Loading…
The Power of Narrative 2020 has ended

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Friday, March 20
 

2:30pm

RSVP Required: Pre-conference speed networking
Limited Capacity seats available

Join us shortly before the start of the conference to meet some of your fellow conference attendees!

This fast-moving session will involve moving from one table to another in timed intervals, enabling you to create contacts and get acquainted with other attendees before the weekend begins. We will hopefully build a strong sense of community for the weekend ahead. 

If you would like to participate in this speed networking session, please RSVP when you register, or email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to add this on post-registration.


Friday March 20, 2020 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Metcalf Small

2:30pm

Registration Opens
Check in at the front desk for Power of Narrative 2020. Posted signs and volunteers will direct you to the desk. 

Friday March 20, 2020 2:30pm - 7:15pm

3:30pm

Opening Keynote: Fernanda Santos
Fernanda Santos, author and Arizona State University's Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor delivers her keynote address titled "My Story Is About ..." When Words Give Meaning to Personal Stories, Including Our Own.

Speakers
avatar for Fernanda Santos

Fernanda Santos

author
Fernanda Santos is a Southwest Borderlands Initiative professor of practice at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and the former Phoenix Bureau chief for the New York Times. Her first book, “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,” received... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Metcalf Large

4:30pm

15-minute break
Friday March 20, 2020 4:30pm - 4:45pm

4:45pm

How to Interview Someone Who Just Lost a Loved One
Mass shootings. Wildfires. Terrorism.  These acts of man and nature cut short the lives of everyday people who deserve to be honored in ink – and not just listed as one of many struck down by yet another tragedy.  But how do you bring to life the stories of those now gone, when the people who love and know them best are in shock and mourning? This session offers techniques on how to secure those interviews under deadline while maintaining sensitivity and respect to the grieving.  Los Angeles Times reporter Angel Jennings will reference two pieces, “Nipsey Hussle’s brother found him dying. These were his final moments” and an upcoming project.

Speakers
avatar for Angel Jennings

Angel Jennings

reporter, Los Angeles Times
Angel Jennings is a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times.  Since 2011, she has covered some of the West Coast’s most infamous cities including Compton, Inglewood and South Central L.A.  She writes about the societal forces that are remaking historically black neighborhoods... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 4:45pm - 5:45pm
East Balcony

4:45pm

In a Flash: Writing Short-Short Narratives
How can we produce a short work pared to its essence without losing the essentials of character, conflict, and subtext? How do we write from the middle (or the end) rather than from the beginning, and how does the narrator provide all-important synthesis in a short piece? This session offers instructive and generative components. We’ll examine published micro, flash, and sudden pieces (300-1,000 words) and see what other writers have done. Then, based on a sequence of prompts, participants will draft a flash work of their own. Handouts include revision guidelines and a list of places to submit finished pieces.

Speakers
avatar for Cynthia Anderson

Cynthia Anderson

journalist
Cynthia Anderson is a journalist, author, and lecturer at Boston University. Her new narrative nonfiction book Home Now—described as “vivid and finely tuned” by Publishers Weekly—tells the story of refugees transforming the town near where she grew up. Her story collection... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Conference Auditorium

4:45pm

Ten Ways to Make an Editor Crazy: Lessons in What to Avoid in Your Copy
According to sources, the mayor planned to double down on his message to energize the base. By taking off the gloves, he was engaging in a problematic attempt to counter the existential threat posed by the latest infrastructure issue. Of course you don't write this badly, but even the best writers can fall prey to using clichés, hackneyed phrases, too many words and other writing crutches that end up getting in the way of their story. Come to this workshop, taught by a longtime reporter and editor, to refresh your knowledge of good writing rules.



