Skip to main content
University of Texas at Austin
University Interscholastic League Logo
University Interscholastic League Logo
Leaguer Header Logo


2012 ILPC Convention Is Ready for You

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Monday, August 27, 2012 1:39 PM

Yesterday was a fantastic day.

I went to the 2012 ILPC Spring Convention.

I know what you are thinking. The convention was in April. It was. But I still went yesterday, and you can go tomorrow if you want.

During the convention this past spring, UIL’s awesome public affairs guy, Chris Schmidt, filmed five of the break-out sessions for us. Then over the summer, Chris edited the videos (like taking out Bobby Hawthorne’s profanity) for public consumption – starting with me.

This week I watched as journalism guru Bobby Hawthorne clued his audience in on how to write powerful leads, as Professor Scott Winter taught students to “hang out” to get the real story, as JEA president Mark Newton inspired the crowd to find stories in every day life, as teacher extraordinaire Leland Mallet pushed journalists to think about new ways to report online and as Austin-American Statesman writer Dave Harmon reminded reporters that interviewing well is no easy task.

I was inspired, entertained and informed.

Hopefully, you and your students will be, too.

Because of budget cuts, proms, athletic conflicts and many more reasons, a lot Texas scholastic journalists and their advisers never make it to the ILPC Spring Convention.

So we wanted to give those journalists and their advisers access to a variety of sessions at the convention. These five videos have been posted to our website with the two that Chris shot in 2011 (Lori Oglesbee and Jeff Moffit). That’s seven break-out sessions from some of our best speakers for you and your students to take in this year.

I had one friend who warned me: “Your enrollment will drop if you give them the break-out sessions on video.”

I think my friend is wrong.

The videos are great, and I believe they could be great tools in your classroom. But the videos don’t replace the convention. It’s only a small taste of what we offer. Professional journalists, professors, teachers and others present more than 100 different sessions during the two days. Yearbook vendors line the halls of UT to share what’s new and their latest swag. We display the Individual Achievement Award winners, and we announce our top awards. A few videos can’t replicate that.

In fact, the opposite might just happen. I think the videos may inspire students and teachers to make the trip to Austin in April. A little taste may not be enough.
So as you begin this school year, use these videos as you see fit. I hope they will make your job a little easier for a day or two, and I hope they will inspire your students to push themselves and strive for excellence.

In case you and your students get the bug to come to the 2013 ILPC Spring Convention, we welcome you! The convention will be held April 27-28, 2013 at the University of Texas at Austin. More details will be available in January, but I can guarantee one thing — we will have incredible speakers for you and your students.

The link to the videos is:

A quick reminder that ILPC membership is open and ready. Here is the link: (look for the red button on the right).

Yearbooks for critiques and Yearbook Individual Achievement Awards are due Dec. 1. Please make sure you have paid your membership fees and contest fees before sending in your contest materials.

If you are new adviser, please do not hesitate to contact me about ILPC or UIL journalism events. I am happy to answer any questions and help you navigate through all of the information. My direct line is 512.232.4924 or my email is

And if you are a seasoned adviser (notice I did not say ‘old’), please don't hesitate to call or email if you need anything. My job is to serve advisers (which is why I may have the best job in the world).

Good luck everyone as this new school year begins!