Make your reservations for MPA’s fall conference

Join journalists and advertising representatives from across the state Saturday, Oct. 15, for the Maine Press Association’s fall conference at Point Lookout in Northport.

The day will begin with coffee hour at 8:30 a.m., followed by two concurrent workshops for writers and advertising representatives. The 9:30 a.m. writing workshop will feature first-place winners from this year’s contest and their insights on uncovering and reporting Maine’s top stories.

The advertising workshop will feature the best in advertising talent. Participants will have several minutes with a leader at each speed-coaching table then move on to cover a different topic with another pro. The session will end with a lively discussion of hot topics in advertising.

Featured guests will include:

Julie Clark, advertising manager from the Ellsworth American and the MDIslander, who will present ideas on how to snag special section/anniversary section advertising;

Cyndy Bell, advertising account manager at Current Publishing and last year’s MPA advertising person of the year, who will discuss the benefits of building strong community relationships;

Terri Mahoney, VP/associate publisher, VillageNet Media, who will lead a table discussion on selling online advertising for newspaper sites;

Nancy Boyington, assistant director of the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, who will represent the customer and chat about what she expects from her ad rep.

The second morning session, 10:00 to 11:10, will feature Matt DeRienzo, a Westbrook native and regional publisher for the Journal Register Co. in Connecticut. DeRienzo will speak about the open newsroom initiative at The Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn. Last December the newspaper opened the country’s first Newsroom Cafe. The cafe is integrated into the newspaper’s offices, with no walls between the public and reporters and editors.

Steven Waldman, senior adviser to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will follow at 11:15 with a look at the information needs of communities and the changing media landscape. Waldman was lead author of a major report on the state of the media that’s been called one of the most comprehensive overviews of the U.S. media ever produced.

The Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony, which begins at 12:30 p.m., will honor longtime Bangor Daily News reporter Beurmond Banville, the late Times Record sports editor David Bourque and Seba Smith, founder of Maine’s first daily newspaper. The luncheon cost is $25.

All members are invited to the MPA’s business meeting at 2 p.m.

Need a new MPA hat or hoodie or even a weekend getaway? You won’t want to miss the Fellowship Fundraising Auction and cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. We’re changing the format this year to a silent auction, so you’ll have plenty of time to survey the offerings and place your bids.

The dinner and awards presentation will begin at 7 p.m. The 2011 Better Newspaper Contest winners will be announced along with General Excellence awards, Journalist of the Year and the Bob Drake Young Writer award.

Kick up your heels after hours at Point Lookout’s state-of-the-art bowling facility with some heated team competition.

The group rate for the daytime program is $50 for the first person from each newspaper and $20 for each additional staff member. Individual registration is $35, or $10 for students. The awards banquet cost is $49 per person, or $39 for those who registered for the conference. Dinner choices are seafood stuffed roulades of sole with sherry cream, sauteed medallions of pork tenderloin with pommery mustard cream sauce or vegetable and ricotta strudel with roasted tomato coulis.

Make your reservations for the conference by emailing Registration forms also will be available this week on this website. Lodging reservations for Friday and Saturday are available through Point Lookout at 800-515-3611. Room rates range from $129 for one bedroom to $249 for three bedrooms. A 50 percent deposit is required with reservations.

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