2018 Conference Program Descriptions

Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, 2018
Kingsgate Marriott, Cincinnati, OH
NSNC Conference Chair:  Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Below are the confirmed programs, with more to be added.  Final time slots will be announced.Full Speaker Bios can be read HERE.
Meanwhile, REGISTER HERE
BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW.  (It’s a limited room block so don’t delay!)
Questions:  Email Suzette Standring:  director@columnists.com


FUTURE BOOK PUBLISHING TRENDS
Jim Azevedo, marketing director for Smashwords, reveals the top publishing industry trends and contemporary issues that are transforming the future of authorship. Learn how the playing field isn’t just level – it’s tilted to the indie author’s advantage.  Learn why the former stigma of self-publishing has been replaced with growing pride and professionalism as indie authors pioneer the best practices of tomorrow and scale all the international bestseller lists. This program will arm writers with the knowledge necessary to confront challenges with confidence, and to take full advantage of the amazing opportunities in book publishing today.

WHAT GOES INTO AWARD-WINNING WRITING
Executive Editor Peter Bhatia of The Detroit Free Press has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes and Hall of Fame awards for leading investigative news teams.  He will inspire us with stories of team collaborations and what goes into award-winning writing.

 

 

HOW TO OVERCOME NEWS SATURATION WITH READERS
How do you avoid sounding like everyone else or fight the assumption that social justice columnists sing only one tune?  Avoid negative labeling, news saturation, and readers growing numb. Discover writing that strengthens supporters and reaches out to new audiences.  Columnist and author Rochelle Riley of The Detroit Free Press is the recipient of major journalism awards for a career that crusades for children, government accountability, and improved race relations.

DESCRIPTIVE WRITING AND THE CINCINNATI FOOD SCENE
Critique skills can translate to all genres. Consider how taste is made real beyond using words like “delicious” or “yummy.”  Metaphors and sensory engagement bring readers into the experience.  Often food is linked to memories and a sense of place.  Popular food writer Polly Campbell of The Cincinnati Enquirer shares her writing secrets and dishes on the eating scene in Cincinnati.

 

 

FLASH CLASS ON WRITING: Build a Huge Fan Base With Writing that Surprises 

The Dallas Morning News “Watchdog” columnist Dave Lieber shares practical, immediately usable tips about writing, researching, editing and presentation in various formats (including social media) that will make you a much stronger written communicator. Dave has been a columnist for 30 of his 42 years as a newspaperman.

 

 


THE INTERVIEW: GETTING REAL ANSWERS FROM THE UNWILLING
Learn the art of the interview.  How do you get a “real answer” instead of a “set response,” especially from public figures who are both guarded and practiced against self-revelation? Such lessons can be applied to any interview, a mainstay for most columnists and bloggers.  Political writer Howard Wilkinson writes “Tales from the Trail,” and “Politically Speaking” for WVXU.org.  He will share advice from his 44 years of interviewing politicians and sports celebs.

 


CONNECT WITH LITERARY AGENTS
Last year’s successful meet-and-greet with accomplished literary agents is back by demand.  Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory and Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary Agency represent award-winning authors of different genres.  Their experience, ideas, and know-how can spark a book project or refine your book proposal.  Journalists and columnists are a fertile field and the agents are eager to answer questions and to hear book pitches in a separate session.

PITCH TO LITERARY AGENTS
A separate session will follow “Connect with Literary Agents” and will allow attendees to meet one-on-one with a literary agent for ten minutes to pitch a book proposal.  Advance signups required.  More instructions TBA.

FACEBOOK FOR WRITERS
(Note:  This session will run concurrently with the “Pitch to Literary Agents” session.)

Do you know the difference between a Facebook page and a Facebook profile? Do you wonder why you’re not getting likes, comments, or shares?  In this session, NSNC Communications Director and 2017 Ohio SPJ winner for Best Overall Blog Bonnie Jean Feldkamp will talk about how to curate your Facebook page for creating a community of readers and how to “boost” a post to reach more people as well as create ads that will reach your audience whether they “like” your page or not.
Bonus: Bonnie will also reveal how members can take advantage of their NSNC memberships and reach an even larger audience with a brand-new membership benefit.

HYPERLOCAL STORIES:  IT’S HOW THE STRONG SURVIVE
As huge publications try to be all things to all readers, the advantage goes to local publications. Readers want to know what’s happening written by those who can convey the nuances of their town or city culture.   It’s Darwinian: only the strong survive and Carol Robidoux is an evolutionary journalist going for the “hyperlocal” angle as publisher and Chief Instigating Officer of ManchesterInkLink.com, an online daily news site for New Hampshire’s largest city.  She shares her take on adaptability, being resourceful, and the agility required to stay steps ahead in a fast-changing industry.


DINNER EVENTS:

Friday, June 8, 2018:   Reception and Dinner 

Jose Antonio Vargas, founder and CEO of Define American, will talk about the power of story to change hearts and to emphasize the humanity in controversial issues, such as immigration reform.  He will be the keynote speaker for the Will Rogers Award banquet. The Will Rogers Humanitarian Award is sponsored by The Will Rogers Foundation.


Saturday, June 9, 2018: Reception and Dinner

Awards Banquet:  CONNIE SCHULTZ, recipient, The  2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award
NSNC Column Writing Awards

Note:  All meals, programs, and events are included under individual registrations.
Separate tickets to Friday and Saturday night banquets are available for sale.

 

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