Speakers
avatar for Naomi Schalit

Naomi Schalit

Naomi Schalit is the senior editor for politics and society at The Conversation US. She began her journalism career at the San Jose Mercury News in the days when that paper was a cash cow for Knight Ridder and interns got to fly the length of the state on reporting junkets. She subsequently... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Terrace Lounge

4:45pm

The Business of Podcasting: Navigating a Nascent Industry as the Stakes Get Higher
The podcast industry continues to accelerate, with expanding opportunities for independent producers, legacy media organizations, and adjacent entertainment creators. For narrative journalists it's a remarkable invitation for creativity, impact, and, increasingly, real reach and revenue. But there are numerous challenges, including an ever-changing mix of platforms, networks, and third-parties to consider, and evolving best practices across production, distribution, promotion, and audience engagement. In addition to making something excellent, the definition of success depends in large part on your strategy, goals, and expectations. Jake Shapiro is one of the pioneers of podcasting, having co-founded and led PRX, Radiotopia, RadioPublic and Podfund. In this session Jake will give a tour of the current industry landscape, and offer insights and advice to participants on how to make the most of the moment.  


Speakers
avatar for Jake Shapiro

Jake Shapiro

CEO, RadioPublic and Podfund
Jake Shapiro is the co-founder and CEO of RadioPublic and Podfund, a platform and investment resource for podcast creators. RadioPublic is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) - founded in partnership with PRX and backed by investors including Project11, The New York Times, WGBH, Automattic... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Metcalf Small

4:45pm

You're Still Here? On Hanging Around, and Building Intimacy, with Subjects
New York Times bestselling author and longtime magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis discusses strategies for building trust, eliciting honesty, negotiating boundaries, and not wearing out your welcome when following subjects for days, weeks, months, or years.

Speakers
avatar for Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Benoit Denizet-Lewis

writer, New York Times Magazine
Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a longtime writer with the New York Times Magazine, where he has authored some of the magazine's most read cover stories and features of the last fifteen years. He is the author of three books, including "America Anonymous" and the New York Times bestselling... Read More →


Friday March 20, 2020 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Metcalf Large

5:45pm

30-minute break--Light refreshments served
Friday March 20, 2020 5:45pm - 6:15pm

6:15pm

Keynote: Erin Lee Carr
Friday March 20, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm
Metcalf Large

7:30pm

WBUR Reception and Screening of Erin Lee Carr's "At the Heart of Gold."
Join us for a reception and screening of HBO’s documentary, "At the Heart of Gold," which examines the cover up and trauma caused by the long-time abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar toward female gymnasts.

Following the screening, Shira Springer, WBUR’s sports and society reporter, will interview the film’s director, Erin Lee Carr.

Reception begins at 7:30pm. Screening begins at 8:30pm.



Friday March 20, 2020 7:30pm - 10:30pm
CitySpace 890 Commonwealth Avenue
 
Saturday, March 21
 

9:00am

Keynote: David Fahrenthold
Saturday March 21, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
Metcalf Large

10:00am

10-minute break
Saturday March 21, 2020 10:00am - 10:10am

10:00am

Book Sale
Purchase books written by Power of Narrative speakers on Saturday, March 21 from 10am-5pm. 

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:00am - 5:00pm

10:10am

Ask Me Anything: Agents and Editors on Pitching and Queries
A panel of editors and agents will demystify the process of pitching and querying. Whether you'd like to pitch a story to an online publication or are looking for an agent for your nonfiction book, these editors and agents will tackle all of your burning questions and offer tips on how to get your work seen.

We are soliciting questions in advance for this session (though there will also be an opportunity to ask audience questions near the end of this session). Please send questions for this panel to srkess@bu.edu before March 16, 2020.

Speakers
avatar for Stuart Krichevsky

Stuart Krichevsky

literary agent, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
Stuart Krichevsky has over thirty years experience as a literary agent. Since 1995, he has been president of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, and was previously an agent with Sterling Lord Literistic, where he began his career as a part-time mail clerk. Krichevsky represents... Read More →
avatar for Adrienne LaFrance

Adrienne LaFrance

executive editor, The Atlantic
Adrienne LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic. She was previously a senior editor and staff writer at The Atlantic, and the editor of TheAtlantic.com. Before joining The Atlantic in 2014, LaFrance was an investigative reporter for several local and national news organizations... Read More →
avatar for Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Benoit Denizet-Lewis

writer, New York Times Magazine
Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a longtime writer with the New York Times Magazine, where he has authored some of the magazine's most read cover stories and features of the last fifteen years. He is the author of three books, including "America Anonymous" and the New York Times bestselling... Read More →
avatar for Joy Tutela

