Four people meeting around a table

Sign Up for the Contributors’ Workshop on Saturday, February 25

The mission of asks us to “foster positive connections and inclusive conversations about better places in Minnesota.” COVID has made the “connections” part of our mission a challenge, and we’re recognizing that our conversations at — in both readership and subject matter — are less inclusive than we want them to be.

Join us at the Contributors’ Workshop on Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., to make personal connections, hear from new and established writers and photographers, and learn from Cirien Saadeh, founder of the Journalism of Color Training Center and our racial equity consultant at, in an “experiential” keynote address and conversation titled Reporting With and For Community: A Hands-On Introduction.

If meeting in person, and meeting like-minded people face to face, interests you — as a writer, a visually oriented contributor, a reader, an urban or environmental activist, someone who may want to get involved — then join us at the workshop!

Registration, key details

Here are a few need-to-knows:

  • When: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with interactive, hands-on sessions that will cover photography, SEO, working with an editor, narrowing your story ideas and more.
  • Where: University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis.
  • Refreshments: Yes! Free boxed lunch, from Afro Deli
  • Register: To plan for food and breakout sessions, we’re asking folks to register by February 16.
  • Getting there: The Bus Rapid Transit C Line from downtown Minneapolis and local route #7 both will get you there; map your route at the Metro Transit website. Parking for vehicles and bikes also will be available.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at

Learning together

This Contributors’ Workshop is called that for a reason. Rather than the previous, pre-COVID writers’ workshops, we hope that people who want to tell stories via photos, videos, maps and more will come and contribute as well.

  • Editor-in-Chief Erik Ruthruff and Content Manager Jenny Werness — both board members at — will open the workshop.
  • Longtime writer and photographer Wolfie Browender will co-lead a hands-on session about shooting and sizing photos.
  • A topics talk, with members of the Editorial Committee, will focus on reporting and storytelling tips, how to shape and source your ideas, what to expect from the editing process, how to promote your work, and the many ways you can contribute to if writing is not your thing but you do care about climate and people-centered, justice-driven, future-oriented, delight-cultivating places (our core values).
  • A closing panel, moderated by me (Managing Editor Amy Gage), will feature longtime writer and Climate Emergency committee member Pat Thompson along with newer writers Dan Gjelten, Lisa Nelson and Ed Steinhauer.

We’ll have plenty of unstructured time for eating lunch, socializing, swapping ideas, and talking in-depth with keynote speaker Cirien Saadeh about building relationships and developing content beyond our communities and comfort zones.

Questions? Reach out at or 612-381-4110 (mobile). Don’t forget to register by February 16 if you want a boxed lunch from Afro Deli!


11 a.m.

Welcome by Editor-in-Chief Erik Ruthruff and Content Manager Jenny Werness

Please sign release forms for the panel session, tear off names for the gift card drawing after the panel session. Survey link at the end.

11:15 a.m.

“Reporting with and for Community,” featuring Arab-American journalist and Journalism of Color founder Cirien Saadeh, who is conducting a racial equity analysis for 

11:45 a.m.

Hands-on photo session with contributor Wolfie Browender: how to shoot and size your digital photos, and where to find royalty-free images. 

Noon-ish: Lunch from Afro Deli and socializing. 

12:30 p.m.

Storytelling – Jenny Werness and Amy Gage

  • Content overview: articles, photos, videos, lists, maps, etc
  • Passion projects and YIMBY: how to draw from your own experience
  • Stories that you could do: examples that have been effective
  • Time permitting: informal discussion on attendee story ideas

1:10 p.m.

Editing & Digital Tools – Erik Ruthruff, Micah Davison, Amy Gage, and Christy Marsden

1:35 10 min SHORT BREAK. Reminder: Turn in names for drawing.

1:45 p.m.

Show and Tell: Writers’ panel, moderated by Managing Editor Amy Gage, featuring veteran contributor Pat Thompson along with new writers Dan Gjelten, Lisa Nelson and Ed Steinhauer discussing why they write, how they come up with ideas, what advice they have for new or returning writers, and how they like to work with editors. Content vs. copy editing included. Audience interaction will be encouraged. 

SURVEY for participants

Drawing – $100 gift card to Black Garnet Books

2:30 p.m. END

Photo at top courtesy of Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Amy Gage

About Amy Gage

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amy Gage is managing editor of A former journalist, she writes a blog about women and aging ( and contributes to the Minnesota Women's Press.