A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Chapter News

By Quill

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Will Write For Food enters fourth year

The fourth annual Will Write For Food program, cosponsored by the South Florida Pro chapter, had a special guest Labor day weekend.

SPJ president John Ensslin joined the half-dozen professional journalists who act as advisers.

WWFF brings 20 college journalists to a South Florida homeless shelter, where they take over the shelter’s newspaper and produce 24 pages and a corresponding website in 36 hours.

Ensslin discussed ledes, ethics and even took part in covering the late-night “outreach” that sends an ambulance to find homeless on the streets and treat them.

National student representative Gideon Grudo was also an adviser — a year after being the editor. “Once again, Will Write for Food has terrified students out of their comfort zone, educated them journalistically, pushed them to their limits, and gave them the thrill of their lives — all in a sweaty, smelly, loud and chaotic environment,” he said. “Those are their words, not mine.”

Besides the chapter, Will Write For Food is also sponsored by SPJ Region 3 and the Florida College Press Association. To learn more, and get suggestions on duplicating the program in another area, email Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky at michael@koretky.com.

One Night Stand in South Florida

Typewriters. X-Acto knives. Rubber cement. All are vestiges of newsrooms past that featured prominently in the South Florida chapter’s One Night Stand program in August.

Twenty journalists and media professionals converged in Hollywood Beach, Fla. hotel rooms rented by the chapter over one night. The mission: divide into teams to create two “zines” (pronounced “zeens”) in 10 hours for “an exercise in creativity and futility,” chapter president Michele Boyet wrote in a recap of the event. (See the full recap at the chapter’s website.)

In writing the recap, Boyet included the experience of chapter board member Rebekah Monson:

“I drove an hour and change home with a smile on my face, ideas about new stories swirling around my head and a fire in my belly … a reminder of why telling stories really is the coolest job in the world,” Monson said. “Not bad for a sweaty Saturday night.”

See a video about the program.

Chapters interested in duplicating the program can email Michael Koretzky.