INF Writing Workshop

2020 WORKSHOP

This year’s INF Writing Workshop includes a 100% online interactive format designed to provide participants with multiple contacts with their professional coaches.
• The program will build your interviewing, writing and story development skills!
• We continue the tradition of one-on-one virtual conferences with a writing coach!
• It is your chance to build relationships with experienced professionals and journalists facing similar challenges!

Registration fee: $75

Deadline: Thursday, September 24

Meet the presenters

Mug.Evans.Randy_square

Randy Evans took the role as executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council in October 2015 after a 40-year career with The Des Moines Register. He joined the Register in 1974 as a news reporter after working for two years as the editor of the Albia Union-Republican and Monroe County News. During his time with the Register, Evans served in a variety of editing roles, including state editor, city editor, news editor and assistant managing editor, supervising at one time or another every department in the newsroom except sports. He spent his final four years as the editor of the Register’s opinion pages.

Randy Evans

Mug.Laird.Rox_square

Prior to his retirement in 2015, Rox Laird had been an editorial writer at the Des Moines Register for 30+ years. He specialized in writing about law and courts, the First Amendment, government, architecture and historic preservation. Laird began his career at the Des Moines Tribune in 1972, and worked a range of beats, although most focused on local government. After the Tribune closed, he moved to the Register and joined the editorial page staff. Since then, he wrote editorials and served several tours of duty as editor of the letters to the editor. Laird is a native of Kearney, Neb., and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Iowa State University.

Rox Laird

Mug.Morain.Rick_square2

Rick Morain attended Graceland University, University of Iowa, and Yale University, graduating with degrees in American Studies. Morain returned to Jefferson in 1967 and joined father Fred Morain at the Bee and Herald newspapers as news editor and assistant publisher. He became editor-publisher until he sold the Bee and Herald Publishing Co. to Ann Wilson, Doug Burns and Tom Burns of the Carroll Daily Times Herald in 2012 and retired. He continues to write a weekly column for the Jefferson Herald.

Rick Morain

kurthellandweb

Kurt Helland is the copy editor for Business Publications Corp. in Des Moines, which produces the Business Record, dsm magazine and several other niche and custom publications. He was an editor at The Des Moines Register for almost 30 years, with most of that time spent on the copy desk. He was the keeper of the Register’s own stylebook and kept the newsroom informed of Register and AP style changes.

Kurt Helland

Mug.Strong.Jared_square

Jared Strong is a crime and courts reporter for the Times Herald in Carroll and a trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. He is a 2005 Iowa State University graduate who started his career at the Des Moines Register and has been working in Carroll since 2010. Strong’s investigative work has earned him state and national awards. He was sued for libel last year by a former police officer but prevailed. He lives on an acreage down by the river with his wife and three young children.

Jared Strong

kick-off Program

8:45 a.m. Welcome and introductions

(KISS, as in Keep it Simple Stupid)
Presented by Randy Evans
Too many writers make their writing too complicated. Their sentences are too complicated. Their stories, rather than being straight forward, have too many twists and turns.

Presented by Rox Laird and Jared Strong
The Electronic Document Management System is one of the nation’s first court systems to provide complete online access to court records at the district level. More than 6.5 million documents are filed online through EDMS and is a valuable tool to journalists.

Presented by Kurt Helland
The main focus will be on the latest changes to the AP Stylebook. The session will stress how handy it is to use the online AP Stylebook rather than the hard-copy version. Besides always being up to date, there are many helpful tools in the online version.

11:45 a.m. Meet with coaches to discuss next steps

Follow-up dates

October 1 – This kick-off session includes breakouts and time for the coaches to get to know their students.

October 9 – Students send 2-3 writing samples to their coach and coaches schedule virtual sessions with their students.

October 12 - Coaches hold virtual sessions with their students

October 23 - Students send second batch of 2-3 writing samples to their coach and coaches schedule virtual sessions with their students.

October 26 - Coaches hold virtual sessions with their students

Program is completed by November 2. Participants to be awarded certificate of completion and recognized in the INA Bulletin.