2024 Courses

The workshop curriculum features workshop courses for students working on broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, social media, yearbooks and websites. Each student remains in that class for the duration of the workshop.

The workshop will not provide laptops, cameras or equipment needed for the workshop courses or bonus classes.

To provide the best educational experience, each workshop course has a maximum enrollment and will be closed when that number is reached.

Care should be taken to select courses that match the experience level of each student. Some classes require laptops and other equipment essential for participation. Some classes are limited to just editors. There is also a course specifically for advisers.

Advisers: Adviser Course

Design: Beginning Publication Design, Advanced Publication Design

Digital: Digital Graphics, Video, Social Media Reporting

Newspaper: Newspaper Boot Camp, Beginning Feature Writing, Advanced Feature Writing, Specialized Writing, Newsroom Editorial Leadership

Photography: Beginning Photography, Intermediate Photography, Advanced Photography

Yearbook: Yearbook Boot Camp, Yearbook Design and Concepts, Yearbook Theme Development


Adviser Course 

This course now runs all day like the student courses, significantly increasing instructional time.  

This adviser-driven class develops skills and targets the specific needs of journalism educators and student media advisers. Past topics included timely issues like team building and recruiting ideas to skill-based topics like teaching reporting and ways to navigate copyright laws.

Advisers are welcome to attend both the adviser-only or student sessions. Advisers attending the student sessions will be asked to get signatures of the instructor in morning and afternoon sessions for state documentation. This form will be distributed at Monday afternoon’s session for all advisers. Those seeking professional development hours will receive a certificate of completion worth 24 hours credit.

Advisers may earn graduate credit from Kent State University. Separate registration and payment is required.


Beginning Publication Design

This course prepares students for the world of publication design. Students will learn basic design principles, typography, color theory and layout techniques.

In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of Adobe InDesign software and how it applies to publishing yearbooks, magazines and newspapers. Students will also have some exposure to basic Adobe Photoshop skills and learn how to create basic cutouts, edit photos for exposure and resize images.

Students will produce logos, modules, headline packages and layouts during the week.

Students should come prepared with Adobe InDesign installed on their computer. Access to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is highly encouraged. Each student will need access to their own computer.


Advanced Publication Design

An intensive course in using verbal and visual elements for effective storytelling with a focus on content packaging, typography, white space, graphics and color. Readability will be the guiding principle. 

Experienced designers from print newspapers, magazines and yearbooks are encouraged to take this course if they wish to expand their skills and be pushed to master advanced techniques.

Students will produce prototype content including headlines, content modules and pages/spread for the publication they will work for in the fall.

Computer skills will not be taught in this course. Each student will need access to a computer containing the programs, files and fonts used at school and be able to use these tools. If a yearbook company online site is used, the student must have log-in information and full permission to use the site.


Digital Graphics 

A picture is worth a thousand words, but solid graphics combine pictures and words to effectively tell a story, tell someone a fun fact, engage communities, or break down a complex idea into bite-sized pieces.

Whether you’re a program with a robust social media presence and graphics staff or a program looking to dabble more in visuals, this course can help you.

This is for newspaper and yearbook staffs hoping to incorporate more graphics into their layouts, online staffs looking to enhance stories with infographics or create a more consistent social media style, or any staff looking to tighten up its visual style across multiple mediums.

We’ll cover best practices for creating visuals, tips for creating consistent visual language and styles (especially if you don’t have existing style guides or templates), great graphic resources and tools, infographics, and how to spot opportunities for visual storytelling and infographics and plan for big stories, no matter the size of your staff.


Students will learn storytelling through video production by practicing reporting techniques, videography, audio and editing.

Reporters will complete multiple video stories and other projects throughout the workshop.

Students will explore video storytelling for multiple platforms to connect and engage with their target audience. We will also develop workflows and staff dynamics/leadership to prepare for your upcoming school year.

Social Media Reporting

Students will report, edit and produce content for social media platforms. As part of their practice, they will be immersed in theories, skills and techniques central to reporting breaking and longer-form news on social media and websites. Special attention will be given to developing digital skills using a mix of visual, audio and textual elements.

