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.
…Next week, we’ll begin revealing our lineup of speakers and sessions.
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.
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.)
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 Today.com.
Did features journalism take a hit Monday when the Pulitzer board decided to withhold a prize in features writing?
Features Editor, The State, Columbia, SC
P.S. SFJ guarantees prizes in its annual writing and best section contest. Enter by clicking here
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.
THE NEW CONTEST DEADLINE: May 2, 2014
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: firstname.lastname@example.org and Jim Haag: email@example.com.
SFJ’s Penny Bender Fuchs Diversity Fellowship Program is seeking applications from journalists of color who are interested in attending our annual conference, happening Aug. 20-23 at the Freedom Forum in Nashville. Programming will have heavy emphasis on multimedia, leadership and writing.
Diversity fellows learn what’s happening in features departments nationwide while networking with outstanding journalists specializing in lifestyle coverage. Fellowships cover SFJ conference registration, airfare and hotel. Fellows will also receive a $300 stipend to be used toward conference-related expenses such as baggage and transportation fees and meals not covered by the conference.
Fellows are asked to contribute to the conference by completing a project and presenting a short report to the group at the conclusion of the event.