After longer than a year working from home, journalists and other communicators around the country are hitting reset on their routines as they plan for life — and coverage — after vaccination. Whether you’re a newsroom journalist, freelancer or communications professional, you’ll leave “Pro Tips: Writing Refresh” with concrete skills that will help you take your work to the next level.
The three-hour workshop will take place on Zoom from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET Friday, June 4, 2021. Registration is $50; tickets for National Press Club members are $40.
Sessions will include “Re-energize your writing … and your love for it,” taught by Steve Padilla, writing coach and Column One editor for the Los Angeles Times; “How to be intentionally inclusive when reporting and writing,” taught by Robert Samuels, a national political reporter for The Washington Post; and “How to write a headline your audience can’t resist,” taught by Julie Moos, executive director for the National Press Club Journalism Institute.
If the circumstances of 2020 — and the year to date — have left your creative reserves drained, you’re not alone. Guests will have a chance to mingle during a virtual networking event before the workshops begin at 1 p.m. Doors will “open” at 12:30 p.m.
“Creating ways for writers and editors to focus on craft while building their community is core to the Journalism Institute’s work,” said Moos. “This workshop’s focus on practical tips and hands-on exercises will leave writers feeling refreshed and ready to tackle their next piece.”
Register here for the June 4 workshop. Registration includes the networking event, as well as access to recordings of the three sessions.
Re-energize your writing … and your love for it, 1-2 p.m. ET
Steve Padilla, Los Angeles Times
Re-energize how you view writing — and the way you do it — in this session for nonfiction writers. Writing coach and Los Angeles Times Column One Editor Steve Padilla will guide you out of your writing ruts with sentence-level, achievable techniques to invigorate your writing. Designed for professional nonfiction writers, Padilla’s workshop will give you fresh ways to (among other methods):
- Craft descriptions
- Construct anecdotes
- Trim and squeeze your copy
- Troubleshoot your writing
- Collaborate with editors
Strengthen your technique while gaining practical tips that work for long-form stories as well as quick dailies.
Steve Padilla, who entertained standing-room-only audiences during the Institute’s Pro Tips writing workshop at the Press Club in 2019, is editor of Column One, the L.A. Times’ showcase for storytelling. He tweets about writing technique at @StevePadilla2.
How to be intentionally inclusive when reporting and writing, 2-3 p.m. ET
Robert Samuels, The Washington Post
Writing with the “little white man” on your shoulder is ingrained in the writing life, says Robert Samuels, quoting Toni Morrison. So how do you keep different voices and perspectives on your shoulder … without weighing down your reporting? Robert Samuels, a national political reporter for The Washington Post, will guide you through how to write with inclusivity at the heart of your work.
Participants will learn how to:
- Talk yourself through a story’s mission statement and audience
- Conceive inclusive stories by universalizing their most basic emotional appeal
- Pitch (and pitch again and pitch again) stories that prompt diverse sourcing
- Channel people who see the story differently than you and/or your editor
- Deconstruct the process, structure and language that makes a story inclusive
Robert Samuels is a national political reporter for The Washington Post who focuses on the intersection of politics, policy and people. He travels the country to chronicle how the vivacious political discussion in the nation’s capital is impacting the lives of everyday Americans. He previously told stories about life in the District for The Post’s social issues team. Robert joined The Post in 2011 after spending nearly five years working at the Miami Herald. At the Herald, he covered politics, poverty, murder and mayhem.
How to write a headline your audience can’t resist, 3-4 p.m. ET
Julie Moos, National Press Club Journalism Institute
Across platforms, headlines are critical to framing a story in seconds for readers. Journalists use headlines to guide readers from pandemic news to protests to picking where they safely venture out today. They need to inform, engage, *urgent* … and fit specs. Word choice, order and pace become even more important.
Learn “How to write a headline your audience can’t resist” with practical methods you can use in your work right now. Whatever your role in the newsroom – editor, writer, visual journalist, engagement producer – you’ll benefit from learning best practices for:
- Choosing which headline type will best fit the tone and story
- Using writing and language fundamentals to craft quality headlines
- Quickly writing and revising headlines to improve them on deadline
- Understanding how headlines attract or repel audiences
This hands-on, interactive workshop will include exercises you can use immediately in your work. If you’re interested in sharing headlines to be included in the live workshop, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Moos is the executive director for the National Press Club Journalism Institute. She joined the Journalism Institute from McClatchy. As managing director of news there, she was responsible for coaching and training reporters and editors in 30 newsrooms on journalism challenges ranging from fair use to audience-centered storytelling, while simultaneously leading a real-time news team of reporters and editors who drove millions of readers to McClatchy products every month. Moos also spent 11 years at the Poynter Institute where she oversaw Poynter.org, edited “Best Newspaper Writing” and New York Times-bestselling front page books, launched an iTunesU No. 1 podcast and taught in digital journalism and leadership seminars. Prior to Poynter, Moos spent seven years at market-leading WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, running WRAL.com, writing for morning broadcasts and producing news graphics.
If you have questions about the Pro Tips workshop, please email Beth Francesco, the Institute’s senior director.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute serves as a beacon for journalism in the public interest.