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Welcome to






Access - April 13-27, 2020!


Since most of us are staying at home these days, we decided to whip something up to help pass the time!

StenoFest Junior isn't a live "EVENT!" like StenoFest was, but we're still hitting the highlights.  From April 13-27, you'll be able to watch 23 seminars - 6 NEW seminars and 17 seminars from the original StenoFest last year!  Yes, you'll see the wonderful intros from Michael and Richard Scire.  Plus other oddball media related to steno that you've probably never seen before.

Unlike StenoFest, the presentations in StenoFest Junior are not live or interactive.  They are recorded.  No CEUs will be awarded for viewing.  And any "prizes" mentioned in the seminars will not be awarded (we gave those away last year!)  Thank you again to the wonderful speakers and sponsors for allowing us to offer these once more.

10% of all collected fees will be donated to NCRF!
10% of all collected fees will be donated to the Protect Your Record Project!
5% of all collected fees will be donated to Project Steno!
Once payment is made, expect an email with your login details.  Details will be sent to the email address used in your PayPal account.  PayPal is the only form of payment currently being accepted.

Speakers/Seminars:  (subject to change)


Lauren Lawrence, RPR

Lauren graduated from AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor degree in court reporting in 2013. She immediately moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to begin her freelance career. Over the last six years, she has had the opportunity to cover realtime daily trials, had a transcript appear in Huffington Post, and traveled abroad to work in Europe and South America. Early in her career, Lauren quickly realized working with reliable scopists and proofreaders could drastically grow her freelance business, but there was a serious gap in business and productivity tools when trying to optimize reporting efficiency, especially with her team. She decided the problem was too important to ignore and founded Stenovate in 2018.  Now Lauren’s mission is to help the transcript community scale income, maximize time, and achieve the work-life balance they deserve.

Seminar - Power Up Your Profit Per Hour

Opportunity is knocking. Everywhere. Agencies are dying to cover all the jobs, and they know stenography is the golden standard. But how do you level up your game up and keep everything moving when you’re buried in pages? How do you organize and execute transcripts like a CEO? Lauren Lawrence, founder of Stenovate, shares how she’s redefined transcript management for the court reporting community. In this session, learn to: Hack your work-life balance. Build and manage a rockstar team of scopists and proofreaders. Increase your bottom line while actually doing less. Massively reduce inefficiencies and streamline your workflow. Be the boss you were born to be.


Marc Greenberg, CRI

Marc has been teaching court reporting students for over 20 years, starting as a reader, eventually creating his own online program, SimplySteno (15 years now!).  When he's not teaching, he likes to dabble in more creative things, like...creating StenoFest...and making the film about stenography, For the Record...and building fun websites for the court reporting community - StenoTube - StenoLife - SimplySteno Flashcards - and others.  He prefers being behind the scenes, but he's agreed to create his first seminar ever for StenoFest Junior.  And he's typing all this right is weird...

Seminar - One Million Miles - Make Your Practice Time Count! - 50 Minutes

"Practice more."  "Write more."  How many times have you heard these simple instructions in court reporting school?  But what should you be practicing?  Why should you practicing it?  And what should you be getting out of it?  These are the important questions that you need answered.  It's not enough to put "miles" on your steno machine.  Just ask the man who drove his car one million miles...and never got anywhere.


Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE

Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, has worked as an official and freelance court reporter, instructor, public speaker, Purple Books author, and CATapult Your Dictionary glossaries/lexica creator before she began CART captioning in 1993 in San Antonio, Texas. Initially, she realtimed for a Catholic Deaf mass each Sunday. Opportunities then presented for working with Big D, sign interpreters, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH communities. She has CARTed baptisms, funerals, meetings, clairvoyants, national and international conventions, college Latin, and events that Monette has written about in her NCRA 'JCR' column "Beyond The Comfort Zone" for approximately 25 years.  Many articles are posted on 'Monette's Musings' for consumers, special services, ADA consultants, court reporting students, and veteran reporters.  She may be reached:

