So You Want to Start a Blog? Workshop with David Perry

March 24, 2022 by Sonja Johnston

David Perry and Adam Stemple will be leading a FREE hands-on blogging workshop over three days in May!


  • Monday, May 16, 2022⁠—1:00pm to 3:00pm EDT
  • Tuesday, May 17, 2022⁠—1:00pm to 3:00pm EDT
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2022⁠—1:00pm to 3:00pm EDT

Workshop Leaders

David Perry and Adam Stemple

David Perry, University of Minnesota. Perry is a journalist and historian who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, CNN, and many other outlets. In 2013 he also started a blog and over the next few years, wrote over 1400 blog posts. In the Chronicle of Higher Education, he wrote, “Not only is “the blog” alive and well as a form, but one of its most vibrant subsections is the academic blog. It remains a good avenue for engaging the public. Anyone can set up a blog, often within a matter of minutes, and use it to communicate ideas that don’t otherwise fit into your scholarly publishing world. A blog offers a way to share your ideas with peers inside those networks.”

In this three day hands-on workshop, you will discuss how this form of public writing fits within your life and career, develop ideas for your site, and then create a blog with the support of Perry and Adam Stemple. Stemple is a professional web designer with a long history building academic and literary websites. He will walk participants through the process of creating a blog, step by step, leaving you with a working site by the end of the workshop and an understanding of how to grow from there.


  • Start a personal, academic, or hybrid website
  • Develop iterative writing practices
  • Learn about social media sites and how to use them to build a readership for your blog
  • Consult with a website design professional on your own design
  • Discuss how personal websites do and do not connect with academic careers (whether faculty or otherwise)

Day 1: So You Want to Start a Blog?

  • Discussion: Why and how I wrote 1423 blog posts
  • Introductions: You and your blog ideas
  • Mechanics (single or group, design, platform, topic)
  • Personal vs professional; Paid vs free
  • Blogging vs other kinds of formal public writing

Day 2: Workshop

  • Workshop writing with each other, breakout rooms, collective discussion
  • Design critiques with a website design professional
  • Whole group discussion of posts and design

Day 3: Joining Bigger Conversations

  • From blogs to social media
  • From blogs to op-eds
  • Advanced options
    • Website design professional available for 1 on 1 appointments
    • Branded websites
  • Professional roles for iterative information writing


University of Toronto affiliation is required. We welcome faculty members (continuing research and teaching stream), instructors, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students. Previous blogging is experience is welcome, but not at all essential.

How Do I Apply?

Register on Zoom. Please commit to ALL THREE days of the workshop before registering.


This workshop is offered at no cost, thanks to support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Humanities.