Columnists’ Road Trip Is Fly

NSNC 2015 – Indianapolis

By Amanda Beam
2015 Conference Committee
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Indianapolis SkylineGentlehumans, start your engines. Only three months until the 2015 NSNC Conference.

True story. Per square mile, Indiana has the most miles of interstate highways in the nation.

All those streets will sure come in handy when columnists and bloggers across the country put their pedals to the metal and travel to Indianapolis June 25 to 28 for the 2015 NSNC Conference.

Just make sure you don’t take a cue from our world famous race car drivers. Watch your speed — and your left turns — as you make your way to a fantastic weekend filled with renowned speakers, like-minded attendees, fun activities … and an infamous hospitality suite.

And while we don’t have any basketball superstars scheduled to take some shots at the conference, the days have been packed with speakers who will both entertain us with their stories and teach us in our craft.

Congressman-turned-columnist Lee Hamilton will give a talk about how reporting on government affairs has changed in the last few years. Tony Messenger, editorial page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will discuss his experiences during the Ferguson crisis.

And our very own NSNC members Dave Lieber, Rick Horowitz, Ben Pollock and Dan St. Ives will present all sorts of topics throughout the two-day event.

Of course, the crème de la crème of the conference will be the outings and dinners. Expect to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500, during your visit. On Saturday, we’ll visit the new Indianapolis Star newspaper office in, of all places, a shopping mall. Indy Star columnists Gregg Doyel and Erika Smith will greet the group and talk to us about the digital age of newspapers. Lunch will be held at Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut’s Memorial Library as we explore and listen to a still-to-be-announced speaker.

Hosting our hospitality suite, and our conference, this year is The Alexander, a boutique hotel situated in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Complete with distinct, art-themed rooms, unique restaurants and a bar offering some of the yummiest cocktails in the region, this establishment is ready to welcome one and all to the Crossroads of America. Speaking of the hospitality suite, the most powerful room in all of columndom will connect to a business suite that contains an outdoor veranda, perfect for nighttime viewing of the beautiful Indy skyline.

And every room has soft, plush robes! ROBES! Try, though, and not let that be the only clothing you are wearing to breakfast after an eventful evening.

Oh, yes, food. You’ll be dining with us for seven — count them seven — meals while at the conference. The hotel will furnish some lovely breakfasts, a lunch and a fancy and proper Saturday night dinner.

Bill Foley

Bill Foley

For those arriving on Thursday, Scotty’s Brewhouse has been booked for a relaxing night among your columnist friends. Although not included in the conference fee, the dinner will be a wonderful start to the festivities. And have I mentioned the great beer? For the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four being held this weekend in Indy, Scotty’s is serving an “I hate Christian Laettner Double IPA.” Hopefully they aren’t including a dribble cup in that special dot-dot-dot.

Friday night, you’ll be transported to the Indiana State Museum to view Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Bill Foley’s latest exhibit. At dinner there, Foley will then discuss his time covering world events including the Beirut hostage crisis of the 1980s and the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat. Then Chicago Tribune columnist and Pulitzer winner Mary Schmich will be our featured speaker.

Miss Manners Judith Martin Photo Kay Chernush

Miss Manners Judith Martin
Photo Kay Chernush

Our award winners will shine on Saturday night as we have a fancy schmancy dinner at The Alexander. Prizes to the winners of our columnist contests will be awarded. Miss Manners herself, Judith Martin, will be receiving the 2015 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award in Pyles’ very home state.

Talk about Hoosier Hospitality at its finest!

So why are you putting on the brakes? Register today to attend this fantastic event and make valuable connections and lasting friendships.

Indiana can’t wait to welcome you!

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  2 comments for “Columnists’ Road Trip Is Fly

  1. April 15, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I wonder if attending this will improve my acceptance rate when I send pitch letters to newspapers? That would be worth it as much as a I loathe going to a state with such an asinine governor (but then I live in Florida…)

  2. April 14, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Fabulous piece, Amanda. Thank you. And thanks to you and Michelle for all your hard work on the conference. It will be great.

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