Seminar - Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH, People-Who-Don’t-Hear-Quite-As-Well-As I-Do: When We’re Best Access & When Not…

Are you familiar with multiple differences in Deaf, deaf, Oral, HOH cultures? Do you know when CART captioning is 'best' access? Do you know when another provider is 'better - best' for individuals with multiple levels of hearing loss?   We have much to share with disciplined, well-honed skills. We have much to learn from rich cultures with consumers who request assistance. 27 years in CART captioning trenches, Monette Benoit will define specifics that will help you. The best ‘teams’ are created when we understand multiple needs, challenges. Best ‘access’ is when we are 'ears' for multiple cultures with multiple modes of communications, accommodations.  


Kathryn Dittmeier, CRI

Kathryn has been teaching court reporting students for 28 years and providing educational products for the court reporting industry for 25 years.  She was a pioneer in developing online theory, CAT, and speedbuilding classes in the late ’90s and most recently served as the Court Reporting Program Coordinator at Midstate College until its closure in 2019.  She is an avid historian of machine shorthand and owns an extensive collection of vintage machines, accessories, and books.

Seminar - Using Feedback for Improved Performance: A Student Speedbuilding Seminar - 50 Minutes

Stop just hoping for the best and gain true confidence in your abilities!  Learn a methodology that will help you customize your practice and study sessions to meet your unique needs so you can accomplish your goals.  This seminar will put YOU in the driver’s seat on your road to success.


Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, CRC, CSR   

Erminia is an official court reporter in San Antonio, Texas.  Erminia has been on the Texas Court Reporters Association Student Recruitment Committee since 2015.  Since the Student Recruitment Committee's inception, student enrollment in court reporting schools has increased by 80%.

Texas Court Reporters Association Student Committee Co-Chair 2019
Texas Court Reporters Association Realtime Champion, 2013

Seminar - Promoting Steno in the Classroom - 30 Minutes

Have you ever been asked to come talk to high school students about court reporting?  Did you say no because you didn't know what exactly to talk about for 30 minutes?  In this webinar, you will find helpful tips, tools, and internet resources that show the many work arenas of court reporting, showcasing great job assignments to keep the students engaged and interested, and hopefully recruit them into the profession.


Carrie Hewerdine, RDR

I've been a full-time working reporter since 1978, grabbing my RPR, RMR, RDR and 4 state certifications along the way.  I've done freelance reporting, been an official, and run a two-location reporting agency.  After experiencing an extremely stressful personal episode I found RTT hypnotherapy, and when I was able to quickly tame some long-standing demons in my own life I realized that I just had to learn everything I could about how our minds work so I could help others.  In seeking my Clinical Certification in Hypnotherapy (both RTT and generic) I volunteered to work one-on-one with court reporting students, because I truly know their pain, fears and doubts.  

Seminar - Conquering Anxiety - 47 minutes

The mind is an amazing thing, but the mind of a court reporter ... now that's something truly special.  We're going to drive into how the mind works, how to get it to work for you, the reasons for anxiety and some tips and exercises to reduce or eliminate it so you can thrive as a court reporter.  



Deanna "Dee" Boenau is the vice president of AmeriCaption, Inc., and began her career in 1992.  Dee has tested her stenographic skills throughout her career by competing nationally and internationally.  Dee placed 2nd in the National Speed Contest and 2nd in the National Realtime Contest in 2013 and won the National Realtime Contest in 2010, 2016, and 2017.  She placed 2nd in the 2011 World Competition held in Paris and has a total of 32 medals from competing in the NCRA Speed and Realtime Contests.  Dee is also the featured captioner in "For the Record: A Court Reporting Documentary."

Seminar - Dee-Mystifying the Path to Improving Your Realtime and Competing to Win - 60 Minutes

In this seminar, Dee will talk about her journey through the years of competing and how finding one’s inspiration to tackle the fear of competing, or testing, is important and fun.   She will demystify some long-held beliefs regarding the way one must write steno in order to be an excellent captioner.  Dee will share the history of how she changed her writing and how she uses conflict resolution intentionally.  She will address the importance of practicing and how competing has added to the memories of a successful career.