Joy Tutela

literary agent, The David Black Agency
An agent with the David Black Literary Agency since 1998, Joy Tutela represents illustrators and various genres of books, including: women’s and LGBTQ+ issues, narrative non-fiction, memoir, history, sports, self-help, business, science, parenting, psychology, humor, cooking, lifestyle... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 10:10am - 11:10am
Metcalf Small

10:10am

Beginnings: Assembling What You Need to Start Your Longform Piece in a Handy Place
Through close readings of some beginnings of pieces, Mark Kramer will show how a few writers' deft openings grew out of fine-grained observation, reporting, research, and conceptualization, enabling flexible, functional structuring.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Kramer

Mark Kramer

author
Mark Kramer is the founding director of the Power of Narrative Conference. He has co-edited two leading texbook/readers on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories and Literary Journalism. He's finishing up a handbook about revision for storytelling journalists. He's written four... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 10:10am - 11:10am
Backcourt

10:10am

Color, Context and Kickers: Working Meaningful Details into Investigative Narratives
In the best investigative stories, sources become characters, quotes become dialogue and conflicts become key moments and scenes. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Debbie Cenziper will explore the use of narrative writing techniques in stories built from documents, data and best-use strategies to take readers on a journey through complex investigative stories.

Speakers
avatar for Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper

reporter, The Washington Post
Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, nonfiction author and the newly named director of investigative reporting at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is also a contributing investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 10:10am - 11:10am
Conference Auditorium

10:10am

Getting Started on the Long Narrative: How and When to Jump From Reporting to Writing
Deciding when it's time to stop making calls or sending emails and sit down to write can be challenging to figure out. No matter the length of the story, the first sentence is often the most daunting one to type. Chris Outcalt, an award-winning feature writer, offers tips on how to recognize when it's time to start writing and suggestions for crafting a lede section you can feel confident about and that will help you develop the momentum to carry through to the end of your story. Have a narrative you're reporting or are just getting started writing? Chris will save time if anyone wants to talk through any in-progress examples.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Outcalt

Chris Outcalt

independent magazine writer
Chris Outcalt is an independent magazine writer. In 2019 he received the Livingston Award for "Murder at the Alcatraz of the Rockies," a narrative feature for The Atavist Magazine about a murder at a high-security prison, the FBI agent who tries to solve the case, and the inner workings... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 10:10am - 11:10am
Terrace Lounge

10:10am

Literary Forensics (Materials Required: See Description)
This hands-on workshop will introduce a simple technique that lets you identify your own writing habits at a granular level. It focuses on how grammar and syntax can either help or undermine the power of our stories — and helps you see specifically how you use those foundational tools of writing. It give writers an effective way to self-edit, tighten, fact-check and polish up their drafts into clear, lean finished stories. It gives editors more  constructive language to use when discussing a draft, and md efficient way to tackle edits on deadline.
 
Writers: Bring printouts of two to three pieces of your original writing. These should be drafts or finished pieces that have not been heavily keyboard edited or rewritten. The stories can be of most any length and genre, but ideally will be the kind of work you most typically do. (Super-short news stories or social media posts aren’t as useful.)
Editors: Bring printouts of two or three pieces of original writing from a reporter you work with regularly.
All: Bring three colored highlighters, each a different color.
 
NOTE: These pieces won’t be shared or seen by anyone else, so don’t fret about whether they are “good enough.”

