Board Discusses Conference Details

The major topic of discussion at the Sunday evening meeting of the Board of Directors was the upcoming conference in Detroit. Conference Chair Brian O’Connor of the Detroit News filled in the board on details in the works at the current time. 

The theme of this year’s conference is “Rebound in Motown.” Along those lines, O’Connor is looking for topics and presenters who can help our members deal with the post-Recession world of journalism, navigate the online universe, build their personal brands and audiences, and expand their opportunities for exposure and income in other writing venues.

WRITING WORKSHOP – Don Fry, writing coach from the Poynter Institute, will present a workshop aimed at helping writers in the post-Recession world. Eight lucky attendees will receive an additional 15-minute personal coaching session. Don Fry was the resident writing coach at the Poynter Institute, and established the program there, as well as the writer of the leading book on writing coaching. He is an emeritus faculty member now, but still consults to Poynter.

SIGHT SEEING – The Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau will furnish motor coaches and shuttle buses to events and venues around town.

NETWORKING – The Detroit News will send at least five representatives as conference attendees, a great opportunity for attendees to make contacts. Attendees will also have a chance to form relationships and professional friendships within NSNC.

TOURISM DISCOUNTS – See Detroit attractions and get discount deals for spouses and families to the Detroit Zoo, various museums, children’s events, Tigers tickets and river cruises. The Michigan tourism bureau will provide information about making the conference a start or end point for a Michigan vacation.

NATIONALLY KNOWN SPEAKERS – Liz Pulliam Weston, author of several personal finance books, syndicated columnist and the most-read personal finance writer on the Web, will lead a panel on “Building Your Personal Brand” at the NSNC Annual Conference in Detroit. 

Plans are being finalized for motivational “big picture” and “nuts-and-bolts how-to” panels and workshops. In addition, Brian is working on a book agent panel with a New York agency. Also returning in Detroit will be the popular live auction to benefit the NSNC Education Foundation.

NSNC President Ben Pollock reported on the results of Facebook ads for the Column Contest with more hits than normal on the contest rules noted. The Contest Chair Mike Dupree reported that judges for the column-writing contest are being locked in and asked board members for any additional recommendations. 

An Awards Nomination Committee was appointed to consider recommendations for honors such as the Legacy Award and Columnist of the Year, awards not necessarily given every year. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times movie columnist, author, television host and blogger, has already been selected to receive the 2011 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Offices up for election this year will be announced in the March issue of the Columnist Newsletter and the board is seeking people interested in serving. A nomination committee will be appointed and a slate of recommended candidates announced 60 days prior to the election in accordance with the bylaws. Members interested in serving on committees or as officers should contact Ben Pollock via the feedback form.

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