Multimedia journalist Billy Calzada makes his way into a classroom at the Advanced Storytelling Workshop at Texas State University in San Marcos on the first day of the workshop. Billy of the San Antonio Express-News was the last participant added to the list. The workshop sold out this year.

After introductions Steve Sweitzer, the chair of the workshop, focused on focus statements. Sweitzer talked about the value of taking the time to express what the story is about in a complete sentence. Taking it further Sweitzer asked us to explore not only the, “Why should we care?,” aspect of a story, but to ask ourselves, “Why is it interesting?,” not only once, but many times until we reach a story idea that is sharply focused and worth telling.

John Goheen and Bev Chapman discussed enterprising ideas. From the two of them we learned ideas are everywhere but your mind must be open to them. Geehan says anything that seems out of place always catches his attention. During a morning run he came across a couch parked along his running path. He did not just wonder what it was doing there but he investigated and learned that it belonged to a local fraternity. The guys from the frat put it there so they could watch the baseball games in the field that was located just below the running path.

Chapman says her radar is always on, even when out to dinner with her husband, where she learned that there was a different tax for different beers by turning over her drink coaster. She also reminded us that we are surrounded by sources; family and friends.


Shawna Woodall, a junior at IUPUI, participates in a workshop exercise. Chapman asked the attendees to quickly jot down three friends and then asked a few in the audience to share some information about the friends they had written down. The exercise proved that we are surrounded by people who probably have interesting stories.

The last speaker of the evening was Scott Rensberger of the BBC. Rensberger used Hollywood movie clips from Amistad and a Bug’s Life to get his point across; the story is everything and get past preconceived ideas. Rensberger said the best stories tell us something we don’t already know.

TSU Professor David Nolan was a gracious host ending the first evening serving the hungry workshoppers. Because of the threatening rain the planned outdoor picnic at a local San Marcos park was held indoors. The crowd was fed Kip’s BBQ available with the hottest jalapenos around for the daring.—Anita Baca






13 Responses to “Advanced StoryTelling Workshop: Day 1”

  1. The globe wants a weak US President at their very own peril. Do the Americans want a weak President? I hope not. nCutter, diverting the attention within the weak Obama economy. It is always the exact same BS. To not talk in regards to the economy at any price. What matters is usually to keep the energy so the far still left can transform and destroy this region.

  2. New guidelines posted Wednesday for the procedure of large blood tension acquire a move back from the extended-standing posture that decrease is normally much better when handling hypertension, raising the level at which people age sixty and over really should begin getting treatment. You are almost certainly acquainted with the blood stress cuff employed by the health care provider, but you can see what is the evaluate? Wrist Blood Force Watch with Flash Warning Method, Weekly/Regular Development Graph Exhibit, AM/PM Average Systolic Comparison, Arm Positioning Information, Memory up to 270 readings, and System Motion Detection Each individual Tuesday is Senior Working day at the Christiansburg Aquatic Heart. On Tuesdays, seniors age sixty and more mature swim for $two.

  3. I

  4. Good article! I really enjoy your nice website! I also left a comment at your other posting which i thought was wonderful.

  5. I

  6. The read was interesting, stay in touch……

  7. hey there and thank you for your info

  8. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  9. It

  10. I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  11. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  12. Great write-up, I am regular visitor of one

  13. Great

Leave a Reply