Joining us for the 2017 National Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 17-18? Read through the biographies below to get to know the speakers before you come. To find out more about the conference and sessions click here.

Ren_headshot-150Ren LaForme
Interactive Learning Producer, The Poynter Institute
Ren LaForme is a producer at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has run the Knight-funded digital tools catalog for four years, and is co-creator of 40 Better Hours, a project to improve newsroom cultures and make them more equipped to innovate. He is also a co-founder of the Online News Association’s Tampa Bay chapter and co-founder of Tampa Bay Media & Digital, a meetup group for locals who work in news media. Originally from Buffalo, New York, LaForme has a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

PI-RPC-2015-HeadshotRoy Peter Clark
Senior Scholar Emeritus, The Poynter Institute
Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at the Poynter Institute since 1979. In more than three decades he has served the institute as dean, vice president, senior scholar, and member of the Board of Trustees. Clark has written or edited 18 books on writing and journalism, the most popular and influential being Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer. Podcasts of the book have been downloaded more than two million times.

The New York Times Book Review praised Clark’s book The Glamour of Grammar as “a manual for the 21st century.” His most recent work includes the book Help! For Writers, for which there is a mobile application, and How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times. His latest, The Art of X-ray Reading was published in January 2016.

Born in New York City in 1948, Clark attended Catholic schools through his graduation from Providence College in 1970. He earned a Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University. He began his teaching career in Montgomery, Ala., where he became interested in journalism. He was hired in 1977 by the St. Petersburg Times as one of America’s first writing coaches. He is the founding director of the National Writers Workshops. His work has been featured by NPR, “Today,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He was selected as a distinguished service member of the American Society of News Editors, and was inducted into the Features Hall of Fame. He has received an honorary degree from Goucher College and served as a writer-in-residence at Vassar College.

Clark has played in rock bands since high school and often uses music to illustrate strategies of reading and writing.

To be announced:

Moderated by Azbee Award Chair and former ASBPE President Amy Fishbach, hear from the 2016 winners of:

  • Magazine of the Year
  • Website of the Year
  • Newsletter of the Year
  • Cross-Platform Package of the Year