Friday, January 25, 2008

Lots of speakers for Professional Obituary Writers Workshop in Portland, Ore.

Amy Starke and Joan Harvey are hard at work, lining up speakers and hotel accommodations for the Professional Obituary Writers Workshop that will be held May 8-11 at The Oregonian in Portland, Ore.

We'll start this list with the most recent additions followed by those who were announced earlier.

-- Margalit Fox, New York Times obituary writer and a finalist for the 2005 ASNE award for obit writing, will speak on obituaries as American social history, and possibly will make other presentations, too.

-- Robin Hinch, longtime obituary writer from the Orange County Register, will speak on "The Everyman Obituary."

-- Jim Sheeler, reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, will speak on writing military obituaries and the experience of doing his Pulitzer feature, "Final Salute."

-- Adam Bernstein, of the Washington Post, one of the most respected obit writers in the country and perhaps the world, on writing advance obituaries and on doing deep historical research.

-- Gayle Sims of the Philadelphia Inquirer, conducting a half-day workshop on multimedia obituaries.

-- Kay Powell, of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, speaking about regional differences in obituaries, tragedy interviewing, and how smaller papers and weekly papers can work obituaries into each edition.

-- Larken Bradley, NNA obit-writing award winner, now with the West Marin Citizen, a weekly newspaper in Point Reyes Station, Calif., conducting discussions on writing obituaries for pay and on doing obituaries for community newspapers.

-- Larken Bradley will join Ron Csillag, a Toronto obit freelancer, in discussing freelancing the obituary.

-- Oregonian researcher/librarian extraordinaire Lynne Palombo, on backgrounding/cops-and-courts.

-- Special guest Amelia Rosner, obituary devotee/connoisseur, on a topic to be announced.

-- Jack Hart, nationally known writer's coach and author, conducting one of his special writing intensives. Even if you've been writing for 30 years, you'll get a lot out of this.

-- Don Colburn, Oregonian reporter, with a talk on Oregon's assisted suicide law and how it works, kicking off a discussion on handling suicides in obituaries. We'll show video of one, too.

-- Alana Baranick, Cleveland Plain Dealer, organizing the brand-new Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW).

Keep watching this blog for more on the workshop, SPOW, SPOW's Web site and a contest for obituary writers.

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