We invite other obit-writing reporters and newsfolk to join SPOW - which, like this Web site, is in its formative stages - and to attend a workshop for professional obituary writers that will be held May 8-11 at The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon.
The Society of Professional Obituary Writers will hold its organizational convention at the Portland workshop to adopt bylaws, elect a board and make plans for the future.
SPOW also will present awards to recognize some of the most notable obituary writing of 2007. Details on the obit writing contest, which will feature numerous categories, will be posted here as they become available.
Amy Starke and Joan Harvey of The Oregonian are lining up speakers and topics for the workshop that are sure to boost our professional development by enhance our skills and understanding of death-related issues.
Jack Hart, nationally known writer's coach, will conduct one of his special writing intensives at the workshop.
Don Colburn, Oregonian reporter, will kick off a discussion of handling suicides in obituaries with a talk on Oregon's assisted suicide law and how it works.
Also in the works: Sessions on multimedia, advance obits, writing obituaries for paying clients, community newspapers and much more.
As stated at the top of the page, SPOW and obitwriters.org, as well as the workshop at The Oregonian, are works in progress. We welcome your input.