The Student Publication Association has announced Forge Press as the hosts for their 2020 National Conference – more commonly known as SPANC.

To be hosted on the weekend of 3-5 April 2020, the weekend after Sheffield Varsity finishes, it will be the first time the conference has been hosted in the city.

The conference will also play host to the SPA Awards, open to all member publications, and will feature a number of workshops, talks and keynote speakers.

Ben Warner, Editor-in-Chief of Forge Press, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the hosts for the 2020 Student Publication Association National Conference. The bid was a long time in planning, but we believe the proposal we put together will result in an amazing weekend right here in Sheffield. We are honoured that the SPA has chosen to put their trust in us, and we’re excited to get cracking with organising the conference.

“Student media should be at the heart of everything that goes on in a Students’ Union and its university, holding them to account and celebrating students’ achievements. We are excited to welcome you all to our wonderful city for a weekend celebrating the very best in student media from across the UK and Republic of Ireland. See you in April!”

SPANC will feature a variety of talks and workshops aimed at students entering the journalism industry. Last year, Guardian columnist Owen Jones featured as a keynote speaker.

Bidding to host the conference opened in late September, and closed at the start of this month, with the hosts being announced on Tuesday 12 November.

Chair of the SPA, Owain Evans, said:  “We are incredibly excited to bring SPANC to Sheffield for the first time. The city and students have a track record of delivering fantastic conferences, and we are confident that this SPANC will be one of our most ambitious yet.

“We are grateful to our friends at Forge Press for facilitating this conference, and look forward to bringing a plethora of top industry professionals to South Yorkshire to share their expertise with young people from the region, as well as from across the UK & Ireland.”

Over 190 students attended this year’s conference in York in spring. Ticket information, and more details about the conference, will be released in due course.

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