(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA – Jan. 21, 2020) - A newspaper submission workshop will be held at the Stillwater Public Library, 1107 South Duck Street, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Guidelines and tips for writing and submitting releases, articles and letters to the editor to the Stillwater area newspapers will be given by NewsPress and Stillwater Journal staff.

The class, “How to Get Published in the Local Newspaper,” has been organized by a group of organizations who believe viable local newspapers are essential to the community. The groups include Centennial Rotary, Frontier Rotary, Stillwater Rotary, Lions, Golden Kiwanis, Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, Visit Stillwater, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and Stillwater Public Library. 

The class was first offered in the fall, and the high attendance and positive feedback led the group to schedule a repeat performance.

While staff associated with the local newspapers will provide class content, Stacy DeLano, director of the Stillwater Public Library, says the newspapers themselves were not involved in organizing the program.

“This is a community effort of people and groups concerned about what will happen with a newspaper-free Stillwater,” DeLano said. 

According to DeLano, the public library is one of those concerned groups.

“Newspapers are essential to our community,” DeLano said. “The NewsPress and the Journal provide information about our community that is not carried by state and national sources or through the internet. The papers help us understand what is happening in and to our community, as well preserving the history of our town.”

DeLano says the importance of a physical newspaper is easy to see when doing research.

“When we do research and are missing a microfilmed newspaper for a specific date, it is as if the town did not exist on that day,” DeLano said. “And instead of making it easier, information published online has made getting news history even harder. If you go online for a piece of news not covered widely and the news was removed from a site or not archived, you are out of luck.

“Because online archiving methods are so inconsistent and expensive right now, we are not talking about a few days of missing news. We are talking about news gaps of months and maybe years. 

“At some point, we’ll have a more practical and economic method of preserving online news, but that time is not going to be anytime soon. Until then, a physical newspaper is our best hope for preserving the history of our community.”

According to DeLano, townspeople help contribute to a healthy local paper.

“As people move to getting their news online, newspaper staff have had to cut costs by eliminating writers and photographers. That’s where community members come in. We hope this class will give interested writers and photographers the information they need to provide high quality submissions to the papers.”

To help attendees learn that information, Perkins and Stillwater Journal publisher David Sasser and NewsPress journalist Michelle Charles will provide sessions on the history of local papers, best formats for writing submissions, creating eye catching headlines, using AP style writing and taking print-worthy photographs.

Cristy Morrison of Visit Stillwater will emcee the program and moderate a panel with questions from the audience. The Friends of the Library are providing refreshments and beverages.

The workshop is free, but requires registration. To sign up, call the library Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106, email askalibrarian@stillwater.org or register online at tinyurl.com/getpublishednews. 

For more information go to library.stillwater.org.