Speakers
avatar for Jacqui Banaszynski

Jacqui Banaszynski

journalist
Jacqui Banaszynski recently retired as the endowed Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism, and is a faculty fellow at the Poynter Institute. She won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for “AIDS in the Heartland,” a series about a gay farm couple facing... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 10:10am - 11:10am
East Balcony

11:10am

5-minute break
Saturday March 21, 2020 11:10am - 11:15am

11:15am

Headline Keynote: Jelani Cobb
Speakers
avatar for Jelani Cobb

Jelani Cobb

journalist and educator
Journalist, educator, and diversity speaker Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. As recipient of the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, Cobb was praised for combining “the strengths of an on-the-scene... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 11:15am - 12:45pm
Metcalf Large

12:45pm

Lunch
Saturday March 21, 2020 12:45pm - 2:00pm

2:00pm

Keynote Panel: Maureen Cavanagh and Martha Bebinger on Covering the Opioid Epidemic
WBUR health care reporter Martha Bebinger and Maureen Cavanaugh, author of “If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey through Her Daughter’s Addiction and Recovery” and the founder of Magnolia New Beginnings, a national nonprofit peer-support group for those living with or affected by substance use disorder, will discuss journalistic coverage of America's opioid epidemic. Moderated by Jacqui Banaszynski. 

Speakers
avatar for Maureen Cavanagh

Maureen Cavanagh

author and founder, Magnolia New Beginnings
Maureen Cavanagh is the author of “If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey through Her Daughter’s Addiction and Recovery,”  a national public speaker on the opioid crisis and its’ impact on the family, co-host of the podcast, “Collateral Damage," and the founder of Magnolia... Read More →
avatar for Martha Bebinger

Martha Bebinger

reporter, WBUR
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other topics at WBUR, the NPR affiliate in Boston.  She has won dozens of regional and national awards including the Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard University.  Bebinger has a BA in Art and Semiotics from Brown University and an... Read More →
avatar for Jacqui Banaszynski

Jacqui Banaszynski

journalist
Jacqui Banaszynski recently retired as the endowed Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism, and is a faculty fellow at the Poynter Institute. She won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for “AIDS in the Heartland,” a series about a gay farm couple facing... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Metcalf Large

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Amy Caldwell, Beacon Press
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with Beacon Press Editorial Director Amy Caldwell and get feedback on your book idea. Please have with you a short summary of your book. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched and email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Speakers
avatar for Amy Caldwell

Amy Caldwell

Associate Editorial Director, Beacon Press
Amy has been at Beacon Press since 1995. She acquires in religion, with special emphases on interfaith issues; the relation between politics, culture, and religion; and how Americans live out their religious beliefs. She also acquires in science and society, including environmental... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Joy Tutela, David Black Literary Agency
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with literary agent Joy Tutela and get feedback on your book idea. Please have with you a 200-300 word sales handle for your book. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched and email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Speakers
avatar for Joy Tutela

Joy Tutela

literary agent, The David Black Agency
An agent with the David Black Literary Agency since 1998, Joy Tutela represents illustrators and various genres of books, including: women’s and LGBTQ+ issues, narrative non-fiction, memoir, history, sports, self-help, business, science, parenting, psychology, humor, cooking, lifestyle... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Lucy Cleland, Kneerim & Williams
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with literary agent Lucy Cleland and get feedback on your book idea. Please have with you a 200-300 word sales handle for your book. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched and email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Matt Lord, Boston Review
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with BostonReview senior editor Matt Lord and get feedback on your magazine pitches. Please have with you at least one pitch that might be a fit for Boston Review. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched. Email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Michael Fitzgerald, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with Boston Globe Sunday Magazine editor Michael Fitzgerald and get feedback on your magazine pitches. Please have with you at least one pitch that might be a fit for Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched and email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Fitzgerald

Michael Fitzgerald

articles editor, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
Michael Fitzgerald is articles editor at the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and a former editor of Nieman Storyboard. He was a 2011 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and a 2007 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion.


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

*Sign-Up Required: One-on-One with Stuart Krichevsky, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
Limited Capacity full

Sign up for for a 10-minute individual meeting with literary agent Stuart Krichevsky and get feedback on your book idea. Please have with you a short summary of your book. Only five meetings are available.

Please sign up through sched and email srkess@bu.edu if you'd like to be placed on a waitlist.

