THREAD program for journalists and storytellers returns for its second year

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Last year's THREAD participants are pictured with Mark Oppenheimer (front and center), director of the Yale Journalism Initiative.

Journalists and storytellers from across the United States and abroad will gather at Yale this June to learn from masters in the field and from each other during the THREAD at Yale program. 

An offshoot of the Yale Journalism Initiative (, THREAD is returning June 5-8 after a successful inaugural year in 2015. The program is geared towards journalists and storytellers who work in print, video, podcasting, audio, photography, and hybrid forms. Unlike some other journalists’ gatherings, THREAD combines lectures with small group workshops to ensure participants receive close, personal attention. There is no preference for “mid-career” applicants, only a genuine enthusiasm for the art of storytelling. Anyone interested in narrative and storytelling is welcome to apply. 

“We care deeply about narrative journalism, but we don’t care if it’s on paper, on a computer screen, on the radio, downloaded as a podcast, in photographs, or streaming as video,” said Mark Oppenheimer, the New York Times religion columnist who is also director of the Yale Journalism Initiative. “We are thrilled to host this kind of program with no media boundaries.” 

The program’s mentors and speakers have been selected for their diversity of work across platforms. They include leading storytellers such as Glynn Washington, host and executive producer of the public radio show “Snap Judgment”; Sarah Stillman, a staff writer for The New Yorker; Catherine Burns, artistic director of “The Moth”; and Jill Abramson, formerly executive editor of The New York Times.

Participants from the 2015 program praised the depth and breadth of the candid discussions and said they left Yale with numerous ideas for innovating and improving their craft. “THREAD gave me insights into the craft of storytelling that have already changed the way I write. I’ve come away totally energized by the incredible work I’ve seen and heard. These three stimulating days have raised my standards for what I might do, creatively and professionally,” said Margo True, food editor at Sunset Magazine. 

Ed Romanoff, CEO and founder of PineRock Productions, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Having produced and attended conferences worldwide for 30 years, THREAD provided a singularly superb experience in crafting stories and meaningful connections with an audience. The program and setting exceeded all expectations within the first 24 hours.” 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 program. The deadline to apply is April 1 and space is limited. For information on how to apply and to sign up for THREAD’s newsletter of storytelling insights, visit the THREAD website. 

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