Author Archive

SFJ debuts new quarterly newsletter for journalism students

June 4, 2014 Leave a comment

We are happy to introduce a new venture: SFJ Campus Connection, a quarterly newsletter with a focus on helping journalists of the future.

Our membership of features writers and editors have dozens of years of industry experience among them. So we are taking advantage of their knowledge to produce the pieces that you’ll see in our newsletter. Best advice for interns, for instance, or links to internship postings.

We also take the name literally — we hope this newsletter will better link SFJ and colleges, and become a useful resource for students who want to be features journalists.

So we are providing the first few issues for free, but after that, they will be available exclusively to SFJ members. Remember, we offer a student discount of just $25 per year.

If you have ideas for this newsletter, please share on our Facebook page.



Video x 2 = SFJ14 in Nashville

June 2, 2014 Comments off

Photo courtesy Grant Wickes

“We need more video!” That’s the battle cry from editors in newsrooms. But where you do you go from there?

At SFJ14 in Nashville, you’ll get instruction and inspiration from two seasoned pros, in two sessions on the opening day of the Society for Features Journalism conference. Val Hoeppner travels around the country teaching journalists how to shoot video. She’ll bring her enthusiasm and the newest tools for you to use. Later, learn how to take those skills to the next level with Josh Meltzer of Western Kentucky University.

Sign up for the conference, Aug. 20-23, at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in beautiful Nashville. Click here for registration and hotel details.

Now Open: Conference Registration for SFJ14 in Nashville

May 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Photo courtesy Flickr

We want to see you in August for SFJ14. The annual features journalism conference is an excellent way to gain new skills, networks and friends in features journalism. Register now and save big on early bird rates. Download the registration form and reserve your room today! See you August 20th-23rd in Tennessee!

Registration rates:
Members (early bird by June 9 ): $275
After: $300

Non-members (early bird by June 9 ): $400
After: $500

Day Rate: $75

Payment options:
Check (made payable to SFJ)
PayPal (please add $5 to cover processing costs)
Credit Card (please add $5 to cover processing costs)

Categories: Uncategorized

Reserve your Room at SFJ14 in Nashville

May 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Photo courtesy Flickr

Photo courtesy Flickr

It’s not too soon to make your plans for this year’s SFJ Conference in Nashville, August 20-23.  

The Embassy Suites at Vanderbilt , our proud host for the 2014 SFJ conference, is ready to accept reservations NOW!   Located in the heart of Nashville at 1811 Broadway St., the Embassy Suites is close to the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University, the site of this year’s conference.

Follow this link to make reservations today. Use the code SFJ to save. Or, call 615-277-4966.  To guarantee the best rate, be sure to book early. Music City awaits … so what are YOU waiting for?

…Next week, we’ll begin revealing our lineup of speakers and sessions.

Going Once, Going Twice… Bid for Your ONA 2014 Conference Registration

May 12, 2014 Leave a comment

onaTo the highest bidder: Registration at the Online News Association’s conference in Chicago, Sept. 25-27.

We know the SFJ conference in Nashville will be the hottest journalism meet-up this year. But we hear ONA is pretty great, too. And who doesn’t love Chicago?

Because ONA recognizes SFJ as a vital and innovative group, it has donated one registration to its fall conference. This is a value of up to $989. The cheapest registration for ONA members is $439.

This generous gift will raise funds for the SFJ Foundation, which supports SFJ’s Diversity Fellowship program. The SFJ Foundation is a 501c3 organization, and donations are tax deductible.

So it’s a win-win for SFJ and for you!

Here’s how it works:
* Go to the SFJ Facebook page
* Enter your bid in the comments section.
* The starting bid is $350, and you can bid as often as you want.
* Bidding ends at 5 p.m. MONDAY May 19th.
* Upon receipt of check payable to SFJ Foundation, you will receive notification from ONA about your registration.

This auction is open only to SFJ members (Not a member yet? Join here.)

A Missing Pulitzer Prize: An Open Letter to Features Journalists

April 19, 2014 Comments off


The Pulitzer board did not award a prize for feature writing this year.


The Poynter Institute’s Roy Peter Clark, a former Pulitzer juror and a friend of features folks, speculated this week that part of the reason for the snub is that features journalism is a bit hard to define.

What is features writing anyway?

Members of our organization, the Society for Features Journalism, produce some of the finest narrative storytelling in journalism. Some of us drive cultural and artistic discussions in our communities. Many of us still tell stories no one else would spend to time to do.

And, yes, some of us are writing celebrity blogs, compiling Top 10 lists, making how-to videos, posting reality show recaps and cooking up crazy reader contests.

It’s all features.

Features writers, editors and producers have been rattled by the recession and the changes in the news industry. Arts critics are rare these days, and features sections have been decimated or eliminated.

But know this: Many of the survivors — lifestyle and arts and entertainment journalists — are leading newsrooms into a digital age and finding new ways to reach out to readers and tell stories. Innovative work in newsrooms is being driven by the features staffs, who, through powerful and resourceful storytelling, learned the hard way to create something exciting, often from nothing.

Quality features journalism is spreading beyond traditional print newsrooms. Some of the recent winners in our SFJ national writing awards were from CNN and

Did features journalism take a hit Monday when the Pulitzer board decided to withhold a prize in features writing?

No way.

Betsey Guzior
President, SFJ
Features Editor, The State, Columbia, SC

P.S. SFJ guarantees prizes in its annual writing and best section contest. Enter by clicking here

Categories: See all contest posts

Contest Deadline Extended! SFJ Features Journalism Awards

April 15, 2014 Comments off

Photo courtesy Flickr.

We’re all about bringing good news on tax day. We are extending the deadline for entry in the 26th Annual Excellence in Features Journalism Awards!

Take a deep breath … you have one more week to pull together your best work. If you’ve waited to look over the contest rules and the submission guidelines, check them out here.

We have new categories too: Narrative Storytelling, Blog Portfolio and Digital Innovation, along with your old favorites.


We hope the new contest platform makes it easier to submit, but if you have questions, we’re here for you! Please email your faithful contest committee: Suzy Leonard: and Jim Haag:

Categories: See all contest posts

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