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Barnes Shares Column-Writing Insights at National High School Journalism Convention

April 14, 2018 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm PDT

Terri Barnes, Elva Resa’s senior editor and the creator of a popular and long-running column in Stars and Stripes, spoke to a room full of student journalists who filled the seats and sat in the aisles to hear about the importance of columns in news publications and the craft of column-writing.

Barnes led a workshop called “Becoming A Columnist” at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco , California, April 14, 2018. She also served alongside other journalists and educators as a judge for the Write-Off Contest at the convention, which is co-sponsored by the Journalist Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. With more than 4,000 delegates from hundreds of schools, the JEA/NSPA convention is the largest gathering of student journalists in the country.

“I was so impressed by the caliber of writing I saw in some of the contest entries and by the thoughtful questions that came from the workshop,” says Barnes. “As well as column-writing, we talked about the Florida students who reported first-hand about the Parkland shooting and the importance of a free press in a free nation.”

Barnes is the author of Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life, a collection of her newspaper columns.

In the workshop, she read excerpts from her own work and other columnists after opening the session by reading an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Barnes says Carroll’s word play and use of riddles and questions provide excellent opportunities to talk to writers about word choice and asking questions. She has spoken to many groups about writing, including students from grade school to university level, both in the US and overseas.


April 14, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm PDT