Speakers
avatar for Stuart Krichevsky

Stuart Krichevsky

literary agent, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
Stuart Krichevsky has over thirty years experience as a literary agent. Since 1995, he has been president of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, and was previously an agent with Sterling Lord Literistic, where he began his career as a part-time mail clerk. Krichevsky represents... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm

3:15pm

Five Tips for Reporting Narrative on Deadline
San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Lizzie Johnson will present on how to write compelling — and memorable — narratives during deadline-oriented events. Using her reporting during the first week of California’s deadly Camp Fire as a lens, she’ll explain easy story structures to use on a time crunch. She’ll also discuss how to find unique story angles when a community is overrun with media during breaking news.

Speakers
avatar for Lizzie Johnson

Lizzie Johnson

reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Lizzie Johnson is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she has covered City Hall and California’s deadliest wildfires. Her first book, Paradise, is about the Camp Fire, which leveled the foothills town of Paradise in 2018. It will be published by Crown in 2020.


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Terrace Lounge

3:15pm

How to Be Bored
Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic’s executive editor, will talk about storytelling in an age of short attention spans, and how to captivate the distractible reader without sacrificing quality or narrative sophistication.

Speakers
avatar for Adrienne LaFrance

Adrienne LaFrance

executive editor, The Atlantic
Adrienne LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic. She was previously a senior editor and staff writer at The Atlantic, and the editor of TheAtlantic.com. Before joining The Atlantic in 2014, LaFrance was an investigative reporter for several local and national news organizations... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Conference Auditroium

3:15pm

Planting Yourself in the Story
In the newspaper business, we're trained to disappear -- to reel off the relevant facts, assume the oracular voice of authority, or serve as a clear pane of glass through which the reader can see what we are seeing. But in some circumstances your presence is not just awkward; it changes everything. When do we insert ourselves in stories? And which voice is it? Ellen Barry will reference two pieces, a piece from 2017 called "How to Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India," and an as-yet-unknown podcast about her relationship with a mysterious hermit.  

Speakers
avatar for Ellen Barry

Ellen Barry

reporter, New York Times
Ellen Barry is currently Boston bureau chief for the New York Times. Previously, she was Chief International Correspondent, based in London, New Delhi-based South Asia bureau chief, Moscow bureau chief and a Moscow-based foreign correspondent for The Times.In India, she won the... Read More →


Saturday March 21, 2020 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Metcalf Small

4:15pm

5-minute break
Saturday March 21, 2020 4:15pm - 4:20pm

4:20pm

Keynote: Lisa Taddeo
Saturday March 21, 2020 4:20pm - 5:20pm

5:30pm

Boston Globe Reception
Join us for a Boston Globe-sponsored reception at Hotel Commonwealth. 

Saturday March 21, 2020 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Hotel Commonwealth 500 Commonwealth Avenue
 
Sunday, March 22
 

9:00am

How To Imagine an Audience
One of the recurring choices we make as storytellers -- in podcasting as much as in any other medium -- is how much knowledge to assume on the part of the people consuming our work. These choices are essential to achieving two related goals: making sure you're telling your audience a story they can understand, and making sure you're telling them a story that will surprise them. The challenge, of course, is that if you're lucky, your audience will be made up of all kinds of people, and they'll be bringing a range of expertise to whatever you're putting in front of them. In this talk, I'll describe my approach to meeting this challenge, using examples from Slow Burn and Fiasco that illustrate the delicate work of providing enough context -- but not too much -- while building a narrative that is flexible enough to welcome experts and total neophytes without alienating either.  

Speakers
avatar for Leon Neyfakh

Leon Neyfakh

executive producer and co-creator, Prologue Projects and Slow Burn
Leon Neyfakh is the co-creator, with Andrew Parsons, of the political history podcasts Fiasco and Slow Burn. He is the founder of Prologue Projects, the narrator and executive producer of the Slow Burn docuseries for EPIX, and editorial supervisor of the Trevor Noah podcast On Second... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
Metcalf Small

9:00am

Quarterbacking The Story
Author and sports journalist Michael Holley will illustrate the process of taking an idea from murmur, to thought, and ultimately to vigorous narrative. Using one of his books as an example, Holley will show how a few notes (accompanied by much self-doubt) became a multilayered story with a heartbeat.



