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Why Do You Love Yearbook?

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is the time of year when the Walsworth Yearbooks Podcast Network celebrates love in all its forms – especially the love of yearbook! In this episode, host Mike Taylor, CJE, interviewed four yearbook staffs about why they love yearbook. He spoke to the staffs of Braden River High School in Bradenton, Florida; Liberty North High School in Liberty, Missouri; Kearney High School in Kearney, Missouri; and Lee’s Summit High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.


What are some cool things middle school yearbooks are doing?

Some of the work being done by middle school and junior high yearbook staffs is absolutely amazing. That’s why host Mike Taylor sat down with the yearbook staffs of Carl Albert Middle School and Cactus Canyon Junior High to discuss what they’re doing right, what they’re working on, and what will happen when they move on to high school.


How to I Reach the "Aha!" Moment? An Interview with Colonial Forge

When the yearbook editors of Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Virginia, attended an Elite Weekend at the beginning of the year, their stress was evident to Mike Taylor. Now, several months later, they've come a long way. Mike sat down with adviser Tiffany Kopcak and two editors to discuss how they reached their "Aha!" moment.


How can I Improve my Yearbook Photography?

Mitchell Franz, of Yoakum, Texas, is a photographer. He started out as a scholastic journalism student and now, at 29 years old, he makes his living from his photography. In this episode, Mitchell and host Mike Taylor discuss the ways yearbook staffs can make their photography better. Plus, they challenge photographers to take great academic photos. Listen to the episode for details on how to win a $50 gift card from Mike and Mitchell.


How do I stop my staff from writing bad stories?

A great story starts with a great interview. In this episode, host Mike Taylor, CJE, interviews the staffs of Seminole High School, Gainesville High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Eastern Lebanon County High School about creating great stories and great spreads. They shared their advice for getting great stories into the yearbook – from checking in with writers to the basics of a good interview. They talk about writing stories about the whole school, the benefit of being...


How can I level up my yearbook?

In this special WYPN crossover episode, host Mike Taylor teams up with Jim Jordan, of Yearbook Chat with Jim, to talk about leveling up your yearbook! They bring in yearbook experts do discuss the possibilities and ways yearbook staffs can make improvements. They also speak to advisers and staffs about the ways they want to Level Up their yearbooks for 2020! Get some help achieving your goals. Enter the Walsworth Yearbooks Level Up contest at walsworthyearbooks.com/level-up and you could...


Always be Selling

Creating a yearbook is fun, but most staffs can't accomplish that without the funds raised from sales! In this episode, host Mike Taylor speaks to students at several different schools about how they sell and market their yearbooks. Find Ask Mike on Twitter, @yrbkmiketaylor and don't forget to use #AskMike.


The Bicoastal Episode

Host Mike Taylor spends a lot of time traveling from yearbook workshop to yearbook workshop all over the United States. At two recent workshops, one in California and one in Florida, he was especially impressed with the editors at Saugus High School and Freedom High School. So he interviewed them! These students already have impressive yearbook careers. They shared their experiences and their expectations for their 2020 yearbook.


From the El Paso Summer Yearbook Workshop

Ask Mike is back and ready to talk about yearbooks! Host Mike Taylor, CJE, kicks off season three with interviews done at the summer yearbook workshop in El Paso, Texas. In this episode, Mike interviews a great group of students about their yearbook hopes, dreams and fears for the 2020 school year.


What’s in a theme?

What makes a great theme? In this episode Mike Taylor, CJE, answers the questions and walks you through how to find a great theme for your 2020 book. Taylor explains his theme-finding exercise that’s broken down into seven-minute increments. You can get a powerpoint presentation with even more inspiration. Just ask him! Email Mike at mike.taylor@walsworth.com or find him on Twitter, @yrbkmiketaylor. Plus, Mike explains what “What’s the T?” really means (check it out at the 34 minute mark).


Live From Anaheim

Recorded live at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim on April 26, 2019. Host Mike Taylor's session from the conference floor. Featuring 12 "micro-interviews" with yearbook advisers and staffs, Mike asked the all-important question, "How has journalism helped you?"


