and explain why you should be skeptical about everything you read.

Speaker Bio: Lisa Gold is a freelance researcher, fact-checker, and writer. She has fact-checked magazine articles, reported features, narrative essays, book reviews, historical novels, nonfiction books, and other types of writing. She’s been a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild since 2005. You’ll find Lisa online at www.lisagold.com and on Twitter at @bylisagold.

The meeting is open to all–you don’t have to be an Editors Guild member to attend–and begins at 6:30pm in the Wallingford neighborhood. Details are on the Editors Guild website (click on the November 14th meeting to see the info and map). If you can’t attend, my talk and Q&A may be recorded and posted on the Editors Guild YouTube page.

If you’re interested in learning more about fact-checking, I recommend two excellent books on the subject, both available in print or ebook:

I’ve added links to some additional resources to my sidebar (with more to come), and here are some of my earlier blog posts on fact-checking.

Update, November 12th:

I went on a tweetstorm today about fact-checking, a summary of which I’ve posted here:

I’ve been thinking a lot about fact-checking this week because of the election and Monday’s Editors Guild meeting. In the meeting description, I wrote that fact-checking is about ensuring that a piece of writing and its sources are accurate, fair, and credible, and protecting writers and publications from errors, criticism, fraud, and lawsuits. But it’s bigger than that.

As writers, editors, or readers, we should care about the facts and loudly call out errors and falsehoods when we see them. So don’t share links without reading and evaluating the content and the source. When you see lies or fake news, call it out, correct it. Critical thinking, information literacy, fact-checking, crap detection, awareness of cognitive biases—these are more important than ever. This kind of work can be hard, lonely, and thankless, and often feels futile, but we should do it anyway, and keep doing it. Though people can choose to ignore or deny facts, eventually everyone has to deal with the consequences.

Update, November 25th: You can watch the video of my talk and download my handout here: https://lisagoldresearch.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/my-talk-about-fact-checking/

I’ll be teaching a research workshop for Clarion West in May

I’ll be teaching a one-day Clarion West workshop with Louise Marley on Sunday, May 4th from 10am to 4pm in Seattle’s University District:

Fiction R&D: From Research to Ideas to Stories
Research is a creative process that can help writers with inspiration, storytelling, and worldbuilding. Lisa Gold will share practical advice on doing research and finding useful and unusual sources, and she’ll provide an annotated list of resources. Louise Marley will explore generating, refining, and developing ideas into stories. They’ll use a combination of lecture, discussion, brainstorming, and writing exercises.

Check out these other Clarion West one-day workshops:

  • Rachel Swirsky, Telling Old Stories in New Ways, April 6
  • Nicola Griffith, The Magic of Immersive Fiction, April 13

For more information or to register: http://www.clarionwest.org/workshops/oneday/fiction-rd-from-research-to-ideas-to-stories/

An update to my post about self-employed health insurance in Washington

Important new update, October 2016: “Group of one” small group health insurance may no longer be an option for self-employed individuals in Washington state because of federal ACA law, though you can still purchase individual insurance either inside or outside our state’s health insurance exchange. I recently spoke with an analyst at the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s office, who confirmed that though Washington’s “group of one” law is still on the books, it has been preempted by federal law (ACA and ERISA) and a legal challenge from an insurance company. Now you must have at least one employee on payroll to qualify as a group (and business owners are no longer counted as employees), so self-employed individuals or sole proprietors without employees don’t qualify for small group health insurance and must purchase insurance through the individual market.

Original post:

I’ve updated my 2010 health insurance post, “If you are self-employed and live in Washington state, read this,” with some new information and links because of a recent increase in views.

My original post was about Washington’s “group of one” law, which allows self-employed individuals or sole proprietors to apply for small group health insurance if they meet certain criteria. These plans offered better coverage, without health screenings, and you could cover your family as dependents.

That information is still accurate, but you now have more options to buy health insurance for 2014:

  1. You can buy individual health insurance on the Washington state exchange (Washington HealthPlanFinder). If your family income (modified adjusted gross income) is below 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for subsidies (tax credits) to help you pay for health insurance purchased through the exchange.
  2. You can buy “group of one” small group health insurance outside of the exchange, if you qualify.
  3. You can buy individual health insurance outside of the exchange.

If your income qualifies you for a subsidy, you’ll have to buy insurance inside the exchange to get it. Whether you apply for insurance inside or outside of the exchange, you can’t be denied because of pre-existing conditions, and specific “essential health benefits” (including hospitalization, maternity care, and prescription drugs) must be covered. You should do your research and carefully compare plans and provider networks. Many of the individual plans in the exchange have limited doctor and hospital networks, so depending on your circumstances, you might be better off in a small group plan or individual plan outside of the exchange.

See my original post for more information.

