Ask Mike show

Ask Mike

Summary: Need to sharpen your yearbook skills? Ask Mike! In season one of this podcast from the Walsworth Yearbooks Podcast Network (WYPN), Mike Taylor explores what it takes to tell a great story with your yearbook, with a few laughs along the way. Mike enhances his already immense yearbook knowledge through interviews with yearbook advisers across the country, and helps advisers and staffs create their amazing yearbooks. Do you have a burning yearbook question you’d like to ask Mike? Send it to

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 What’s in a theme? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:19

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 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 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:26

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? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:09

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 next year!

 How do I create a podcast? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:57

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! Mike and Sam walk through the ins and outs of podcasting, and why they're a great project for journalism students.

 How do I take my yearbook from picture book to journalistic masterpiece? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:49

Four years ago, the yearbook program at Williamsville North High School in Williamsville, New York, was fine. Their yearbook club was creating image-based books that the community liked. However, that wasn’t good enough for adviser Erin DeVantier. Once her eyes were opened to the possibilities journalistic yearbooks offer, she brought on Kate Curcio to kick their yearbook program into high gear. It worked. Their second-ever journalistic yearbook is a CSPA Crown finalist.

 What should I know about CSPA? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:06

Season Two 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 You can find Mike on Twitter @yrbkmiketaylor.

 How do I take even better photos? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:12

Your yearbook staff may already take great photos, but there's always room for improvement. That's where photography expert Mark Murray comes in. 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. If you have questions for Mike, send them to or find Mike on Twitter, @yrbkmiketaylor and #AskMike.

 How do I find and tell awesome yearbook stories? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:34

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 has a staff that consistently turns out great student life stories. Brit Taylor has turned his staff into amazing sports writers. By the end of the episode, you'll be ready for a major brainstorming session!

 How can student leaders coach great writers? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:36

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. These four students sat down with Mike to share their yearbook stories, and discuss how they help their staffs develop their writing skills.

 Why should I join NSPA? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:16

Happy National Yearbook Week! NYW is 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. Learn more about NSPA at You can find Mike Taylor on Twitter at @yrbkmiketaylor (#AskMike) or

 What makes yearbook storytelling great? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:06

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. 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 throughout the conversation.

 How do I market my yearbook? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:48

Kathy Beers is a marketing genius. It's not just us who think that. Her creative methods are used by yearbook staffs far and wide.  In this episode of Ask Mike, Kathy chats with host Mike Taylor about some of her favorite methods to sell yearbooks and ads. For example, she doesn't call them "senior ads." They're "senior tributes," and it works! Kathy shares more than 30 minutes worth of selling advice, then Mike brings in fellow advisers who have used her methods to discuss what works with them. 

 How can I be a great yearbook editor? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:09

Mike Taylor is helping editors prepare for the school year in episode six of Ask Mike! He interviews former yearbook editors, current editors just starting their year, and even brings in a couple of advisers! They discuss how yearbook helped recent graduates prepare for college, how busy editors balance yearbook with all their other school activities, and what two editors with an inexperienced staff will do to ensure a great year. 

 Why should I do a yearbook boot camp? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:39

In this episode of Ask Mike, Mike Taylor discusses yearbook boot camp!  At the start of the year, guest advisers Allison Miller and Susan McNulty each run their own yearbook boot camp. It helps them start the year off right! They're sharing how they run their boot camps, and dishing about the importance of bonding among staff members.  Do you have a question for Mike Taylor? Use #AskMike on Twitter or send them to 

 Why should I attend an Elite Weekend? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:33

In Episode 4, Mike Taylor discusses the benefits of attending an Elite Weekend. He and former attendees discuss how they took their yearbook to the next level in one weekend. 


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