What Sets These Yearbooks Apart from the Crowd?

Some yearbook staffs impress year after year, despite staff changes or a new adviser. So how do they do it? Mike Taylor answers the question in this episode! He sat down with staff members from three Florida schools that are frequent award winners: Hagerty, J.W. Mitchell and Palm Harbor University High School. The eight yearbook editors in this podcast share their methods for creating excellent yearbooks and ensuring next year’s will be even better, even if they won’t be there any more...


How do I create a podcast?

Looking for something to do with your students after your yearbook is complete? Consider creating a podcast! In this episode, host Mike Taylor and Samantha Jo Berry, the publications adviser at Bridgeland High School in Houston, Texas, discuss the ins and outs of podcasting. That's right, it's a podcast about podcasting! Podcasts hold enormous educational value for students. They teach important skills like listening and storytelling. Plus, they're fun to create and don't actually require...


How do I take my yearbook from picture book to journalistic masterpiece?

Four years ago, the yearbook program at Williamsville North High School in Williamsville, New York, was fine. They weren’t creating award-winning or journalistic yearbooks, but their yearbook club was creating image-based books that the community liked well enough. However, that wasn’t good enough for adviser Erin DeVantier. Once her eyes were opened to the possibilities journalistic yearbooks offer, she brought on English teacher Kate Curcio to kick their yearbook program into high...


What should I know about CSPA?

Season Two of Ask Mike kicks off with a bang! Host Mike Taylor, CJE, discusses the importance of Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) and the services they offer with Executive Director Ed Sullivan. Mike and Ed cover the benefits of being a CSPA member, the difference between their critiques and contests, and dive into the details of the upcoming annual Spring Convention. You can learn more about CSPA at cspa.columbia.edu. You can find Mike on Twitter @yrbkmiketaylor. Ask him a...


How do I take even better photos?

Your yearbook staff may already take great photos, but there's always room for improvement. That's where photography expert Mark Murray comes in. He knew he wanted to teach photography when he was just a kid, and made that dream come true. Mark and host Mike Taylor discuss the keys to great photography, from composition to equipment to etiquette. Mark has great advice to share for every part of scholastic photojournalism. Be sure to stick around to the end, for the Ask Mike questions...


How do I find and tell awesome yearbook stories?

Finding great yearbook stories can be a challenge. Yearbook staffs want to make every year different, but much of the school year is always the same. There are always football games. Prom always happens. Two great advisers are here to help your staff fight the yearbook doldrums! Tiffany Kopcak, from Colonial Forge High School in Virginia, has a staff that consistently turns out great student life stories. Brit Taylor, from Hagerty High School in Florida, has turned his staff into amazing...


How can student leaders coach great writers?

Some students are born leaders. Some develop into great leaders. Either way, strong student leadership fosters strong yearbook programs. Recorded on location at the Elite Weekend yearbook workshop in Kansas City this September, host Mike Taylor found for extraordinary young women leading their yearbook staffs. Addie Von Drehle and Emily Cooper are the EICs at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. Kelsey Volk and Molly Elfrink are copy editors at Shawnee Mission...


Why should I join NSPA?

Happy National Yearbook Week! This week is all about celebrating yearbook and building a better yearbook program. That makes it the perfect time for host Mike Taylor to bring in Gary Lundgren of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). In this episode, Mike and Gary discuss the benefits of NSPA members, and how the organization helps yearbook staffs and advisers hone their craft. They cover the difference between a critique and the eminent Pacemaker competition, NSPA's upcoming...


What makes yearbook storytelling great?

Bruce Watterson is widely known as "The Yearbook Whisperer," and episode eight of Ask Mike helps illustrate how he earned that title. Watterson and host Mike Taylor delve into the possibilities yearbook staffs can create. In their conversation, Watterson and Taylor cover the topics of creativity, digital storytelling tools, winning awards, the perfect yearbook and the benefits of yearbook critiques. Even after 44 years in the yearbook business, Watterson's enthusiasm continues to shine...