Schedule for NSNC’s 40th Annual Conference in LA

#NSNC16 – Los Angeles

By Lisa Smith Molinari
Vice President
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

The NSNC Conference Committee is proud to add a prestigious line-up of speakers and panelists to the schedule for our upcoming Annual Conference in Los Angeles, June 23-26, 2016.

Although the general theme for this year’s West Coast location is “Hooray for Hollywood,” our speakers will be covering a diverse and valuable array of topics. From adapting to technology, to stories about national syndication, to the importance of diverse voices in our industry, to self-publishing strategies; this year’s conference has something for columnists and bloggers of every stripe.

The speakers below have been confirmed, but we will immediately update this schedule on our website if there are any unforeseen cancellations, substitutions or additions. Also, more details will be added in the months leading up to the conference, but take a peek below at what’s already in store and don’t forget to register soon!

[Schedule changes will be indicated with a dated note. May 3 update: Evening speakers realigned. May 14 update: Award-winning columnist Steve Lopez added to program. May 15 updates: Book-signing hour, free lunch shuttle to and from Westwood Village. May 25 update: a few times below have been tweaked, as noted.]

The only meals included in the registration fee are dinners Friday and Saturday evening and continental breakfasts Friday through Sunday morning. The conference adjourns for lunch, with conferees on their own for those meals. A dinner Thursday night has been arranged with a prix fixe menu, details to be announced.

Thursday, June 23

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

Hotel Angeleno

2 – 4 — Registration [update: time tweaked]

3 – 5 p.m. — NSNC Board Meeting

5 9 — Optional Dinner at the Glendon Bar & Kitchen — meet in hotel lobby

5:30 -6:30 — Hotel’s Complimentary Wine Hour

9 — Hospitality Suite Opens

Friday, June 24

8 – 9 a.m. — Registration [update: time tweaked]

8 – 8:30 — Continental Breakfast [update: time tweaked]

8:30 – 8:45 — Welcome from 2016 Conference Co-Chairs and NSNC President Jerry Zezima

8:45 – 9:45 — Keynote Address by Michael Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer-Winning editorial cartoonist and Investors Business Daily editor

9:45 – 10:15 — Traditional “Roll Call of the States”

10:15 – 10:30 — Break

Steve Lopez

Steve Lopez

10:30 – 11:25 — [Update 5/14] Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, 2004 recipient of NSNC’s Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. The California native has won more than a dozen national journalism awards for reporting and columns at seven newspapers and four magazines, and was both a 2016 and 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary. He is the author of three novels, two column collections and the best-selling The Soloist, a nonfiction book that was adapted into a hit movie.

11:30 – 1 p.m. — Lunch Break (on own, free Westwood Village shuttle)

1 – 1:55 — Dave Berg, columnist and former co-producer of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, will share stories from “Behind the Curtain” and how he bridged the gap between writing and television

Rochelle Riley

Rochelle Riley

2 – 2:55 — Rochelle Riley, award-winning Detroit Free Press columnist and Will Rogers Humanitarian Award recipient, will give her own experiences “Handling the Hate: Standing Your Ground Against Those Who Would Shut You Down”

3 – 3:15 — Break

3:15 – 4:15 — Columnists Dave Lieber (The High Impact Writer) and Suzette Martinez Standring (The Art of Column Writing, The Art of Opinion Writing): Open Discussion on “Wins and Fails: What works and doesn’t work in column writing in 2016”

4:45 — Board Buses to the Will Rogers Ranch (Meet in lobby)

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

5:15 — Exclusive tour of house and grounds

6:15 — Special evening at Will Rogers Ranch

  • Dinner
  • Presentation of the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award
  • Todd Vradenburg, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation
  • Keynote: 2016 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation to Pulitzer Prize Recipient, NSNC Columnist of the Year Award Recipient and nationally syndicated columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr. [May 3 update]

9 — Board Buses to Hotel

9:30 — Hospitality Suite Opens

Saturday, June 25

8 – 8:30 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:45 — Gordon Burgett, owner of Communications Unlimited and author of 46 books and more than 1,700 articles: “How to sell 75 percent of your work before it’s actually written and then sell it again in reprints”

9:45 – 10 — Break

10 – 11:15 — Howard VanEs, self-publishing guru and president of Let’s Write Books Inc.: “How to Successfully Self-publish Your Book and Make It An Amazon Kindle Bestseller.”

11:15 – 1:15 p.m. — Lunch (on own, free Westwood Village shuttle)

W. Bruce Cameron

W. Bruce Cameron

1:30 -3 — Prominent Hollywood professionals discuss “Pitching a Column as a Television Show or Movie,” moderated by W. Bruce Cameron, humor columnist and New York Times best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose (Lasse Hallstrom movie adaption starring Dennis Quaid set for January 2017 release). Following immediately: Pitch Raffle Drawing

3 – 5 — Explore LA! / Free Time [update: time tweaked]

5 – 6 — Conferees’ book sale, signing [Added 5/15]

5:30 – 6:30 — Hotel Complimentary Wine Hour

Jeanne Phillips, "Dear Abby"

Jeanne Phillips, “Dear Abby”

6 — Awards Reception and Dinner, at hotel

  • Presentation of the 2016 Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award to Jake Schmidt
  • Presentation of the 2016 NSNC Legacy Award to Robert Haught
  • Keynote: “Dear Abby” aka Jeanne Phillips will share some of the interesting letters she’s received, which she wryly calls “The troubles I’ve seen.” One of the most widely syndicated columnists in the world, Dear Abby will tell us how she got her start and how she sustains her iconic advice column today.
  • Presentation of NSNC Column Contest Awards
  • Silent and Live Auctions

10 — Hospitality Suite Opens

Sunday, June 26

8:30 – 9 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

9 – 10:30 — NSNC Annual Membership Meeting and Election of Officers

10:30 — Conference Adjourns

• • •

The 2016 conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists will be June 23-26.

Here is the secure link to register for the conference:

It’ll be based at the Hotel Angeleno, 170 N. Church Lane in Los Angeles. Here is the link for making reservations in its NSNC room block: We have a limited number of rooms at a special nightly rate of $169 so we advise early registration.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email