The Inquisitives | Journalism Intensive
Inquisitive noun in·quis·i·tive \in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv\
a bold seeker of truth
a quick-witted, sharp-sighted investigator
a storyteller and archivist of the otherwise unseen
an alert observer
The Inquisitives is a semester-long journalism course focused on exploring all the questions that have yet to be answered in our neighborhood and the world.
Participants will become courageously curious authors practicing the real-life applications of the written word by choosing themes, topics, and issues that light their hearts and minds on fire. Our discoveries will be shared through publication, both in print and online throughout the semester.
Inquisitives will take initiative by exploring, experimenting, and reflecting on the writing process under the nurturing guidance of Vanessa, a freelance journalist, writing teacher, and avid observer of her surroundings, both at home and on her many travels across the United States and abroad.
Journalism gives us infinite opportunities to tap into our personal passions and curiosities, reach beyond our comfort zone by asking and seeking answers to difficult questions, and push our critical thinking skills to the next level.
From ideation to publication, the inquisitives will practice life-changing habits that will deepen their roles as learners, teachers, communicators, and citizens of our humanity. Thoughtful, careful thinking will turn natural as the inquisitives seek, listen to, and consider multiple perspectives. The inquisitives will practice persistence through the constant problem-solving required to gather information and express it concisely. Clear communication will become innate as they engage with community members and express what they’ve discovered with an authentic audience.
The Inquisitives will meet together throughout the semester as a collaborative group to learn the basics of journalism, generate ideas, and participate in supportive workshopping. Each Inquistive participant will publish under the coaching and mentorship of Vanessa during individualized mentoring sessions. The Inquistives will create and publish both in print and digitally.
Click below to get digital copies of our issues from last year.
Vanessa has been an editor and writer of both local, national, and international publications since 2006. Her writing career kicked-off back in third grade when her teacher encouraged her to be a writer and she began publishing a weekly newsletter for friends and family.
During her time at the University of Iowa, Vanessa covered arts and culture at The Daily Iowan, affording her the opportunity to interview many internationally-renowned authors such as Frank McCourt and Sherman Alexie as well as diving into more investigative pieces on topics such as the history of the Iowa Writer's Workshops, local women transforming business, and the impact of deficient student health services.
After a semester editing and writing in Spain for Cafe Abroad, a student study abroad magazine, and a summer internship at Better Homes and Gardens, Vanessa founded a semesterly arts magazine called Off Deadline at The Daily Iowan during her senior year. Meanwhile, she undertook a yearlong documentary photography project that culminated in a book called Pueblo Americano about a small town with big diversity nestled into the cornfields of Iowa.
Today, Vanessa is a full-time teacher with side-projects always in the works. Whether it be an art exhibition, carefully curating her Instagram, freelancing articles on underrepresented stories, or documenting her travels to over 50 countries, Vanessa is always asking questions, looking for answers, and listening above all else.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming sessions or send an email at