Week 5 / Oct. 9: Guest speaker Eternity Martis on nonfiction storytelling, plus PechaKucha workshop and Coffee + Writing Circle

If you haven’t read the course outline which contains the complete schedule as well as readings and details about the course assignments, please do so before reading this post.

This week’s course materials:
Talking to my family about race (Martis, 2019)
Know your history, know your greatness (Martis, 2016)
PechaKucha: Tips, resources & examples (Cronin, 2012)
Creating a PechaKucha presentation using Google Slides (Begnini, 2015)

This week’s guest really needs no introduction, but I’ll do one anyway.

Eternity Martis is a writer and editor (RSJ instructor and an MJ grad!) whose first book, They Said This Would Be Fun, is coming out in January. Eternity is a senior editor at Xtra and a graduate of Western University, where she completed a double honours major in English Language and Literature and Women’s Studies along with a Certificate in Writing. Her writing has been featured in Vice, Huffington PostThe Walrus, CBC, Hazlitt, tvo.org, The Fader, The Agenda, and was selected by Roxane Gay as part of Salon‘s series highlighting writers of colour. Her work has helped change media style guides across Canada. We’ll be talking about the journalistic underpinnings of essay writing and how to report for nonfiction stories.

FRIDAY MEMO: A reminder that your fourth Friday Memo is due as a 350-400-word post on your individual blog on Friday, Oct. 11 before 5 p.m. You will be writing a weekly reflective blog post updating me, your supervisor and your peer partner on your progress with the production of your MRP. Topics you might want to address include interviews, research, visuals, pivots, challenges and triumphs. You will receive a Pass (10) for each published post and a Fail (0) for each week missed. Each week, I will raise issues that come up for class discussion.

Achitects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, inventors of the PechaKucha format of presentation

PECHAKUCHA WORKSHOP: For the last 90 minutes of this week’s class, you’ll be working on building your PechaKucha presentation for our Oct. 23 class. Please sign up for your preferred presentation time slot here.

Consider it your extended “elevator pitch.” PechaKucha is a storytelling format in which presenters show 20 slides that stay up for 20 seconds each. The idea is that with 6 minutes and 40 seconds each and rotating visuals, presenters will “talk less and show more.” Each student will present 20 slides about their MRP, whether it’s an image of a story subject, a document, a place, text, within the allotted time.

It’s okay if you haven’t completed all of your reporting at this point, but you should be able to tell your story. You will receive a graded mark evaluating the quality of your presentation and your progress on your project. For tips and resources related to building PechaKucha presentations, click here.

COFFEE + WRITING CIRCLE: After our Oct. 23 class, we will no longer be meeting in-person on Wednesdays. You will be working with your supervisor on producing a first draft of your MRP by December 13. To help keep you on track with your MRP, we’re launching an MJ Coffee + Writing Circle that meets on Wednesdays (until mid-December) from 2-4 pm in the Catalyst. I hope that this regular two-hour window offers you a chance to get together informally and help each other out on your projects.

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