Power of Diverse Voices: Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color (November 2023)

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Power of Diverse Voices: Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color (November 2023)

With the support of expert instructors and fellow journalists of color, develop the confidence and skills to share your unique perspective in persuasive writing.

November 15, 2023– November 18, 2023

Overview

  • Visit Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, for four days of intensive, transformational learning.
  • Deeply connect with and be inspired by your cohort of fellow journalists of color.
  • Practice new techniques during dedicated writing sessions.
  • Get feedback during small group coaching sessions.
  • The training is free to accepted participants. Travel costs are not covered by Poynter.
  • The application window closes on Sept. 15, 2023

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Learning Outcomes

You will learn how to:

  • Develop and hone your arguments, presenting these arguments effectively and persuasively.
  • Support your arguments using solid research and reporting.
  • Strengthen your reporting skills with an emphasis on fairness and accuracy.
  • Maximize your journalistic success on digital and social media platforms.
  • Generate strong ideas for your opinion pieces, broadening your access to diverse points of view.
  • Focus your ideas, developing a compelling pitch to editors.

$0.00

Overview

  • Visit Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, for four days of intensive, transformational learning.
  • Deeply connect with and be inspired by your cohort of fellow journalists of color.
  • Practice new techniques during dedicated writing sessions.
  • Get feedback during small group coaching sessions.
  • The training is free to accepted participants. Travel costs are not covered by Poynter.
  • The application window closes on Sept. 15, 2023

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

The Power of Diverse Voices is a transformative, four-day seminar that helps journalists of color find their voices and build skills for writing opinion pieces and personal essays.

With the support of expert instructors and fellow journalists of color, you’ll develop the confidence and skills to share your unique perspective in persuasive writing. You will learn both through instruction as well as intensive coaching in small writing groups. You will focus on fact-based opinion writing — and using social media to spark a conversation — across platforms.

The seminar is led by Tom Huang, a senior editor at The Dallas Morning News who has been a champion of diverse storytellers for 35 years and who has taught at Poynter for 20 of those years. This in-person, immersive experience will foster the diversity of voices necessary in the profession and train the next generation of opinion writers from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Additionally, it will explore how opinion writing plays a vital role in explanatory, features and watchdog journalism, and is important in a thriving democracy.

Before this program, I doubted how my unconventional path and story could make me a stronger journalist. In fact, I hesitated to even call myself a ‘journalist’ due to my perceived lack of experience. This all changed the minute I stepped into the first workshop. In three days, strangers became friends, confidants and supporters. There is power in uniting people who are usually overlooked in traditional newsrooms. Being in the same room with journalists of color, looking people in the eye and finding camaraderie not only boosted morale but also affirmed the power we hold with our personal experiences, our stories and the way in which we navigate the world. This workshop encouraged me to wholeheartedly own my identity, embrace the power in our stories and to leverage what I know to be a better person as well as journalist.

— Vicky Diaz-Camacho, class of 2018

Accepted applicants will join an active and successful alumni group. Their work has appeared in podcasts such as This Land series by Rebecca Nagle and an episode of Racist Sandwich by Joseph Hernandez; in local news such as this column about being the daughter of Pakistani immigrants by Shaheen Pasha in the New Hampshire Gazette; and in national outlets such as Iris Kuo’s column in The Atlantic on the ‘whitening’ of Asian Americans and Russell Contreras’s story for the Associated Press about his family surviving five generations of Houston storms.

Apply now to be a part of the Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color community and give power to your voice.

This seminar will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, through Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Live teaching sessions, small group workshops and writing time will take up a large portion of each day. In order to focus and get the greatest benefit from the seminar, participants will be asked to commit their full attention to the seminar and take time off work.

Below is a tentative schedule and it is subject to change. All times are listed in Eastern time.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

6-9 p.m.: Welcome reception, dinner and introductions

Thursday, Nov. 16

8-noon:  Classroom activities.

Noon: Lunch

1-5 p.m.: Writing session and small group critiques

Friday, Nov. 17

8-noon: Writing and classroom activities

1-5 p.m.: Writing, reading and small-group critiques

5-8 p.m.: Readings.

Saturday, Nov. 18

8 a.m.-noon: Final readings and farewells.

Who should apply

Enrollment is open to new- and mid-career journalists of color based in the United States looking to add effective opinion writing to their tool kit, as well as those building a career path toward opinion journalism. Journalism students, journalism educators, freelancers and opinion journalists who work online or in social media are also encouraged to apply.

The Power of Diverse Voices workshop grew out of a collaboration between the Association of Opinion Journalists and The Poynter Institute. The original writing workshop for journalists of color ran for nearly two decades at Vanderbilt University before coming to Poynter in 2015. The curriculum was revamped in 2016 under lead faculty Tom Huang’s stewardship to include a heavier focus on digital storytelling.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation or reference is required. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interest and basic demographic information.

Participants are selected by a committee with an emphasis on ensuring diversity across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography, religion, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets.

Participants (or their employers) are responsible for travel costs (here’s advice about asking your boss for support). A limited number of travel stipends will be available, as well as a scholarship from the Gill Foundation to support LGBTQ+ journalists who are NLGJA members. Please indicate if you need financial assistance on your application.

The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.

Instructors

Faculty

  • Tom Huang
    Assistant Managing Editor for Journalism Initiatives, The Dallas Morning News
    Tom Huang is Assistant Managing Editor for Journalism Initiatives at The Dallas Morning News, where he oversees Sunday Page One, edits in-depth enterprise stories, handles...
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  • Fernanda Santos
    Managing Editor, The 19th News
    Fernanda Santos is managing editor at The 19th News. She has focused her journalism on elevating the stories of underrepresented and misrepresented communities since immigrating...
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  • Aisha Sultan
    Home and Family Editor and Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Aisha Sultan is a nationally syndicated columnist and features writer. Her work connects with parents trying to balance work and home life, while raising kids...
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  • Eric Deggans
    TV Critic, NPR
    Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic. Deggans came to NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times, where he served a TV/Media Critic and...
    Read More

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