Save the Date: Alternative Journalism Workshop Aug. 10 -11

AAN’s training for writers focuses on alt-weekly-centric issues, including innovative ways to cover news and arts, as well as fresh looks at narrative storytelling. Now in its ninth year, the annual workshop has expanded to include sessions for design and production staff. It takes place at the Medill School of Journalism on Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, Ill.

An additional appeal of the workshop is interacting with peers — alts aren’t just different from mainstream media, they’re unique among themselves. “It gives reporters, both seasoned and rookie, a chance to put aside the daily grind to focus specifically on their craft — writing for alternative newsweeklies,” says Jimmy Boegle, editor of Tucson Weekly. “They’re taught (often) by alt-weekly editors; they’re surrounded by alt-weekly peers. Throw in direct, practical tutoring with the story critiques, and Medill becomes something extremely helpful.” Writers can expect critiques from two alt-weekly editors and well as sessions by instructors including Poynter Institute’s Chip Scanlan.

Designers and production staff can share their experiences in a roundtable discussion led by Washington City Paper’s production director Mike Kalyan. Isthmus creative director Ellen Meany will lead a session on producing multimedia ads and voluntary ad critiques. Lesa Snider King of will share time-saving tips for popular photo effects, as well as some new tricks for Creative Suite 3.

Additionally, writers and designers can learn new ways to collaborate in a visual journalism session, designed to help staffs think through unusual or non-narrative forms of story presentation.

Students of the Academy of Alternative Journalism also attend the workshop, offering a chance to network with some new talent. The academy is a residential summer program created to recruit and train minority journalists in literary and long-form journalism techniques. The workshop occurs during the last week of their program.

Registration for members is $75 until July 27. Nonmembers can register for $150. After July 27, registration fees increase to $100 for members and $175 for nonmembers. Registering online is quick, easy and provides an immediate confirmation. The Hotel Orrington will provide accommodations for a special fee of $119 per night. Call 888-677-4648 for reservations. Parking information will be available at a later date.