Monday, August 10, 2009

My NABJ Convention Experience

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend the NABJ Convention in Tampa this year. What a great experience. I previously wrote a little about Day 1, but that didn't do the whole experience justice!

My first day began with "The Business of Freelancing" workshop. The panelists were so informative & willing to offer all the information they could regarding the freelancing aspect of the journalism industry. Some of these wonderful panelists included Katti Gray and Patrick L. Riley. I don't think that my pen stopped moving the whole time!!! I learned a lot about what to do, what to expect, & to know where I am going with my talent. There must be a plan & I must know how to execute it!

Later, the welcome reception was held. There I met two amazing authors, Barbara A. Seals Nevergold & Peggy Brooks-Betram. These talented women have a new book out entitled, "Go, Tell Michelle". The book includes letters from "African American Women Written to the New First Lady". Ms. Nevergold & Ms. Brooks-Betram are very enthusiastic about their book & what it stands for. I know that they will meet their goal of meeting Michelle Obama one day! Their blog can be found at: In addition to these ladies, I got the chance to meet Mr. Roland Martin. Everyone was & is so down-to-earth. Also at this reception, I met a few new friends who I plan to see at the next convention!

(The lovely ladies with Roland Martin)

The next day included a News Conference with Lebron James speaking on his new movie, "More Than a Game". His high school basketball coach, the film-maker, & Tiki Barber were also on site. The movie details the story of Lebron's friendship with his 4 best friends. Looks like it will be a good watch! (I'm sorry I missed the chance to see the sneak preview!)

The evening consisted of "A Magical Night with Walt Disney World". This was an excellent experience! We all were able to see the first 30-minutes of "The Princess and The Frog". For you see, the movie will not be completed in its entirety until the end of the year. But the movie has the first ever African-American/Black Disney princess, Tiana!!!! The talented, Anika Noni Rose, portrays Tiana in the movie. Anika also came & performed a song for us. Wow!! We were also able to take pics with Tiana! You would've thought I was 5-years old all over again.

Friday provided the great workshop, "From Beat to Book: How to Turn Your News Stories into a Best Seller". I learned so much in this workshop about the book publishing process & what I would need to do if/when I decide to take that route. Regina Brooks, literary agent, was over the workshop. The panelists included authors: Lee Hawkins (Wall Street Journal/CNBC), Deborah Owens (Owens Media Group), & Marcia Pledger (of The Plain Dealer & Money Magazine).

Nia Long and Chris Rock were in attendance for a Q&A after the special screening of Chris' documentary/movie, "Good Hair". The movie will make you think about African-American hair & the things we do with our hair. Now we know that Chris always adds his funny spin on things, so you will enjoy it, but will walk away learning something for sure.

The entire experience was one that I will remember. I know I'm only giving a taste of what it was like, but as they say, "I guess you had to be there". I cannot end this post without mentioning my two newest friends/buddies/fellow guys in the industry, Mario Davis Jr. (The Doctor of Love ---this is what his name tag said!), and Eric Woodyard. Two very talented young men who have bright futures ahead of them. Can't wait to see them in San Diego for the next conference.

Until next next time.


~Lisi P.

© Lisi P, 2009

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