Preconvention Workshops

Pre-registration is required for these workshops and delegates are placed on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limited number of students per school, per workshop. To ensure all workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, only those who register online will be able to sign up for pre-convention workshops. Workshops will be marked as full on the online registration form once the workshop limits are reached. Room assignments will be posted at in late March.

Photoshop for Beginners • $15

Taught by Mark Murray, Arlington (Texas) Independent School District, participants will learn to use Adobe Photoshop in this half-day session from 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday. This workshop will emphasize a basic workflow for preparing photographs for publication. Limit of two registrants per school. This session is open to both students and advisers.
8:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $15. Limit 36.

Advanced Photoshop • $15

For participants who are already familiar with Photoshop, Mark Murray of Arlington (Texas) Independent School District, will teach more advanced skills and tricks to take full advantage of this powerful software, including cut-outs, layers, paths and other special effects. This half-day session lasts from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Limit of two registrants per school. This session is open to both students and advisers.
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $15. Limit 36.

DSLR Beginner Boot Camp • $30
Brand-new to DSLR shooting? Don’t know your aperture from your elbow, your shutter speed from your shoe size? Come to our boot camp and get the hands-on camera instruction you need. Bring your DSLR camera with you for a full day of one-on-one instruction from Michael Simons, CJE, of West High School in Painted Post, N.Y. This course caters to novice photographers with instruction focusing on composition and developing the eye; buttons, knobs and manipulating the camera’s settings; lenses and accessories; and includes time for shooting and basic critiques in the afternoon. Participants MUST bring a DSLR camera, lens, card and battery.
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Cost is $30. Limit 30.

Digital Photography Workshop • $30

Designed for photographers who have at least one year’s experience shooting for their publications, this 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. intensive workshop will cover composition, lighting, cropping and camera technique. Participants will receive instruction and go out on assignment with visual journalist Andy Nelson, who has covered stories around the world for the Christian Science Monitor, Getty Images and other news media. Following the photo shoot Nelson and other area professional photographers will critique students’ work and offer editing tips and techniques. Participants must bring a digital camera, and they are encouraged to bring a laptop computer with the photo-editing program (Photoshop, Lightroom) they will use. An Off-site Permission Form (page 24 of the registration booklet) is required for each student attending this workshop. Limit of two registrants per school.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $30. Limit 40.

In-Depth Legal Training • $8

Join the nation’s foremost expert on scholastic media law — Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center — for this entertaining, engaging and hands-on workshop on the rights and regulations regarding your publication. The workshop runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and is geared for experienced student staffers as well as advisers. You will receive an in-depth review of the types of records that are available about schools, where to find them, and how to use them to do impactful stories, as well as be exposed to the pitfalls of liability you need to look out for. Principals and other administrators can attend this workshop for free by emailing after submitting their convention registration.
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $8. Limit 36.

Leadership Seminar • $25

Designed for publication editors, this 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. seminar will show participants more ways to effectively lead the way with their publication staffs. Editors will work with Lori Keekley, MJE, St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School, to better understand their team and how to help individual members work together to solve problems and manage time. They will also discuss self-assessment, people interaction, project planning, project management, goal setting, teamwork and motivation. Advisers are welcome to attend but will be expected to participate. Limit two per school. Those attending should be current editors.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost is $25. Limit 60.

Broadcast and Video Boot Camp • $30

In this 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., hands-on workshop, beginning and intermediate students will learn the fundamentals of creating an effective news package from the ground up. This includes videography, sound recording, editing and story structure. Working in small teams, participants will spend the morning developing their videography skills and planning a story, and the afternoon shooting and editing that story. The instructors will be Alyssa Boehringer of McKinney (Texas) High School and Don Goble of Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. Participants must provide their own video cameras, tripods, microphones and laptops with editing software. Please test and become familiar with your own equipment before attending the session as the presenters may not be familiar with your specific hardware/software.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $30. Limit 30.