Kensie Benoit, CSR

Born and raised in Texas, Kensie Benoit has been a reporter for five years and is currently an official court reporter in a juvenile criminal court in San Antonio, Texas. Kensie has been a motivational force for students through her popular Facebook page, Court Reporting: StenoLife, and has been a speaker at previous state and national conventions. She also previously taught online classes during the week for SimplySteno and served as a proctor for the Texas state exam, served on the board of directors for the Texas Court Reporters Association, and is a past president of her local association. She believes that was...(read complete bio

Seminar - Being the Best Version of You - 60 Minutes

Join Kensie Benoit for insight into her life encouraging, supporting and positively affecting court reporters nationwide. She will discuss topics that aren’t always talked about, but that everyone can relate to in terms of personal growth and tips for reaching your maximum potential in work and other areas of life, giving you the secret sauce to excellence.  She will suggest approaches to gain a fresh perspective, leading to the success that you desire by taking things to the next level!


Ana Fatima Costa

Ana Fatima Costa, a former court reporter, is an author, certified coach, and speaker. She is known in the reporting community for her publications and reporter-of-record internships at mock depositions and mock trials in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unlike shadowing, reporting students and newly licensed court reporters are THE REPORTER and learn how to speak up for clarification of the record, mark exhibits, and produce rough drafts. Ana’s articles have been published in CCRA Online, an e-zine publication of California Court Reporters Association (CCRA); The...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Speak Up NOW: The Art of Interruption - 60 Minutes

One of the most significant challenges reporters face is interrupting speakers to ensure the integrity of the record.  Some attorneys have unspoken expectations:  reporters must write perfectly at all times, and they are to be seen and not heard.  In difficult depositions, if a reporter interrupts frequently, attorneys may tell their secretaries to advise the reporting firm not to send that reporter back.  Since it is your duty to produce verbatim transcripts, your need for accuracy juxtaposed with the fear of incurring attorneys’ wrath by interrupting creates a dilemma:  speak up or drop?  This inner conflict results in increased stress, doubt about your writing ability, drops, and/or reliance on audio backup - with devastating consequences if the file is corrupted.  In this presentation, we will discuss the “art” of interruption; how to overcome insecurity and defensiveness; quiet the negative voices in your head; and speak up for what you need while managing your emotions -- and the room -- instead of their controlling YOU.


Jade King, International Court Reporter

In her career spanning nearly 20 years, Jade has covered all aspects of stenographic reporting – court reporting, captioning, CART – in most corners of the globe.  When she was teaching herself steno in 1999, the biggest challenge she faced was attaching her tripod.  In 2017, the biggest challenge she faced was continuing writing while being stung on both eyelids after a nest of bees fell on her head at a Google conference in India.  In the intervening years, she has faced many other challenges, including captioning three Olympic Games; reporting a 133-day daily trial with 28 realtime connections; covering...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Steno in a Strange Land - 70 Minutes

Jade comes across more accents every day than most reporters come across in a year.  She can hear the subtle differences between Cheung, Chung, Cheng, Chen, Tseung, and Tsung; Lei, Lee, Le, Lai, and Li; Chaudhary and Choudhury.  She can use all chopsticks with near aplomb, except those weird square Korean ones.  She will share a buffet of highlights, tips and tricks for working internationally, particularly in Asia.  She will show demonstrations of remarkably skilled Chinese and Korean stenographers at work, and explain what it’s like working under high pressure alongside a colleague you don’t share a common language with.  
If nothing else, she can share the wifi passport for just about every international airport on earth.  


