For the first time, the staff of the student-run Grytte newspaper attended the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's (CSPA) Annual Fall Conference. Hosted at Columbia University's historic Morningside Heights campus, the one-day regional conference offers schools from across the U.S. sequences focused on writing, editing, management, design, photography and digital media.
CSPA has been critiquing student publications since 1925 and hosting related conferences for students at Columbia since 1940. The CSPA conference website describes the day as "rich and varied, with experienced advisers and journalists serving as session leaders."
The Grytte staff, whose members range from Form I-VI, attended sessions on writing and editing, staff organization, design and layout and special areas of coverage. One of the youngest Grytte staffers later remarked, "The conference was truly amazing because the speakers we heard from all work at top professional publications such as The New York Times. It was really exciting and definitely a conference I'd like to attend again!"
In between sessions, the boys enjoyed the unseasonably warm November weather on the steps leading to the Low Memorial Library, where they posed for a group shot with "Alma Mater," the bronze sculpture of the goddess Athena by Daniel Chester French, perhaps best known for designing the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Between tips gained at the conferences and rubbing elbows with the Greek goddess of wisdom, the Grytte boys gained valuable knowledge that they are putting into practice as they prepare their first issue of the 2015-16 school year. Plans call for the Grytte to be distributed to the school community and young alumni at the end of the Thanksgiving assembly at Christ Church on November 24.