National Federation of Press Women Conference September 9-10

Learn from the pros at the National Federation Press Women Conference September 9-10! Topics include social media, sharpening your writing skills, entrepreneurship, alternative publications, writing children's books, technical writing, videography, blogging and more.

The cost is only $20/day for the sessions only and the deadline to register is Friday, Sept. 2.

The Nebraska Press Women and Iowa Press Women are jointly hosting the annual communications conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Workshops Friday and Saturday will focus on three tracks: 1) New Media, 2) Outside the Newspaper Byline, and 3) Life Skills.

Friday's workshops

SOCIAL MEDIA: Two sessions will be held on social media with Joe Craig Jr. of SourceBurst. The first session is for those who want to learn the basics – how do you start a social media account, how do you set it up, and what do you do with it once you have an account? The second is for those of you who know the difference between Facebook and Twitter, but want to build a social media plan. The afternoon kicks off with a presentation by Eileen Wirth on "The Changing World of Convergence and Social Media." A video workshop by Peter Soby of Iowa Western Community College will give us tips on how to set up video shots (this is perfect for those of us who must incorporate video into our newspaper reporting, and those who want to record the important moments in our lives).

OUTSIDE THE NEWSPAPER BYLINE: Start off with a website panel including,, and Nebraska Watchdog, three websites with completely different goals. Jake Parrillo from Google will let us know how to use the features of Google and inform us on the newest features. Rainbow Rowell, author of Attachments, will lead a session on how to write and publish a book. The day ends with an alternative publications panel, featuring editors and publishers of Prairie Fire, a political newspaper with a growing following; Metro Magazine; and Pioneer Publishing, publisher of a number of Omaha alternative publications including The Reader, Neighborhood News and El Perico.

LIFE SKILLS: Charlyne Berens, Professor and Associate Dean at UNL's College of Journalism, will present "Let's Eat Grandma: Why Punctuation Matters." For those considering freelancing, Summer Miller Widhalm will help us learn how to live the freelance life. Jim Fogarty and David Harding will show us how to preserve our family's history as part of an estate plan with "Legacy Preservation." Paula Basco Damon, director of marketing and communication at Briar Cliff University, will help us stay focused on our writing projects with her session, "Get Down to Writing."

Saturday's workshops

SOCIAL MEDIA: Saturday's New Media sessions start off with a social media panel led by Susan Baird, a public relations professional, Elizabeth Hilpipre of the Nebraska Humane Society, and Jennifer Stauss Windrum, creator of the WTF? Campaign (Where's the Funding for Lung Cancer). They will tell us how to more effectively reach our audience with social media, using true life examples. The Social Media Panel is being sponsored by the Nebraska Lottery.

OUTSIDE THE NEWSPAPER BYLINE: Gary Kebbel, the new dean of UNL's College of Journalism, will speak about using mobile devices to provide news and information in a changing world becoming more dependent on mobile media. His session is being sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism.

How to Get a Special Publication Started with speaker Jerry Wiebel of Our Iowa Magazine kicks off the Outside the Newspaper Byline track on Saturday. Judy Philbrook, retired learning and development manager at Wells Fargo, will lead a session on technical writing. The day ends with Nebraska Press Women President Ruth Brown speaking on Marketing Power Shift: Reverb, focusing on how marketers can harness consumers' power, energy and enthusiasm in marketing campaigns.

LIFE SKILLS: The Life Skills track starts with Jean Tennant telling us how to write children's books that kids will want to turn off the TV to read. For those of you looking for a career change, John Fulwider of Fulwider Partners will give us an impromptu career coaching. And NFPW member Jill Miller with end the sessions talking about entrepreneurship.

More Information

  • For more information about the 2011 National Federation of Press Women Conference and to register, please go to