Instead of This, TRY THIS – Planning Your 2021 Coverage

Planning your yearbook coverage is a whole new ball game this year. Previous years may have allowed you to take last year’s ladder and tweak it for the upcoming year, but some schools are completely reimagining their coverage approach. That may sound scary, but it’s actually a great thing!

Kayanna Pham

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Ask Mike

October 16, 2020 / Ask Mike / Coverage / Fall 2020

How many new words and phrases have entered your vocabulary since March? Social distancing, mask mandate, virtual learning and now, time to add another phrase to the vocabulary: crowdsourcing. You may ask, “What is this crowdsourcing and why would I need it for the yearbook?” Let me explain. The staff wants to do a spread…

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Let’s talk about quick reads. First of all, what is a quick read? You may call them another name – sidebar, secondary coverage, mod, even side salad. No matter what they are called, they have an objective; tell a story or give more information about a story in short, digestible bits. Given that the readers…

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November 19, 2019 / Ask Mike / Fall 2019 / Theme

You have a theme. You have even created or are working on a cover. You might have worked on theme-related pages that are traditionally found in every yearbook, such as the endsheets, title page, opening, closing and division spreads. Now it’s time to do the storytelling, right? But wait. What about the theme? What about…

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November 7, 2019 / Ask Mike / Photography / Podcasts

Mitchell Franz, from Yoakum, Texas, wanted to be a writer when he was a kid. He joined his school’s journalism program, where the small staff size mandated that everyone take photos for their publications. With encouragement from his adviser, Paula Adamak (now Walsworth Yearbooks rep Paula Griffin), he fell in love with scholastic journalism and…

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August 7, 2019 / Ask Mike / Podcasts

A note from the producer: This episode of Ask Mike was recorded during the recent yearbook workshop held in El Paso, Texas. While editing the episode, I fell in love with the border community, despite never having visited. The love Mike Taylor has for El Paso is also evident. The young people interviewed in this…

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May 23, 2019 / Ask Mike / Podcasts / Theme

Mike Taylor, CJE, believes yearbook theme copy should be so strong that the school principal can read from it at graduation. Writing strong copy for the whole school year is no easy feat considering themes are typically developed in October. Some schools are even working on their 2020 themes now – in the spring of…

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Over the last several years, I became known by the title of Ask Mike. This is mainly due to the questions I get when traveling around the country or through my podcast called Ask Mike. Now it’s time to answer some of those questions. D’Angilo in Kansas writes: Hey Mike, when we look at our…

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February 14, 2019 / Ask Mike / Podcasts

A beacon for student journalism, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) is only weeks away from its 95th annual Spring Convention in New York City. What better time for Mike Taylor, CJE, to interview the organization’s executive director, Ed Sullivan? For the first episode of the Ask Mike podcast’s second season, Taylor and Sullivan discuss…

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October 25, 2018 / Ask Mike / Podcasts

With many schools just past that first big yearbook deadline, now is the perfect time to refocus on storytelling. In this week’s episode of Ask Mike, host Mike Taylor, CJE, speaks to two advisers who lead their students to tell great stories. Tiffany Kopcak Tiffany Kopcak teaches her students to eavesdrop. Really. That’s how the…

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September 25, 2018 / Ask Mike / Design / Fall 2018 / Idea File Magazine

For this issue of Idea File, I have collaborated with my good friend Becky Tate from Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. We decided there are two areas of design that everyone should pay attention to – deciding on and using fonts correctly, and creating pages/spreads that will visually help tell the…

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