Mark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR
Mark Kislingbury has not only set the Guinness World Record for “fastest court reporter” with a staggering 360 words-per-minute recorded, but he has also won seven National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Speed Contests and five NCRA Realtime Contests. Mark was also featured in the documentary, For the Record.  Mark has now founded The Mark Kislingbury Academy Of Court Reporting in Houston, Texas, to share his short-writing methods and speed-building techniques with court reporting students who want the absolute best training available anywhere.

Seminar - Write Short - Write Fast! - 60 Minutes

Mark Kislingbury will share his main "secret" that contributed to his phenomenal success in court reporting contests and his Guinness World Record of 360 wpm - writing short!  He will explain why writing short is so crucial and then show effective and innovative ways to do so.  He believes that you, too, can apply his methods and achieve spectacular results in your reporting skills.  He will show you how you can quickly become faster, more accurate, while at the same time less stressed and an altogether happier court reporter, with renewed love for your job.


Mirabai Knight, CRC, RDR

Mirabai Knight, RDR, CRC is a senior captioner and strategic partner with White Coat Captioning, a boutique captioning firm specializing in medical and technical material. Her favorite subjects to caption are Immunology, Epidemiology, Microbiology, and anything to do with free and open source software. She is also the founder of the Open Steno Project, an initiative to produce free and open source stenographic software, hardware, and training tools.

Seminar - Steno in the Future - 60 Minutes

This seminar will address the advances in technology coming in the next 5-20 years, with a focus on how it will affect stenographers.  The underlying message will be that stenographers have to keep their personal skills at a high level.  Mediocrity will cause other technologies to seep in.  Excellence will secure our position for years to come.


Ted Morin

Ted Morin is a Canadian software engineer working at SHOEBOX Audiometry, a high-tech hearing start-up. One difference between him and his coworkers is that he uses a steno machine full-time to write code. Ted is heavily involved in the Open Steno Project and acts as lead maintainer for Plover. Self-taught in 2014, he's an advocate for spreading stenography to as many people as possible, and is currently writing a free theory textbook called Art of Chording.

Seminar - Giving up the Computer Keyboard for Steno - 60 Minutes

From prose to emails to code, there's so much more we can do with our steno machines. I stopped using a keyboard as much as I could years ago, replacing it full-time with my steno machine. I share the wonders I discovered and the challenges I faced while going "cold-turkey." I'll share some necessary briefs to help get around your computer and navigate documents, solutions to common problems, the joy of being unchained from one-hundred-odd keys, and some future-facing ideas that could help power a new type of computer user.


Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI

Anissa Nierenberger has pursued her passion for captioning into three distinct areas; Anissa Captions, her proprietary software Dictionary Jumpstart, and training and education programs. Anissa discovered captioning when she was just 14 years old after spending a career day with a reporter in court. Determined to become a stenographer, she pursued her goal and within a year of graduation from court reporting school, she began captioning for TV stations across the United States and Canada.  In 2000, Anissa founded Dictionary Jumpstart, a realtime dictionary-building software that has helped hundreds of reporters...(read complete bio)

Seminar - No More Transcripts – Say YES to CART and Captioning - 60 Minutes

Transcripts... you despise them, and they’re the burnout factor of your passion. The growth for CART captioners and broadcast captioners will outpace court reporters beyond 2018! Don’t be left behind! We’ll start with 5 Things to Improve your Realtime. Transitioning into a new, exciting career is a matter of taking things one step at a time. Reinvigorate your passion today!


Tori Pittman, BA, FAPR, RDR, CRI, CVR-CM-M, RCP

Tori is a former machine writer (RDR) who transitioned to voice writing due to injury and is now master-level certified in that method (CVR-CM-M) and has participated in three Intersteno Competitions using voice. In each of the three, she came away with the gold medal in the speed competition for voice practitioners and, in 2017 in Berlin, finished third overall in the speed competition behind two amazing steno writers.  Tori has a BA in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and runs a small freelance agency based in Wake Forest, North Carolina. She and her husband, Al (former deputy sheriff and...(read complete bio)

Seminar - The International Stage – Intersteno - 60 Minutes

This presentation will introduce Intersteno and their biennial Congresses, exploring all the different aspects of a congress as well as a discussion of the organization of Intersteno, its subgroup IPRS, and how reporters and captioners from the US fit into the grand scheme of Intersteno. 

