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Around twenty-five eager writers gathered at 5th and H Cafe Wednesday night for Sacramento Press' Interviewing Techniques Workshop. The audience included Sacramento Press community contributors and interns as well as career writers looking to strengthen their interviewing skills. Pizza and pasta salad were provided as well as an array of beverages.
The event was taught by Sacramento City College English and journalism professor Doug Herndon. Herndon used a metaphor to emphasize the role of a good interview in the process of writing a story:
"(Writing a story) is like cooking a meal. It's all in the ingredients."
The workshop began with the audience jotting down a few questions which they then used to interview a partner. Herndon went through the interviewing process, from making the first phone call to asking the tough questions. He also discussed general details of interviewing including what to wear and the importance of bringing extra supplies, such as pens or batteries.
While Herndon gave many interviewing tips, he warned against long and leading questions.
"You never want to put words in anybody's mouth," Herndon said.
The night wrapped up with questions from the audience on topics such as appropriate word count and accessibility of public records.
Photos by Colleen Belcher