At the workshop, we will develop a digital reporting plan for students to take back to their schools as well as templates.

Students should bring laptops and tablets or phones. DSLR or mirrorless cameras with tripods are encouraged but not required.


Newspaper Boot Camp

This course is designed for beginners who will get their first exposure to journalism while writing for their school paper.

Instruction will focus on giving students skills to survive that first assignment and to become a meaningful contributor from the first deadline.

The class will focus on news gathering, interviewing, news writing techniques and other skills necessary to equip any top-notch school news reporter.


Beginning Feature Writing

Master the feature story format with emphasis on leads and meaningful transitions. Explore the traditional feature story and personality profiles. Explore strategies for editing and revising.

This course is appropriate for print, online and yearbook, including UIL competitors. 


Advanced Feature Writing

Explore alternative narrative forms beyond the traditional feature story. Strong emphasis will be placed on narrative style, voice and word choice.

Students should have a strong portfolio of successful feature writing. This course is appropriate for yearbook, print and online.

Specialized Writing

This is an advanced class designed for the big-story reporter who is interested in in-depth reporting, strategic writing tools, multimedia/packaging tips and personal column writing.

It will focus first on identifying local people, events and issues worthy of coverage, then explain the reporting process (research, interview, observation), then review the writing/editing process.


Newsroom Editorial Leadership

Whether you lead a print newspaper, online publication, broadcast program or some combination of these, this class prepares you to effectively guide your staff when school begins. Section editors and other leadership positions will benefit as well.

The instructor will guide students through discussions of coverage, idea generation, story-telling methods and issue-driven coverage, story development, creative design, increasing readership, and planning and production methods — all designed to make you a powerful leader.


Beginning Photography

This class is aimed at photographers who are new to taking pictures for a school publication. Students will receive one-on-one help with the functions of their cameras.

Featured topics include learning basic camera and exposure controls, effective composition, basic Photoshop skills, use of a basic flash and strategies for covering a variety of school assignments.

Intermediate Photography

This class is designed for the photographer who has experience taking photos. Instruction focuses on understanding camera operations metering, learning the rules of composition, improving shooting skills, making the most of everyday assignments and working on a publication.

Students should have a good working knowledge of their digital cameras.

Advanced Photography

The advanced class is geared to the experienced student who has worked as a publication photographer for at least a year. This class will emphasize traditional storytelling skills and visual strategy.

Students will be exposed to using a digital camera meter in difficult lighting situations, overcoming common white balance issues and advanced compositional guidelines, developing effective photo assignments, covering assignment strategies, and image selection skills and the impact of a powerful crop.

Students will also learn location lighting and flash techniques from simple to more advanced remote triggers. Students will also take part in a Photoshop ethical discussions and learn Photoshop tools and guidelines used by professional photojournalists set forth by the National Press Photographers Association.


Yearbook Boot Camp

Created for rookies, this course will prepare students to be contributing members of the staff on the first day of school.

Among the topics to be covered are yearbook terminology, parts of the spread, creative coverage topics, sources and interviewing techniques and basic design. Students will also be taught skills for writing traditional and alternative copy, headlines and captions as well as basic photo composition.

Yearbook Design and Concepts

This class is for staffers who want to learn everything to make a great spread — from conception to completion.

The class will cover all aspects of yearbook design, including photo presentation, stories, captions, sidebars and headlines. Software will not be a part of the instruction. Students will need to furnish their own computers and  have a solid working knowledge of the design program their school uses.

Yearbook Theme Development

This advanced class is for staff leaders who want to learn strategies for enhancing the quality of their yearbook concept and leading their staff through the process.

The class covers all aspects of yearbook production, including theme development, design, storytelling, photo packaging, captions, sidebars, headlines and staff leadership.

Students will need to furnish their own computers and  have a solid working knowledge of the design program their school uses.

Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop
National Scholastic Press Association
info@studentpress.org • 612-200-9254