Detroit Conference Opens

Ben Pollock, NSNC President, opened the conference following an early morning meeting of the Board of Directors. Yes, that’s a Detroit Tigers baseball cap he is wearing.

Several panels convened to speak on various topics. A crusading columnists’ panel told us what it takes to go beyond your regular column to push for justice in political or social issues. Everyone should be a crusading columnist, we were told. Use some new element or angle; be funny, ridicule, or use sincere rage. “Engage and enrage” the readers.

Additional panels spoke on how to make money from writing by writing custom content, and how to build your brand to make yourself known and marketable. “Don’t worry about a byline,” said one writer. “Worry about your name on a check.”

 A panel on humor writing advised us to discover the great Robert Benchley and be inspired by his humor.

Humorous author Bruce Cameron says he spends a great deal of time on the first sentence when when writing humor to grab the audience right away with a funny line at the beginning.

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