Columnist Suzette Martinez Standring of Milton, Mass. won first prize in the category of Online, Blog, and Multimedia Column for under 100,000 monthly unique visitors in a 2013 column writing competition for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Standring writes a spirituality column and blog (“Spiritual Café”) that appears in The Patriot Ledger and is nationally syndicated by GateHouse Media.
Judge Mae Israel, independent journalist and blogger formerly of The Washington Post wrote, “Standring’s writing is compact but eloquently evokes emotion, and gently invites the reader to ponder their own personal involvement with the issues. She adeptly explores the humanity and challenges in dealing with a distant father, a same-sex marriage and a 40th high school reunion. She writes about her reunion: “Yet that’s what a 40-year reconnection is for; to travel back in time to the bloom of youth and camaraderie, and to feel nothing but gratitude.” She is a thoughtful writer.”
New England columnists swept the category as Lisa Molinari of Newport, Rhode Island won second place for her column, “The Meat and Potatoes of Life,” and third place went to Mike Farley of Weymouth, Mass for his blog, “Farley In Writing.”
Awards were made at the NSNC conference in Hartford on June 29, 2013 when Dave Barry received the 2013 NSNC Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. A day earlier broadcaster and columnist Mike Morin of New Hampshire received the NSNC Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. A full listing of contest winners follows here:
Category A: General Interest — over 50,000 circulation
First Place — Tom Rademacher, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press.
Second Place — Dave Lieber, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Third Place — Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times
Honorable Mention — Katie Harrington, The State News, Michigan State University.
Honorable Mention — Marney Rich Keenan, The Detroit News
Honorable Mention — Phil Reisman, The Journal News, Westchester, NY
Category B: Humor — over 50,000 circulation
First Place — Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal.
Second Place — Brian O’Connor, The Detroit News.
Third Place — Samantha Bennett, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Honorable Mention — Tracy Beckerman, Gatehouse Media
Honorable Mention — Jim Shea, Hartford Courant
Category C: General Interest — under 50,000 circulation
First Place — Kevin McKeever, The Advocate, Stamford, Conn.
Second Place — Telly Halkias, The Portland (Maine) Daily Sun.
Third Place — Amanda Beam, News and Tribune, Jefferson, Ind.
Honorable Mention — Jeff Girod, Inland Empire Weekly, Corona, Calif.
Honorable Mention — Harriet P. Gross, TexasJewishPost.com.
Category D: Humor — under 50,000 circulation
First Place – Laura Rafaty, St. Helena (Calif.) Star
Second Place — Beth Bartlett, Lovely County Citizen, Eureka Springs, Ark
Third Place — Ginger Truitt, The Lebanon (Ind.) Reporter
Honorable Mention — Tiffany Roach, Akers Media Group.
Category E: Online, Blog, and Multimedia Column — over 100,000 monthly unique visitors
First Place — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.
Second Place — Richard Parker, The New York Times.
Third Place — John Avlon, The Daily Beast.
Honorable Mention — David Cay Johnston, Reuters
Honorable Mention — James Kirkchick, New York Daily News
Category F: Online, Blog, and Multimedia Column — under 100,000 monthly unique visitors
First Place — Suzette Standring, The Patriot Ledger (Mass.).
Second Place — Lisa Molinari, The Meat and Potatoes of Life.
Third Place — Mike Farley, Farley In Writing.