Glyn 2.jpg

Glyn Poage, RDR, FAPR

Glyn is a retired official court reporter from the 166th District Court in San Antonio, Texas. Glyn’s passion for court reporting education led him to operate two court reporting schools in Texas. Glyn served on the board of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) for several years. He is a Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), a Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR), and, in 2013 was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Texas Court Reporters Association.

Seminar - Learn About Project Steno - 20 Minutes

Project Steno is laser-focused on one goal: Get students into court reporting school and graduate them in a timely manner into the field.  Learn about the project and how you can get involved!


Joe Strickland, RPR, CRR, Chief Reporter, U.S. House of Representatives (retired)

Joe grew up in California, living as far north as Sacramento and eventually graduating from high school in San Diego. He received his university degree and court reporting training in Texas. Joe began his reporting career in 1990 as a closed-captioner for KVIA-TV News in El Paso, Texas. He moved to Washington in 1991 as a freelance reporter and CART provider, and joined the House of Representatives as an Official Reporter in 1993.
He became Chief of the Office of Official Reporters in 2005, with primary responsibility for recruiting, hiring, training, scheduling, and overall supervision of the House’s 43-person reporting...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Stories from Washington, D.C. - 60 Minutes

When I interviewed Joe for the documentary, For the Record, I felt that he would be a great subject for a documentary of his own!  Now, Joe will share his favorite stories from his time as Chief Reporter of the House - experiences in the U.S. Capitol, recording history as it’s made.  This will be a Q&A with Marc Greenberg, with additional questions asked by StenoFest attendees.


Michael Scire, RPR, CMRS & Richard Scire, RPR

Long Island natives Richard S. Sciré, RPR, and Michael A. Sciré, RPR, CMRS, are twin brothers and two of the eight Official Court Reporters in Florida’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit.  They stenographically report the felony court hearings and trial proceedings in The Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center in Sarasota, FL.  Michael serves as Lead Reporter, overseeing the four reporters in Sarasota.  Richard serves as Vice President for the Florida Court Reporters Associations’ Board of Directors and is the editor for The Florida Reporter, the magazine for the Florida Court Reporters Association.  Michael serves as...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Not quite a seminar...but they'll be popping up :)

Keep your eyes open - you'll spot them!


Melanie Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag has been reporting nearly 40 years as an official, freelancer, firm owner, and occasional CART provider.  She loves the reporting profession and nurtures her enthusiasm with the company she keeps and the relationships she cultivates.  She's given countless seminars for reporters, students, vendors, and educators.  Melanie has served in numerous state and national leadership positions, including as president of NCRA, and became a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters in 2001. 

Seminar - Your Wide-Ranging Ripples - and Benefits Thereof - 60 Minutes

Whether you're a joiner or a lurker, a contributor or a leader, the professional colleagues you associate with develop your trajectory.   Learn the benefits and pitfalls of joining users groups, state and national associations, and purely social gatherings, be they virtual or physical.  What do you contribute to the overall collection and what do you take away?  What are you missing that you could be gleaning?  What skills are you acquiring to keep you at the top of your game?  How do you find the right fit? 


Dom Tursi, CM

Dom is now in his 56th year of reporting.  He has spent the last 21 years in federal court - on Long Island, New York.  For the preceding 15 years, he was a freelance reporter and principal, with offices on both coasts of the United States, Hong Kong and in London, reporting assignments from Cairo to The Philippines. For the 20 years before that, he was an official reporter in the New York State court system.  One of the first East Coast reporters ever to use a computer for transcription, he wrote realtime as early as 1985.  Dom is one of the first reporters to internationally telecommunicate steno, delivering 36 running days of...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Evolution of Machine Shorthand - 60 Minutes

This lecture begins with an explanation of early attempts to create a mechanized shorthand device, in the early 1800s in France, Germany, and Italy.  It proceeds to describe some 50 shorthand machines around the world, concentrating on “The Important Three” in America, and underscores the two earlier practical machines – in England and Italy. 


Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR

Nancy began her court reporting career as a freelancer in 1979.  As owner of The Varallo Group, she offers a suite of services designed to help court reporters and firm owners achieve business success. Varallo is a marquee name in court reporting, with a rich and proud history dating back to 1937.  Nancy, a court reporter, educator and business owner, carries on the Varallo tradition of excellence with her company’s longstanding commitment of time-honored values of quality, service and accountability.  Nancy was the 2013-2014 President of the National Court Reporters Association and...(read complete bio)

Seminar - Trends in Court Reporting - 60 Minutes

Maybe Scarlett O’Hara had a point when she said, “Oh, I just can’t think about that today. I’ll just go crazy if I do. I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” But don’t bet on it. There’s always change afoot in our marketplace and we need to keep pace today!  Nancy will discuss with us the changes and trends impacting today’s court reporting professionals.


Ed Varallo, RPR, RMR, CRR, FAPR

Ed comes from a family of court reporters and began his career straight out of high school. In 1965, on his 19th birthday, he became the youngest person ever to pass the Certificate of Merit exam (now the RMR). Best known for his speed contest accomplishments (a perfect score on the 280 Q&A in 1975, the first-ever perfect score in a national speed contest) he has six times been NCRA’s National Speed Champion, winning three years consecutively, 1974-76, ten years later in 1986, again in 1996, and again in 2006 — a unique speed contest record.  Ed began his career as a freelancer in Philadelphia. After...(read complete bio)

Seminar - How to Pass a Test, In Spite of Your Nerves - 60 Minutes

Everyone is nervous on test day.  You can’t banish nervousness.  The trick is to write well despite being nervous — and you can do that!  Let six-time National Speed Contest Champion Ed Varallo (no stranger to test day nerves!) describe for you the several simple, common-sense techniques he has discovered that allow you to be at your best on test day — no matter what!



Ron has been reporting since 1977, freelancing in Los Angeles, where he grew up, for three years, at which time he took over a small agency, which he ran from 1980-1989. He sold the agency in 1990 and moved to Seattle, Washington, where he has been a freelancer and partner in a deposition agency. At the present time Ron is free of his partnership and has been focused on working in the court system down in Los Angeles. His goal is to reside part-time in the Seattle area and part-time near the beach in Orange County, California.  Ron passed the RPR in 1977 and the RMR in 1986, and passed the first-ever CRR.

Seminar - The Mirror Method - 60 Minutes

Ron will present a steno-writing concept he created called “The Mirror Method,” which will open the doors to writing hundreds of new briefs…without having to memorize any!  The ultimate goal of this seminar is to write shorter, write faster, and become the best writer that you can be.


For the Record - Court Reporting Documentary

The better they are at their job, the more invisible they become. For the Record takes us into the world of the usually unnoticed court reporters, live captioners and CART providers.  From a group of dedicated captioners who worked around the clock on 9/11 to ensure those with hearing impairments were kept informed, to Stan Sakai, a young CART provider redefining the craft for the next generation, For the Record takes us beyond the traditional idea of a court reporter and into the lives of the "keepers of the record."

Presenter - Marc Greenberg - 80 Minutes

For the Record had its world premiere at South by Southwest (Austin, TX), one of the most prestigious film festivals in the country.  From there, it travelled to Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada) and the Sarasota Film Festival.  It’s now been placed in over 100 school libraries across the country, used as educational tool for the industry.

Sign Up Junior
Early Bird! - Sign up by April 13 - $30
Regular - Sign up from April 14-25 - $40

REMINDER!!  Seminars are only available from April 13-27.
Seminars will NOT be available from April 28th forward - no exceptions.
Payments are non-refundable.  No CEUs will be awarded for these seminars.
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