Advanced StoryTelling Workshop

The Advanced StoryTelling Workshop celebrated its 14th anniversary at our new home at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. In addition to the workshop, our faculty interacted with over 500 students in nine different classrooms.

This year we continue to evolve from a team based workshop (reporter/photographer) to a solo- journalist based workshop. In the coming years the workshop will need to continue to adjust and evolve to accommodate the changes in the news industry.

This exciting weeklong program is designed for experienced reporter/photographers teams, with a new emphasis on backpack photojournalists. The economical hands-on workshop teaches:

  • Finding the “focus” for memorable story
  • Creativity on a deadline
  • Enterprising of hard-news stories
  • Techniques for achieving personal growth
  • How to find the “juice” in everyday assignments
  • The value of teamwork
  • Innovative ways to advance the art of storytelling

During the week, participants develop story ideas, research, report, shoot, edit and produce complete packages. Critiques and one-on-one sessions abound.

The 2011 Workshop had over 22 full participants from around the world, close to 21 students from TSU who are taking a course that is designed with the ASW as its core and 7 people who took advantage of our one and three day passes; this amounted to a total of 50 participants. Our host as TSU, David Nolan, Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism & Mass Communication sent this report:

>You had a huge impact on our students in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, speaking in 9 different classes this year and reaching more than 500 future journalism and electronic media practitioners. They will be better professionals because of what you shared this year.

Feedback from my students is extremely positive. They are energized, excited and ready for whatever the world is ready to throw at them.

We share David's enthusiasm and are already planning for next year's workshop during the week of April 15 - 20, 2012. Please add us to your calendar. On another positive front, TSU formed a student chapter with NPPA because of our partnership!

During the week, participates attend regular assignment meetings where story ideas are evaluated and refined. Great emphasis is placed on developing a clear focus before shooting begins. Shooting, writing and editing are conducted under real world deadlines. Finished stories are critiqued with an emphasis on constructive suggestions for improvement.

The workshop is held at the Texas State University in beautiful San Marcos, Texas – we have committed to continue our relationship with TSU for at least another year. The school committed $3,000 to the workshop. This year they successfully raised an additional $4,000 from Time Warner and in return we gave their employees a discount. The school’s contribution is used for housing, facilities rental and to host a party for the faculty and students. They also provide student assistants; this is beneficial for both the students and ASW.

In recognition of the tight economy, our rates will remain the same for 2012.

Individual$700 / $850 (After January 1st, 2011)
Team$1350 / $1650 (After January 1st, 2011)
 $100 discount for NPPA members

Once again the workshop is solidly in the black. This is in spite of rising travel expense and hotel costs (expenses that are beyond our control). Our cost saving efforts include planning a faculty cookout instead of taking them to a restaurant and ordering take out on several occasions. We also cut out the expense of a large van rental. For next year, we will continue our cost saving efforts.

Our financial stability is also due to the financial and facilities support from TSU. We also wish to thank Time Warner for their sponsorship of the workshop during tough times, and Think Tank Photo for provided faculty gifts and door prizes for the “Most Improved” student.

Steve Sweitzer, ASW Chair

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