Audio Storytelling and Podcasting

In this five day workshop, NPR Story Lab senior producer Michael May and award-winning Montana Public Radio reporter Nora Saks taught participants how to produce a compelling audio story — from conducting interviews and gathering natural sound to story structure and script writing. Students also pitched podcast ideas at the start of the week and left with project blueprints to take those ideas from concept to launch.

All participants’ final audio pieces aired on public radio stations across Montana.

Interested in workshops like this? See what’s coming up next at the Lab.

Writing Well

Compelling, concise writing is an art. In this three-day workshop, University of Montana associate professor of journalism Jule Banville taught the fundamentals of solid writing through hands-on exercises and one-on-one edits.

From business and nonprofit communications to writing for the web and social media, participants learned the importance of sentence structure, grammar and writing flow across multiple platforms.

Interested in workshops like this one? Check out our upcoming workshops.

Writing Doesn’t Have to be Boring

Banville used the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are to demonstrate proper syntax, good writing, and simple storytelling.

More From Our 2019 Writing Well Workshop

Audio Tools for Non-Audio Storytellers

This three-day workshop taught photographers, filmmakers and writers how to add audio tools to their storytelling toolbox.

Participants received hands-on training with digital audio recorders, practiced capturing quality sound in the field, learned how to edit what they gathered and left with a fully produced audio story. Instructor Lacy Roberts, of Transmitter Media, also discussed writing for the ear and the idiosyncrasies of unfurling a narrative in audio—whether it’s a longform narrative or a minute-long news piece.

Interested in more workshops like this? Check out our upcoming workshops.

Building Blocks of a Short Documentary

In this three-day workshop, PBS American Experience producer/editor and former FRONTLINE editor Eric Gulliver presented methods for constructing a story in short documentary film. From scene development to post-production workflow, Eric guided students through best practices for story editing.

The first day of this workshop focused on developing a theoretical understanding of editing for short film. On day two, participants built a toolkit of advanced storytelling and editing techniques. Day three focused on improving technical skills in Adobe Premiere Pro through hands-on training. Students left this workshop with a framework for post-production that takes into account the changing nature of deliverables across media platforms.

Interested in workshops like this? Check out our upcoming workshops.

Mobile and Social Media Engagement

Smartphones have made creating content for the web easy. But knowing the best apps to use for quality content creation, or the best social media platforms to grow your audience— that’s trickier.

Multimedia journalist Val Hoeppner guided participants through the ins and outs of various apps and social media platforms and recommended best practices for audience engagement and growth.

Apps covered: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Canva, Enlight Videoleap Video Editor, VideoShop, Chart Maker Pro and Filmr.

If this workshop interests you, please check out our upcoming workshops.

Telling Family Stories in Multimedia

We all want to know more about who we are and where we came from (why else would DNA kits like 23andMe and sites like be so popular?). But how do we tell compelling digital stories about our families through archival video, photos and audio?

In this workshop, multimedia journalist and Montana Media Lab director Anne Bailey taught students how to record audio interviews with loved ones, digitize archival family photos and footage, and edit short, documentary-style videos in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Interested in workshops like this? Check out our upcoming workshops.

Short and Smart: Mobile Video

Learning to shoot high quality video on your smartphone is a game changer in the world of mobile storytelling.

Multimedia producer Val Hoeppner taught participants how to tell compelling video stories in 60-90 seconds for social media. Through hands-on exercises, students learned techniques for interviewing, capturing b-roll, sequencing and editing for impact.

If this workshop interests you, be sure to check out our upcoming workshops.