Is this a paid position?
No. Writing Wrongs is a nonprofit organization, currently funded by one grant and a lot of grassroots fundraising that we do throughout the year to provide this opportunity for you. It is a volunteer position. You are providing a service to the community by reporting on these issues, and the rewards to you are having your work published in the resulting book, as well as everything you’ll learn by participating in the program. You can also add this experience to your resume. Students who wish to submit community service hours to their club, fraternity or sorority, or honors program should bring the necessary paperwork.
What will happen prior to the event?
Once you are notified that you’ve been accepted to the program, it’s important for you to check your email regularly. Most of you already have your email synced to your phone, so this usually isn’t a problem. I will be in contact with you throughout the summer, giving you various information about the topic so that you arrive at Writing Wrongs 2018 armed with knowledge. I’ll also need specific information — dietary restrictions and that sort of thing. You’ll get a brief questionnaire that’s used to create your bio, and I also need a good photo to go with it. Your bio will be posted on this website as Writing Wrongs 2019 Staff.
I recommend organizing all the materials you receive in a folder or binder — or your Google drive, for those who prefer electronic storage. This is for your own purposes, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. But you’ll have all the info about Writing Wrongs in one place, and it’ll be all ready to bring with you in September.
You will also need to schedule a phone convo with me, Dawn! Isn’t it exciting? 😀 I know that these days, no one talks on the phone, right? But I’ve found that it helps to make a connection allow you to ask any questions you may have about the program, as well as just getting to know each other a tiny bit better. According to past participants, this initial contact help to ease any anxiety they may have had, and they felt more confident in their abilities and expectations of what was to come. That’s why this is a required part of the program.
When the event itinerary is finalized — usually sometime in August — I’ll provide this to you as well.
What will happen on the day of the event?
If you are selected for the program, you will arrive on Friday evening by your own transportation. We will all share the dinner meal, and over the next few hours, you will participate in orientation. This includes a Writing Wrongs staff meeting, meeting with your group Advisor, meeting your peers and roommates, etc. (As students, you are the Writing Wrongs Staff.) You’ll spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at the hotel.
The next morning, you’ll start conducting your interviews, take pictures and videos. Social media staff will be taking pictures and uploading them to Facebook, live tweeting, and generally keeping the Writing Wrongs social media active during the event. There will be other things, too, like speakers who will talk to you about the topic. This is also an opportunity for an article.
Depending on what category you applied for, you’ll spend Saturday interviewing, writing, taking pictures, laying out and designing the print book and recording interviewees and program participants. The next morning it starts all over again. You’ll edit and revise your articles, do more interviews and photos, maybe find some new things to write about, eat lunch and dinner. The evening will be spent working on the final details of print and online editions. Again, since this work may last until the early hours of the morning, you will spend Sunday night in the hotel.
Monday morning, any last details will be wrapped up and you will be on your way home before noon.
Where will we stay during the weekend?
You will stay in a hotel in Wyomissing, a suburb of Reading. Your cars can remain safely parked at the hotel. You will be transported to and from any locations as necessary. We will work in a conference room at the hotel. You may share a room with as many as three other people. There is an option to have a single room or share a double with one other student at your own expense. Rooming details will be discussed after you’ve been accepted into the program. We strive to make the program as comfortable as possible for everyone. You might get jostled out of your comfort zone, but at the same time you will meet amazing new people. You will quickly adapt, though, as part of a team working toward the same goal. Any anxiety you have quickly dissolves as you become engrossed in the task at hand. Sharing an intense experience with other people can create a bond that is not easy to break. You’re not going to be in your room much, anyway, so don’t stress over this.
How much sleep will I get?
This depends on how late you stay up working — and that depends on the work load. This also depends on how many Staff Writers are there and how many interviewees there are. Staff members are expected to complete all articles, design work, photography edits, etc. prior to leaving on Monday. You are not, however, expected to work without rest. Program Advisors are there to help you with the task and they will assist you with a clear plan of action.
Do I need to bring money?
All lodging and meals are paid by Writing Wrongs. The only thing you pay for is your gas or other transportation costs to get to the event and home again. You really don’t need any money, but there is a mall and restaurants nearby if anyone needs to make a late-night caffeine or munchie run.
What do I need to bring with me?
Besides your clothes and personal toiletries, you’ll need a laptop and any other equipment needed to do your job, like a flash drive, writing paper and pens, your laptop and phone charging cords, etc.
Writers, bring your AP Stylebook if you have one. You should also bring your voice recorder or have an app installed on your phone if you prefer recording during interviews.
Videography students should plan to bring your own video camera or DSLR camera that has video capability. You’ll probably need a tripod. Any additional gear you have would be great: lighting, microphone, etc.
Designers, your laptop should have Adobe InDesign installed, preferably the latest version.
Photographers, you need your own DSLR camera and photo-editing software installed on your laptop.
Social media managers need a smartphone with excellent picture- and video-taking ability. You should also have good photo and video editing apps on your phone.
You can ask any other questions by emailing me (Dawn!) at firstname.lastname@example.org.