Training & Professional Development

VPA offers a variety of affordable, topical, and practical training and professional development opportunities to help our members learn and apply new knowledge and skills that will improve their performance on the job and their publication’s capacity to produce quality journalism.

VPA members receive significant discounts on training and professional development offerings which include but are not limited to:

  • Annual Conference

Every year, VPA hosts our premier event – the annual conference and awards banquet. Hundreds of VPA members gather from across the state to network, celebrate, exchange ideas and resources, and have fun.


Mark your calendars now! We have an incredible line up planned for you, with speakers from Google, The Washington Post, a new Technology Workshop and networking social on Friday, and more. To make the 2018 conference even more exciting, the Virginia Pro Chapter of SPJ is co-hosting the event.


“I loved getting a chance to interact with people from small publications such as mine. I also learned about work I want to read, which is terrific.”

Annual Conference Guest

“My favorite parts were the sessions that focused on teaching us to be excellent.”

Annual Conference Guest

“A moving, inspirational keynote. One of the best I’ve heard. Besides the impact of an authentic personal experience, Mr. French also provided helpful details for people who might be considering writing a book. His gift for language, even when speaking, holds an audience’s attention. You could hardly hear a pin drop in the room during his presentation.”

On 2017 Keynote, Tom French

  • Sales & Advertising Conference

VPA offers a one-day conference focused specifically on our advertising and sales professional members. This information-packed, practical training offers sales and advertising with tactics, strategies, and data to create long-term revenue growth and productivity.

Details about the 2018 event will be posted when registration opens.

“Love the truth telling and candor about the industry and that he gave actionable tips, tricks, and tactics.”
Sales & Advertising Conference Guest
“Very engaging and pertinent information.”
Sales & Advertising Conference Guest

Sales & Advertising Conference 2017

  • Community Journalism Workshop

Every year, VPA offers a two-day journalism crash-course ideal for students and new staff. This workshop is also perfect for experienced professionals who want a refresher and the opportunity to network with and learn from their peers and emerging journalists.

Led by Virginia journalists with decades of combined print and digital expertise, this workshop tackles things like:
  • the fundamentals of news reporting and writing
  • interview tips
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • story structure
  • ledes
  • ethics
  • digital media
  • accuracy and fairness
  • time management

Plus, each participant gets an individualized critique of their work.

Details about the 2018 event will be posted when registration opens.

“It was nice to hear from presenters with different backgrounds and experience levels. They were all clear, well-spoken and informative.”
Community Journalism Workshop Guest

” I came out of this with inspiration to better my work environment and forge a new era at my establishment.”

Community Journalism Workshop Guest
  • VPA Day in the Capital

Each year before the Virginia General Assembly begins, VPA holds its annual VPA Legislative Day in RVA.

The event is one of VPA’s most popular events. We select journalists, industry professionals, state officials and legislators to lead panels throughout the day that discuss and analyze key subjects that the upcoming Assembly will be confronting. The event is meant to be an exclusive preview for working journalists and students of the upcoming session. In 2017, the keynote address was delivered by then Governor-elect Ralph Northam.