Washington Conference Registration Open

NSNC 38th Annual Conference, June 26-29, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Postcard of U.S. Capitol mid-19th century

Postcard of U.S. Capitol mid-19th century

Registration is open for the 38th annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Thursday night, June 26, through Sunday noon, June 29, 2014.* It will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel in the District of Columbia.

We welcome columnists and bloggers from novices to Pulitzer winners.

Details on the weekend can be found in our archive of conference articles, which continues to be updated as planning is completed. For example, the lower half of this announcement is a list of confirmed speakers. As we sign the remaining handful, those will be announced here at columnists.com. [Update: Conference schedule at this link.]

The NSNC board is continuing the same fee table of recent years, including offering an early registration discount. The best rates expire May 1. [Update: Discount extended to Thursday, May 15!] [Update: Although discount ended May 15, registration remains open, and it’s still a superb price for a professional-level writing workshop weekend open to novices. Hey, the fee includes seven meals.]

  • Member rate $349.
  • Guest rate $299.
  • Non-member rate $399. But wait! Join NSNC with $50 annual dues and you’ll be eligible for the member and member-guest rate.

Please register at this link for the conference.

The fee includes the workshops, speeches and indeed all parts of the program from Friday morning through Sunday morning. NSNC infamously provides a raucous and wet hospitality suite, named for John Kanaley, which opens late Thursday. Registration includes seven meals: continental breakfasts Friday, Saturday and Sunday, lunches Friday and Saturday, and dinners Friday and Saturday. In other words, NSNC offers a pretty good deal for a national writers workshop with top presenters!

Washington Plaza Hotel

Washington Plaza Hotel

The location of the conference, the Washington Plaza, has created an Internet reservations link for us. Click on this link to its page to book our $149 nightly rate for our block of rooms. This is as you might imagine a terrific price for central D.C., only five blocks from the White House.

We invite you to pay for the conference via our secure PayPal buttons, below. (Or after registering online, send a check to NSNC Conference, P.O. Box 411532, San Francisco, CA 94141.)


  • Member rate
    By May 15 – $299 After May 15 – $349 (click button below)

  • Guest of member rate
    By May 15 – $249 After May 15 – $299 (click button below)

  • Non-member rate
    $399 (click button below)

  • Join NSNC for $50, register right away and save! (click button below)


*Thursday night, Sunday morning? Well, we start bright and early on Friday so for those traveling a distance, we traditionally set up an unofficial group dinner (on your own, not included in the registration fee, which does include seven meals) on that Thursday evening. Details on the informal supper will be announced later. The conference ends after the awards banquet on Saturday the 28th, but the annual general membership meeting and election of officers is held on Sunday morning. We encourage everyone to stay for that.

The all-star lineup [Update 5/15/14 to add Marguerite Kelly and Michael Paul Williams] includes:

  • John Avlon, editor in chief of The Daily Beast and a co-editor of the two Deadline Artists column anthologies
  • Gina Barreca — syndicated columnist, prolific author, and professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut
  • Tracy Beckerman, author of the syndicated “Lost in Suburbia” column and the book of the same title
  • Mary Curtis, award-winning multimedia journalist and contributor to The Washington Post
  • Rhonda Graham, columnist, editor and editorial writer for The News Journal in Wilmington, Del.
  • Marguerite Kelly, writer of the syndicated advice column “The Family Almanac,” which appears weekly in The Washington Post
  • Llewellyn King, writer of a weekly syndicated column and the executive producer and host of White House Chronicles on PBS
  • Dana Milbank, Washington Post columnist, author, and frequent MSNBC and CNN commentator. [Update on topic:] He will present an up-to-the-minute look at politics and journalism in the capital.
  • Alexandra Petri, Washington Post’s hysterically brilliant “ComPost” blogger
  • Richard Prince, writer of the leading column on news media diversity issues for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
  • Connie Schultz, syndicated columnist and winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary
  • Nikki Schwab, “Washington Whispers” columnist for U.S. News & World Report
  • Suzette Martinez Standring, syndicated columnist, 2004-06 NSNC president and author of the recently published The Art of Opinion Writing: Insider Secrets from Top Op-Ed Columnists
  • Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post, our 2014 recipient of the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Michael Paul Williams — Recipient, 2014 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, columnist and reporter for the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
  • Craig Wilson, who wrote the popular “The Final Word” column for USA Today until spring 2013
  • Michele Wojciechowski, an author and standup comedienne who writes a weekly column for Parade.com and the syndicated “Wojo’s World” column

This post will be updated with names and photos as the remaining speakers are confirmed.



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