Speakers
avatar for Michael Holley

Michael Holley

author
Michael Holley has authored six New York Times bestselling books and spent a dozen years working for three daily newspapers (the Akron Beacon Journal, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune). He was part of the Beacon Journal‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 1994. In addition, he has... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
East Balcony

9:00am

So Happy Together: The Process, Power and Pitfalls of Journalism Partnerships
Whether it's due to shrinking resources or a new spirit of collaboration, more and more news organizations are teaming up to work together on stories. But how can you combine forces in a way that produces great journalism, takes advantage of individual strengths and doesn't drive everyone crazy? As editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois, Louise Kiernan works for a non-profit newsroom, ProPublica, that has partnered with more than 200 other outlets in 11 years. She'll talk about how to create and manage successful joint projects, avoid-- or at least work through -- common problems and whether four editors can all really edit a story at once.

Speakers
avatar for Louise Kiernan

Louise Kiernan

editor-in-chief, ProPublica Illinois
Louise Kiernan is editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois, the first regional operation of ProPublica. She comes to ProPublica from Northwestern University, where she was an associate professor of journalism, focusing on investigative and narrative reporting, and the leader of the... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
Terrace Lounge

9:00am

Telling Stories With—and About—Graphics
With the goal of prompting writers and designers to think critically about information graphics, Jen will demonstrate how data visualizations and illustrated explanatory diagrams can convey complete stories, support text-driven narratives, or—especially in the case of science journalism—be principal characters in and of themselves.

Speakers
avatar for Jen Christiansen

Jen Christiansen

senior graphics editor, Scientific American
Jen Christiansen is senior graphics editor at Scientific American, where she art directs and produces illustrated explanatory diagrams and data visualizations. She began her publishing career in New York City at Scientific American in 1996, moved to Washington, D.C. to join the staff... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
Conference Auditroium

9:00am

The 9:30 Problem: Structuring the Complex Narrative
Author and BU Narrative Professor Mitch Zuckoff explores strategies and techniques for structuring narratives so complicated they seem to defy organization. Relying on his latest New York Times bestselling book, “Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11,” Zuckoff will reveal the process (including false starts and primal screams) of imposing order on chaos in nonfiction narrative.

Speakers
avatar for Mitchell Zuckoff

Mitchell Zuckoff

author
Mitchell Zuckoff is the author of eight nonfiction books, including Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11, a New York Times bestseller. His three previous books also were NYT bestsellers, including the No. 1 NYT bestselling 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am
Backcourt

10:15am

Finding Stories in Justice and Injustice
Join a retired trial judge and a criminal justice reporter for a freewheeling conversation about how to make trials, plea deals, court documents, and other legal topics into compelling stories. In real life — unlike on TV crime dramas — the justice system rarely offers easy answers, or clear heroes and villains. That's why good, nuanced stories by well-informed writers are so important. Come get some tips on how to tell them.


Speakers
avatar for Hiller B. Zobel

Hiller B. Zobel

researcher and judge
Hiller B. Zobel was an admiralty lawyer (specializing in personal injury defense trials), then a professor at Boston College Law School, then served for 26 years as a judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court.He has served on the Massachusetts Bench-Bar-News Committee and on the committee... Read More →
avatar for Beth Schwartzapfel

Beth Schwartzapfel

staff writer, The Marshall Project
Beth Schwartzapfel is a staff writer at the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that covers the US criminal justice system. Before she joined the Marshall Project, her long-form reporting on the criminal justice system appeared in Mother Jones, The American Prospect, and... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am
Conference Auditorium

10:15am

Helping Writers Learn Narrative Journalism: A Session for Teachers, Coaches and Editors
Mark Kramer has taught narrative journalism as writer-in-residence at Smith, BU, and at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, where he also was founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism. In this session, he’ll discuss the approach he worked out through those four decades of teaching top students and professionals. Topics include: how to get a running start on the semester, how to encourage intensive reading of the greats, and the usefulness of modeling in class close readings of exemplary texts, how to help students select topics for assigned reporting and writing, why a student should never write about their cousin the surgeon, what sorts of and how much editing help leads students to self-edit effectively, what editing precepts help writers, words and usages that writers should almost always omit, how to handle varied skill-levels and non-native speakers in the same seminar, suggestions for a final exam. Discussion shares best practices and among participants.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Kramer

