Having a blast at the NFPW conference
Next year’s NFPW conference will be held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, an easy drive for VPC members. Here’s what some of our members had to say about the NFPW conference in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I kicked off conference with the pretour, which was a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and get energized,” said Cynthia Price. “We ate great Southern food, including fried green tomatoes, cocoa biscuits and peanut butter pie. Thank goodness we went to the Space Center where we were weightless!”
“I believe some of my favorite parts of the conference were the Thursday morning Civil Rights Tour, especially the tour of Bethel Baptist Church, and the panel discussion with Judge Helen Shores Lee, Barbara Shores, T.K. Thorne and Tom Gordon. These racial conflicts were going on when I was in college but wishing I were on a bus with the Freedom Riders,” said Frances Crutchfied.
Most members attended the “Writing with Color” workshop with Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and author of six books. Crutchfield described him as the consummate storyteller.
Pam Stallsmith added, “A highlight was hearing the remarkable Rick Bragg share aloud in his lyrical, mellifluous voice some of his favorite leads and book openings.
While the NFPW conference is packed with tours, workshops, networking and celebrations that could exhaust even the most stalwart, most members come away energized. Crutchfield said, “I left the conference recharged and determined to finish my writing projects.”
Many members return year after year because of the friendships. Said Julie Campbell, “While I always learn something from the workshops and speakers, what I really get from attending is the connection with other members. I always enjoy reuniting with friends whom I see only at the conference, like Marlene Cook; and I draw support and inspiration from so many of the attendees.”
Stallsmith said, “I always enjoy the professional development at conference, but what I look forward to most is seeing longtime friends and making new ones.”