As of spring 2012, I have won 30 professional journalism awards. Here are some of my award winning articles for the past few award seasons, not including the current one:
2010 Florida Press Association’s Better Weekly Newspaper Contest
- First place for outdoor writing for Many flock to BP claim center.
- First place for education writing for Students beat the odds and earn diplomas.
- Second place for health writing for Tragedy prompts Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
- Third place for personal column for Becoming my own superhero.
- Third place for best original (feature) writing for Clearwater couple goes to Japan to save dolphins.
- Honorable mention for personal column for How do you love an alcoholic?
- Honorable mention for best original (feature) writing for the article, For the love of art and flying.
- First place for serious column writing and the Sally Latham Memorial Award for my column, Being a second wife is not for the faint of heart.
- Second place for feature writing for my article, Wrigley’s story has saved many animals’ lives.
It is my favorite time of year right now, as a journalist. Awards season. In the past week, we at Tampa Bay Newspapers learned how we did in the Florida Press Association’s 2011 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest. Our newspaper group is taking home 17 awards this year, and I personally have won five from the FPA contest this year; three individual awards and two as group packages. We will not know the specific placement of the awards until the ceremony in July, but we know which categories we have won, who won, and from which paper. The specific placements could be anywhere from first place to honorable mention.
The FPA awards for which I have won something this year are:
- Serious column, for my column, End of a marriage, new beginnings.
- Health, medical and science reporting, for my story, Ambassador of awareness.
- Faith and family reporting, for either my article, Families without a home, or First family graduates from transition program.
- Online breaking news story — I as well as Tom Germond and Suzette Porter are up for this award for our collective coverage of the tornadoes that hit Pinellas County in spring 2011. The story I wrote as part of this coverage was Airport back to normal after stormy Thursday.
- Breaking news story — I as well as Tom Germond, Bob McClure, and Suzette Porter are all up for this award, also for our coverage of the tornadoes.
We also learned this week how we placed in the Community Papers of Florida Contest 2012. As a company we did very well, taking home numerous awards for ad design as well as writing. I personally placed for one of my columns and also collectively for our editorial department’s three-part series package on prescription drug abuse. My awards for this contest is as follows:
- Personal column — Third place for End of a marriage, new beginnings.
- News story — First place — group award, which includes numerous stories from our editorial staff over three weeks on prescription drug abuse. The story I contributed is Clearwater sends team to battle abuse.
I am so proud of all of our writers and graphic designers for all of our hard work and am so glad that we all were recognized for it. Well done, everyone.