Mark Kramer

author
Mark Kramer is the founding director of the Power of Narrative Conference. He has co-edited two leading texbook/readers on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories and Literary Journalism. He's finishing up a handbook about revision for storytelling journalists. He's written four... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am
Backcourt

10:15am

How Porn Made Me a Better Reporter
Sex sells, sure, but who gets to cash in on it? How can journalists honestly and accurately cover sex workers without sensationalizing or further stigmatizing their work? Lina Misitzis (This American Life), producer of The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect, explains the steps she took to gain the trust of LA's porn industry, what she learned, and how this reporting continues to impact her approach to storytelling.  

Speakers
avatar for Lina Misitzis

Lina Misitzis

reporter and producer, This American Life
Lina Misitzis (@lmisitzis) is a reporter & producer at This American Life, and is also creating a new podcast with comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. She spent the past few years making The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson, both of which are about the... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am
Metcalf Small

10:15am

Reporting in Turbulent Times: Covering Tragedy and the Era of “Fake News”
What impacts do covering tragedy and violence have on journalists, especially in an era of increased mass shootings, domestic terrorism, and natural disasters? How do shrinking newsrooms, public distrust of the media, and  “enemy of the people” accusations exacerbate the strain? More journalists have begun talking openly about the emotional impact of their work and the stress associated with the profession. This session will explore what this new landscape means for journalists, including freelance journalists who operate outside of any formal company structure or safety net. We'll identify symptoms of burnout and secondary traumatic stress and explore resources for mental health and wellbeing.  

Speakers
avatar for Selene San Felice

Selene San Felice

reporter, The Capital
Selene San Felice is a features and enterprise reporter at The Capital in Annapolis, where she survived the newsroom shooting on June 28, 2018. She is a Pulitzer Prize special citation recipient and a Time Magazine person of the year for 2018. She graduated in Dec. 2016 from the University... Read More →
avatar for Angel Jennings

Angel Jennings

reporter, Los Angeles Times
Angel Jennings is a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times.  Since 2011, she has covered some of the West Coast’s most infamous cities including Compton, Inglewood and South Central L.A.  She writes about the societal forces that are remaking historically black neighborhoods... Read More →
avatar for Jessica DuLong

Jessica DuLong

author
Jessica DuLong is an author, historian, ghostwriter/book collaborator/coach, and instructor of narrative nonfiction. Her most recent book (under her own name), Dust to Deliverance: Untold Stories from the Maritime Evacuation on September 11 (McGraw-Hill), chronicles the largest boat... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am
East Balcony

10:15am

The Optimist in the Office: How to Become an Innovator in Your Organization
Ask most television or newspaper journalists what their biggest competition is and they will utter one word: the internet. No doubt, websites, social media, podcasts and the smartphones we play them on have changed media and journalism. Traditional media coasted for decades without having to think outside the box, adapt, or change--and it caught up with us.  It's easy to give up and complain about "new media,"  but that's what pessimists do! The optimist in the office is the first to raise their hand when there's new gear to learn or a new social platform to join; the optimist always thinks of new ideas that can benefit and make money for traditional media. If you believe traditional news is doomed because of new media, come to this talk. I am optimistic that you'll have a change of heart.

Speakers
avatar for Nneka Nwosu Faison

Nneka Nwosu Faison

executive producer, WCVB-TV
Nneka Nwosu Faison is the Executive Producer of Chronicle at WCVB-TV. She started at WCVB-TV in 2013 as a Chronicle producer and later worked as the show's Managing Editor. In 2017, she completed a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Recently... Read More →


Sunday March 22, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am
Terrace Lounge

11:30am

Closing Keynote: Sopan Deb
Sunday March 22, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm