Emphasis on writing at 2010 Wordstock sessions

The 15th edition of Wordstock will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Ryerson School of Journalism, at the corner of Gould and Church Sts. in Toronto. After a few years of dabbling successfully in the new journalism tools and styles, this is a retro version of Wordstock. It will be all about writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

We’re returning to a former format of three streams of seminars, one in the morning after the keynote by The Globe and Mail’s Ian Brown and then we’ll break for a free barbecue lunch and networking at a nearby pub. We’ll resume at 1:45 p.m. with two streams of four seminars each, all on writing. The day ends at 4:30 p.m.

In keeping with the economy, we are holding the cost of Wordstock at $75. If you’re a bona fide member of the Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association (RJAA) or an accredited journalism student at any journalism school, the cost is $50.

The preferred method of payment is by cash or cheque, payable to the Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association. You can also pay by credit card online at www.rjaa.ca for an extra fee. We will not be taking credit card payment directly. You can download a PDF of the program and registration information from the RJAA website at www.rjaa.ca and from the RJAA Facebook site.            

For more information by telephone, call Bryan Cantley at 416-575-5377. Email: . bcantley@cna-acj.ca


Wordstock 2010 Program


Here is the program for the traditional Wordstock on Saturday, Oct. 2

Registration 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Rogers Communications Centre/School of Journalism. 80 Gould St. (NE corner of Gould and Church Sts.)

Assembly in the Eaton Lecture Theatre at 9:45 a.m. Please note there is a special session on the future of digital media that is being held in conjunction with Wordstock. Information is contained in this document.


10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail

Our keynote address will feature one of the country’s finest writers, The Globe and Mail’s Ian Brown, winner  of  four National Newspaper Awards, six National Magazine gold awards, and recently winner of two major awards for Canadian non-fiction for his book “The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for His Disabled Son.” Eaton Lecture Theatre.


11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.

Coffee break and networking outside the Eaton Lecture Theatre


11:20 to 12:30 (Choose one of four)

1) Packing great writing into 650 words or so

As journalists, you may have more to say across multiple platforms, but you’re being asked to do it with fewer words. Thane Burnett, Sun Media’s award-winning creator of great short features, talks about techniques for writing in tight spaces.  Burnett, who’s covered everything from O.J. Simpson to Haiti, argues for targeting one human element, using quotes properly, salvaging color and reasons to leave out the mayor’s quotes.

2) Successful freelance writing, as a business and a craft

You can earn an income writing for newspapers and magazines or writing for the corporate market on a freelance basis. In this seminar, freelance writer and author Paul Lima (www.paullima.com) explores the process you need to follow if you want to write for newspapers or magazi