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Speakers

Fab Five Appearing at 2017 Conference

If you lived through the Sixties, you know who The Fab Four were. Heck, even Millennials recognize the Beatles. But that group broke up long ago, and the two members that are still alive wanted a wee bit more money than we could pay. Hold on to your hats and pantyhose, though, because we have a Fab Five that will knock them off your heads and hinies during NFPW's 2017 National Communications Conference in Birmingham September 7-9.

Rick Bragg is a Pulitzer-Prize winning former New York Times reporter and author of six books, including "All Over But the Shoutin'," "Ava's Man," "The Prince of Frogtown," "I Am a Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story," and "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story," a biography of the rock and roll legend. Bragg will be a keynote speaker at one of the conference luncheons, and will conduct a workshop about incorporating fiction elements in your non-fiction writing.

T.K. Thorne is an award-winning author who talks about the life lessons she learned as a policewoman in a macho-male world, the research behind the investigation of a bombing case that became a pivotal point in America's civil rights movement, and her own historical novels about unknown women in two of the world's oldest and most famous stories. Her first non-fiction book, "Last Chance for Justice," gives the investigators' perspectives of the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing case.

Javacia Harris Bowser is a writer, blogger and the founder of See Jane Write, an award-winning, Birmingham-based membership organization and website for female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Her kudos and credits include her web site's listing in the 100 Best Websites for Writers for 2017 by The Write Life, being named one of the smartest women in Birmingham by the Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham, named to the Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2015, and Southern Living magazine's 2016 list of Innovators in the Changing South.

Natalie Davis is a political science professor at Birmingham-Southern College and a well-known political commentator in Alabama. One of her current courses, "Politics, The Media, and American Democracy," explores the relationship between those three entities. The topic couldn't be more appropriate in this time of media-bashing by politicians and the public alike.

Stuart Englert is the former senior editor of Nashville-based American Profile, the weekly newspaper insert which, at its height, was distributed to 10 million homes and businesses each week. He worked for newspapers in Indiana and Idaho before moving to Nashville in 1997. In 2015, he published "Sold Out: How an American Magazine Lost Its Soul," a nonfiction book chronicling the rise and fall of American Profile. His recent venture into fiction writing has resulted in "Paradox—Valley of the Sheeple" and "Beyond Paradox—The Great Awakening," the first two books in an allegorical novel series.

Tricks for Loosening Up A Tough Subject: How do you prevail and get your best story when your interview subject clams up? Carolanne Griffith Roberts, former newspaper TV critic and Travel/ Features Editor for Southern Living magazine, shares her tricks of the trade.

head shot of cynthia price looking at the camera.
Cynthia Price

#TweetPitch Success: Former NFPW President Cynthia Price, director of Media and Public Relations at the University of Richmond, shows how to use Twitter to pitch the media, respond to reporter requests and amplify your reach.

Writing Successful Grant Proposals: Applying project management techniques developed during 30 years in the IT Department of BellSouth, Herb Patterson has raised $858,000 for Alabama nonprofits by writing powerful applications for grants. In this workshop, he reveals the secrets of his 70 percent success rate.

Maintaining Objectivity While Covering Racially Charged Events: Small communities and large cities are facing challenges in reporting events where race becomes an issue. Hear what a reporter, judge and former policewoman has to say about how we can report what's happening accurately and without bias.