Philadelphia Storytelling Workshop program

Our program tracks

The Philadelphia Storytelling Workshop offers instruction in 11 content tracks.

Creativity & print design

Instructors: Alyssa Boehringer, Dow Tate

This is an intense course in using verbal and visual elements for effective storytelling with a focus on content packaging, typography, white space, graphics and color. 

Readability will be the guiding principle. Designers from print newspapers, magazines and yearbooks are encouraged to take this course if they wish to expand their skills and be pushed to master advanced techniques. Students will produce prototype content including headlines, content modules and pages/spread for their own publication. 

Computer skills will not be taught in this course. Each student will need access to a computer containing the programs, files and fonts used at school and be able to use these tools. If students plan to use a yearbook company online site, the student must have login information, knowledge of the program and full permission to use the site.

Broadcast & videography

Instructor: Michelle Coro

This track will cover video reporting and interviewing techniques, story structure, story planning, videography, sound design, lighting, on-camera presence, and editing workflow. 

Master class participants will produce original stories to be published online by the end of the course. Students should have access to camera equipment (including smart phones), external microphones, tripods, and editing software. 

Digital storytelling

Instructors: Sara Quinn, Amy DeVault

Students will explore the interactive potential for storytelling across platforms. 

We’ll practice telling stories using the best tools for the job: video, audio, photos, graphics, writing, illustration, social media and more. Students will be pushed to think creatively to find the best forms for the story. Develop a strategy for your stories, wherever they appear.

Editorial leadership

Instructor: Mitch Eden

In this track exclusively for editors, learn what type of leader you are and can be. We will cover strategies to better manage your peers and a newsroom. We will also work toward shifting your mindset to culture over product.


Beginning & experienced
Instructors: Mark Murray, Margie Raper & Mike Simons

The Beginning Photojournalism track is aimed at photographers who are new to taking pictures for a school publication. Students will receive one-on-one help with the functions of their cameras. Featured topics include learning basic camera and exposure controls, effective composition, and strategies for covering a variety of school assignments.

The Experienced Photojournalism track is designed for the photographer who has publications experience. Instruction will emphasize the rules of composition, improving shooting skills, storytelling, making the most of everyday assignments and working on a publication. Students should have a good working knowledge of their digital cameras.

Both groups will spend some time working with electronic flash and a basic photo editing workflow to take back to their schools to implement.

Reporting & writing

Instructor: Kathryn Campbell, Scott Winter

Telling true stories isn’t exclusive from telling creative stories. In this track, you’ll learn how to ask better questions for fully engaged interviews that net deep responses. 

We’ll conduct meaningful research, develop skilled interviewing, and discover original angles to develop artistic writing in journalistic modes that keeps readers in the story from lead to kicker.

Social media strategies

Instructor: Chris Snider

There’s never been a more exciting time to work in social media. From short-form video to live audio to the creator economy, we’ve seen the social media landscape completely transform before our eyes in the past year. 

This workshop will help you create a social media plan that keeps up with the changing landscape. Students in this workshop will learn through creating content for a variety of social platforms and creating a plan for how their organization can better take advantage of social media tools.

Getting the Most Out of Your SNO Website

Instructor: Ivy Kaplan

This course provides extensive hands-on training using the SNO platform, whether you’re new to SNO or a seasoned veteran. Instruction covers every aspect of your SNO site, from publishing content to designing your homepage (including how to use the brand-new SNO FLEX Pro tools), leaving no stone unturned. Plus, we’ll discuss social media, mobile journalism, advertising, workflow management, audience analytics and much more.


Instructors: Becky Tate, Susan Massy

This class is for students currently serving on the yearbook staff.  You will be working on a yearbook spread — so if you write, bring all the interviews and make sure you’ve had a chance to write down detailed descriptions of what you are writing about (for example, the foods class preparing cupcakes for the story on the food classes.) 

If you’re designing the page, you’ll need to bring photos, copy (or interviews) with you, and we’ll help you continue designing pages for this year’s yearbook.

The class also includes mini-sessions about trends, theme, coverage, reporting, writing, editing and photojournalism. 

Each student will need access to a computer containing the programs, files and fonts used at school and be able to use these tools. If students plan to use a yearbook company online site, the student must have login information, knowledge of the program and full permission to use the site.

Streets of Philadelphia team reporting

Instructors: Chuck Clark, Elizabeth Smith

Teams of up to four students will report stories from Philadelphia from the people of Philadelphia. 

Students will produce multimedia stories guided by a general topic that will be delivered by track instructors at the start of the workshop. These stories must include photos and copy but can also include photo, video and audio. 

Students should bring their smartphone and a charger to do their daily reporting. Additional cameras are optional but not necessary. 

This is a track for advanced students, who have at least a year of experience on their school newspaper. Exceptional stories will be published online by the workshop. 

Adviser professional development

Instructors: Charla Harris, Meghan Percival

This workshop will cover the issues advisers deal with in their high school journalism classrooms, such as   what goes into advising a successful publication year after year, how to create a successful staff culture,  how to make sure  students aren’t just producing good work by deadline … but their BEST work, how to ensure students have the skills they need, and how to give consistent feedback (without creating a ridiculous and time-consuming grading scale?)  

You’ll get multiple perspectives, ideas and tips from experienced advisers from across the country, and lots of resources. 


Supplies for our workshop tracks

Workshop front page
Workshop schedule
Workshop tracks
Workshop faculty
Best of Show & on-site critiques


Take advantage of the fall virtual convention, with two months of on-demand content. Register for the fall virtual convention.