Camp for aspiring sports writers set for July 26

From staff reports

Those interested in learning to write sports for a hobby or profession or how to have their sports photographs published are invited to take part in a sports writing/sports photography camp that will be held at three locations on Saturday, July 26.
The camp will make a stop at the office of the Choctaw Plaindealer located at 48 North Louisville Street in Ackerman from 1-3 p.m. Sessions will also be offered at the Webster Progress-Times in Eupora (58 North Dunn Street) from 10 a.m-Noon and at the Winston County Journal in Louisville (119 North Court) from 4-6 pm.
The camp is being directed by award-winning sports writer Austin Bishop. Attendees will be taught the basics of gathering information on sporting events ranging from how to gather and put together facts, stats and quotes into a story form, and how to get those articles published.
Bishop has been writing sports for 38 years and has been sports editor of numerous newspapers in Mississippi over his career, including the Meridian Star, Laurel Leader-Call and Natchez Democrat. He is presently the sports director for the Winston County Journal, Webster Progress Times and Choctaw Plaindealer.
He began his career at the age of 17 as a volunteer sports writer for his hometown newspaper, the Winston County Journal.
“There are so many people who really enjoy sports and want to be involved,” Bishop said. “We just thought this would be a good way to give them the basics and answer questions about how to go about the process. We will talk about fact and stat gathering, how and when to conduct interviews, and how to build relationships with coaches and schools.”
The camp is free and is open to anyone 15 and older.
“Over my career I have hired many sports writers and published many volunteer sports writers and photographers and you would be amazed what background they come from,” he said. “There have been high school kids, former coaches, businessmen, moms and dads, teachers, retirees and politicians. It’s really amazing.
“The key is to have an interest in sports, a willingness to learn, be impartial in your writing, and have the ability to perform an assigned task within a time frame,” he said.
Bishop also noted that the potential to turn the hobby of photography into having sports photos actually published has multiplied over the years.
“With the photography equipment available these days, including cell phones, the possibility of having a photo published has greatly increased,” he said.
Helping Bishop with the sports writers camp will be photographer Mike Robertson.
“I had noticed some of Mike’s nature photography on Facebook and asked him if he had ever thought about shooting sports or news,” Bishop said. “Mike began shooting news and sports shots for a newspaper I worked for and now has been published in several newspapers in the area.”
Robertson will be sharing tips on camera settings and how to be prepared to take that special shot.
While walk-ins are allowed, it is asked that all those interested in attending one of the sessions on July 26 to RSVP by contacting Winston County Journal at 662-773-6241.
There will also be a registration form appearing in other editions of the Choctaw Plaindealer over the next several weeks.
For more information feel free to contact Bishop at 601-938-2471.