News about The Mirage paperback, the Queen Anne Book Company, and Clarion West

  • Matt Ruff‘s latest novel, The Mirage, will be published in trade paperback on February 12, 2013. (The hardcover and ebook editions were published in February 2012.) Matt will be doing some readings/signings in Seattle and Portland over the next few weeks.

mirageps

  • Queen Anne Books, the beloved independent bookstore that closed on Halloween, will soon be reincarnated in the same location as the Queen Anne Book Company. The new store, with new owner/managers and some of the booksellers from the old store, will hold its grand opening on March 1st. You can follow the Queen Anne Book Company on Twitter @queenannebookco or on Facebook.
  • March 1st is the deadline to apply to the Clarion and Clarion West writers workshops for science fiction and fantasy. The instructors this year include Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Samuel R. Delany, Joe Hill, Nalo Hopkinson, and Karen Joy Fowler (see my previous blog post for the complete list and more information). Clarion West has just announced that Margo Lanagan will be teaching instead of Justina Robson.
  • Clarion West is offering a series of special one-day workshops in Seattle from February to May, taught by Molly Gloss, John Crowley, Mary Rosenblum, and Daryl Gregory. Each workshop is limited to only 14 students, so don’t wait to sign up.

UPDATE, 2/26/13: For more information about the Queen Anne Book Company’s grand-opening weekend (March 1st to 3rd) and their “Authors in the House” events, see this article from the Queen Anne View blog.

Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Hand, Samuel R. Delany, Kelly Link, Joe Hill, Karen Joy Fowler…

Two fantastic groups of writers will be teaching at the 2013 Clarion and Clarion West Writers Workshops for science fiction and fantasy.

Elizabeth Hand, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Justina Robson, Ellen Datlow, and Samuel R. Delany will be teaching at Clarion West in Seattle from June 23 through August 2, 2013.

Andy Duncan, Nalo Hopkinson, Cory Doctorow, Robert Crais, Karen Joy Fowler, and Kelly Link will be teaching at Clarion at UC San Diego from June 23 through August 3, 2013.

The two workshops are each accepting applications through March 1, 2013. See their websites for instructions and more information.

Update, 2/5/13: Margo Lanagan will be teaching at Clarion West instead of Justina Robson.

 

Seattle’s Queen Anne Books is up for sale again

Queen Anne Books, the independent bookstore at the top of Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill, is up for sale again. The store was sold only six months ago, but on Friday the owner posted this announcement on the bookstore’s website:

To the Queen Anne Book Store community:

I am writing today to let you know that I will be leaving Queen Anne Books as of the end of November. This has not been an easy or hastily made decision, and I thank all of you for your loyalty and your commitment to Queen Anne Books during the period of time that I have been a part of the store.

I would like to find a buyer for the store from among the wonderful community of people who have supported Queen Anne Books over the years. I encourage anyone who is interested to contact the store in person, by phone, or via e-mail at queenannebooks@queenannebooks.com.

I will keep you posted as more information emerges regarding the future of the store.

~ Katharine Hershey

Queen Anne Books is a great neighborhood bookstore, full of helpful, enthusiastic, and well-read booksellers. Queen Anne Books has always been very supportive of Matt and other local authors, and event coordinator Tegan Tigani makes every book event memorable and fun.

I do hope the store finds a buyer, as I’d really hate to see Queen Anne Books close.

UPDATE, 10/22/12:  A new announcement from the staff of Queen Anne Books:

Last week owner Katharine Hershey sent a notice announcing her intention to leave Queen Anne Books at the end of November. We want to provide you with some helpful information to assist you in the coming weeks.

Officially, the store will be closing Wednesday, October 31. However, our owner is actively seeking a buyer for the store. We remain hopeful that Queen Anne Books will be purchased and continue serving our wonderful community.

In the meantime, we want you to know:

  • Queen Anne Books will operate as usual through Oct. 31.
  • As has been our long-standing tradition, we will participate in Queen Anne’s neighborhood Trick or Treat festival from 3-6 on October 31.. Be sure to bring the kids to our store.
  • We are no longer issuing gift certificates. If you have gift certificates, we encourage you to bring them in before our closing on Oct. 31.
  • We will continue to add purchases to your Book Saver plan, and issue rewards.
  • We will no longer be placing special orders as we cannot guarantee arrival before our anticipated closure. If you have special orders in the pipeline, we will do our best to get those to you. Not yet released books dated after Oct. 31 may not arrive in time, and we apologize for that.
  • Though our website will remain functional, we are no longer offering online web ordering. Please call or come in the store for all your book needs. The website will be a good source of information regarding the future of the store, so please check in there.

Thank you for your many years of loyal commitment to Queen Anne Books. We have the best customers in the world, and we hope to have positive news for you in the coming weeks regarding the store’s future. If you know of interested parties, please have them contact us at our email queenannebooks@queenannebooks.com.

UPDATE, 10/30/12:  According to a new message on the website, Queen Anne Books will be closing its doors on October 31st at 7pm.

FINAL UPDATE:  Queen Anne Books is gone.

UPDATE, 2/5/13: Queen Anne Books is being reincarnated in the same location as the Queen Anne Book Company, with new owner/managers and some of the booksellers from the old store. Their grand opening is March 1st. See my blog post for more information.