The Journalism Workshop invited us to take each other on a journey. We learned how to truly transport a reader by focusing on setting: the smells, tastes, sounds, sights, and feel of a place.
First, we considered a new and exciting place we’ve been to recently, or a familiar place that really lights us up. Then we answered a series of questions that helped us get in touch with the concrete details about the place, or the journey to get there, as well as the intangible energy of the experience.
Guest journalists Lauren Mechling and Heidi Mitchell led us through the process of idea conception, the dos and don’ts of finding an angle, pitching an idea, editing a piece, and finally presenting it to the reading public. We dissected differences in tone, types of information, and the experience of the reader. The workshop also covered other journalism nuances, like how to write a lede or make a pitch, and working with an editor.
By the end, we had crafted our own reviews, distilled them down to a lede, listened and reviewed like editors, and presented our work as we would in the professional world of journalism.
From The Workshop
- Najaya Royal, Travel Writing
“You can hear and feel the beat of tunes blasting from Hollister. You know the store where the workers dress like it’s forever summertime, and the lighting is as dark as the beach at midnight. The adults complain but what do you expect when you enter a teen zone.It’s like taking the C train at 3:30 PM on a school day, if you get in a car with a group of more than four teens, don’t expect a silent ride to your destination.” Read more
- Luljeta Zenka, Travel Writing
“Yes, while soft Albanian music plays in the background of surrounding cafes, serenading you with its folktunes, and the sights of the ruined castle makes the view complete, the mood can be dampened once you step into the water. Once a bright blue, the water coming in as waves along the shore are now murky. The beach was once a port for pirates, its shores once held festivals for these renegade sailors. That history is gone now along with its famous and sky colored blue water.”
On The Blog
“She started the workshop with one of her own pieces, a story about her learning how to ride a galloping horse in Argentina. It reminded me of the fact that there is a personal touch in everything we write — in Mitchell’s case, the gallop took her back to her Midwestern roots. Her story highlighted the importance of personal experience and taking notes while things are fresh in your mind. Both make a story that can transport the reader from feeling the metallic background of a New York City subway to the hot, sweet sun of Argentina.”