2017 Power of Words

Mayborn Multimedia High School Workshop journalists recap Lit Con 2017.


Journalist Jeffrey Weiss enters a room full of cameras, lights and curious storytellers, a fedora on his head covering the scars from surgery with a piece of paper strapped to it. On the paper are words his wife wrote in bold, bubble letters: Cancer sucks. The seasoned writer mics up and sits down under the scrutiny of the interview room surrounded by a group of young, eager journalists as they prepare for their first interview of the Mayborn Multimedia High School Workshop.

The interview covers Weiss’ career, his battle with cancer and his advice to aspiring journalists. The young storytellers watch, listen and take notes of Weiss’ words. As the interview comes to an end, Weiss does a little dance, remembering the feeling he possessed on a recent trip to the national Newseum. With the attention focused on him as he freely speaks, Weiss does not skip a beat.

“Do more journalism folks. Do journalism, and make sure it’s good journalism.”

These stories are our effort to not let him down.

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Tom Huang (left) moderates a panel where Jeffrey Weiss (right), a journalist since 1981, shares with the audience of the 2017 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference that his love for the field comes from his curiosity.  Photo by Alexis Rosebrock

The Mayborn School of Journalism Multimedia High School Workshop is a week-long residential workshop that takes place annually at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, TX and at the University of North Texas.

High school students and incoming college freshman from all over Texas were invited to be immersed in the world of professional journalists. For the first two days at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, students listen to featured speakers, conduct interviews and interact with professionals who are the best in their fields. The workshop continues on campus at the University of North Texas with the students developing their stories from the conference. For six days, the students are engulfed in interviewing, filming, writing and editing to create a unique story of their own.