Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a paid position?
No. Writing Wrongs is a nonprofit organization, currently funded by sponsorships and a lot of grassroots fundraising that we do throughout the year to provide this opportunity for students. It is a volunteer position. Students are providing a service to the community by reporting on these issues, and the rewards to you are having their work published in the resulting book, as well as everything you’ll learn by participating in the program. They can also add this experience to their 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 students are notified that they’ve been accepted to the program, it’s important for them to check their email regularly. Most students already have your email synced to your phone, so this usually isn’t a problem. I will be in contact with them throughout the summer, providing various reading material about the topic so that they arrive at Writing Wrongs 2020 armed with knowledge. There will be a Facebook group that requires participation that will also help prepare them for the program. (If anyone is adamantly opposed to using Facebook, we can work something out, but those students will miss out on getting to know their fellow staff members. The group is cool. I promise.)
I’ll also need specific information — dietary restrictions and that sort of thing. I send the students a brief questionnaire that’s used to create their bio, and I also need a good photo to go with it. Bios will be posted on this website as Writing Wrongs 2020 Staff.
I recommend organizing all the materials received 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.
Students 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 and allows them to ask any questions they 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 as well so everyone knows what is happening and when.
What will happen on the day of the event?
Students who are selected for the program will arrive on Friday evening by their own transportation. We will all share the dinner meal, and over the next few hours, will participate in orientation. This includes a Writing Wrongs staff meeting, meeting with group Advisors, meeting your peers and roommates, etc. (As students, you are the Writing Wrongs Staff.) Students spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at the hotel.
The next morning, the Staff begins conducting 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 about the topic. This is also an opportunity for an article.
Depending on what category each students applied for, they will 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. They’ll edit and revise their 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, students will spend Sunday night in the hotel.
Monday morning, any last details will be wrapped up and students are on their way home before noon.
Where will we stay during the weekend?
The program is in Bethlehem, PA this year. The hotel location will be disclosed to accepted students. Cars can remain safely parked at the hotel. We will carpool to any locations as necessary. Our main work area will be the conference room at the hotel. Students may share a room with two or three other people. There is an option to have a single room or share a double with one other student at their own expense. Rooming details will be discussed during the phone convo. Most students aren’t bothered at all by the room situation.
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 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 the 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. The writers, photographers, and videographers work with the interviewees during the day, so they are working at night writing, photo and video editing, etc. the Social Media Managers’ work can encompass both daytime and nighttime hours since almost everything we do is content for our social platforms. Designers will work on layout and graphics on Saturday before the articles start to trickle in on Saturday night.
Staff members are expected to complete all articles, design work, photography edits, etc. prior to leaving on Monday. Part of what’s so amazing about Writing Wrongs is that students create this entire book in just one weekend! They are not, however, expected to work without rest. Program Advisors are there to help with the task and they will assist with a clear plan of action or any other issues that arise.
Do I need to bring money?
All lodging and meals are paid by Writing Wrongs. We also provide plenty of snacks. The only thing students pay for is gas or other transportation costs to get to the event and home again. They don’t need any money to attend the program, but there are shops and restaurants nearby if anyone needs to make a late-night caffeine or munchie run.
What do I need to bring with me?
Besides clothes and personal toiletries, students should bring a laptop and any other equipment needed to do their specific job: paper and pens, laptops, phone charging cords, flash drives, etc.
Writers, bring an AP Stylebook if you have one. A voice recorder is needed to record interviews and their are many apps that work well for this.
Videography students should plan to bring their own video camera or DSLR camera that has video capability. A tripod and any additional gear — lighting, microphone, etc. — would be great.
Designers, laptops should have Adobe InDesign installed, preferably the latest version.
Photographers need their own DSLR camera and photo-editing software installed on their laptop.
Social media managers need a smartphone with excellent picture- and video-taking ability. Good photo and video editing apps are essential.
You can ask any other questions by emailing me (Dawn!) at email@example.com.