Intensive Journalistic Writing Workshop • $25

Since 1988, the Intensive Journalistic Writing Institute (IJWI) has trained hundreds of English and journalism teachers around the country in new approaches to teaching writing and using real examples of contemporary and classic journalistic models. Taught by Valerie Kibler of Harrisonburg (Va.) High School, the advisers-only institute comes to JEA/NSPA for a special one-day preconvention workshop. Teachers will read journalistic models, explore journalistic writing modes, learn teaching techniques and explore new unit plans to incorporate journalistic writing in your English curriculum. ADVISERS ONLY.
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $25. Limit 50.

Society for News Design QuickCourse • $25

SND brings its fast-paced workshop to JEA/NSPA. In four fast hours, we start with the fundamentals of print design and move into tips and trends, with hundreds of ideas for designs, stories, photos, graphics and typography. Taught by Indiana University’s Ron Johnson, the six-time editor of “The Best of Newspaper Design,” this session will benefit newspaper, magazine and yearbook staffers. Bring copies of your publications and your designs, either print or PDF, for our critique. We’ll make you better.
1 p.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $25. Limit 75.

Team Storytelling • $30

Great storytelling combines good writing, good photos and good design. Behind it all is good planning. In this team-based reporting experience taught by Amy DeVault of Wichita (Kan.) State University and Kristin Baker of Andover (Kan.) High School, students will work in groups of three to create real story packages. The workshop runs 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and begins with instruction on planning packages with readers in mind, and then the students will go off-site to gather stories. Students will come back to the convention site to finish their packages. Schools should register students in teams of three, preferably a writer, designer and photographer, though certainly the students can each practice all these skills. At least one student needs InDesign skills, as the students will design their packages. Students will need to bring any equipment they might need (cameras, laptops, card readers, etc.). Students can create content for print, broadcast or Web, and the workshop is recommended for experienced student journalists. An Off-site Permission Form (page 24 of the registration booklet) is required for each student attending this workshop.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $30. Limit 54.

Redesign Seminar • $25

Students in this intensive design seminar will work from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. studying advanced packaging techniques including modular design, typography, marriage of elements, negative space and photo packaging, led by Pete LeBlanc of Antelope (Calif.) High School. Laptop computers with InDesign are encouraged but not mandatory. Students should also bring some of their favorite magazines as well as supplies such as scissors, pencils, glue sticks, etc. Students are also encouraged to bring their own publications for sharing and critique.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $25. Limit 75.

Writers’ Workshop • $25

If you’re looking for ways to sharpen and brighten your writing so others will clamor to read it, this 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., interactive seminar is for you. Taught by Dan Austin of Casa Roble High School, Orangevale, Calif., this pre-convention seminar will entertain and inspire as well as give you a chance to analyze excellent writing and apply what you learn to your own work. You’ll discuss leads, voice, narrative style and the use of literary devices to tighten and strengthen your writing.
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $25. Limit 100.

JEA Outreach Academy  • Free

Outreach Academy is a Journalism Education Association initiative to promote diversity among the journalism teaching profession. The Outreach Academy is a free, intensive seminar for publication advisers who are new to the profession and need help to teach and advise students in journalism. The Outreach Academy is designed to give new teachers of journalism support and resources to succeed.

We are interested in help teachers in the most challenging situations, including advisers who 1) have five years or fewer advising experience, and/or 2) teach in schools traditionally under-represented in JEA membership, especially low-income, urban and rural schools, or are advisers of color. The program is hands on and focuses on practical information new advisers need. It includes discussion of teaching journalism to highly diverse populations, effective instructional techniques, resources for teachers in and out of the classroom, and organizations ready to help advisers.

To apply for the Outreach Academy, visit for more information. Applications are due March 13. Participants who are accepted to the Outreach Academy and attend the Thursday workshop earn the following benefits, in addition to the instruction received at the workshop:

  • Up to $100 in substitute pay to the participant’s school for the Thursday workshop.
  • One day parking reimbursement for the Thursday workshop.
  • One year’s membership to the Journalism Education Association.
  • Waived registration fee to that city’s National High School Journalism Convention, courtesy of JEA and NSPA.
  • Waived registration fee to the 2014 JEA Advisers Institute.