First-time Contestants, Previous Winners, Even the Late Roger Ebert Among This Year’s Celebrated Columnists, Bloggers
By Mike Deupree
NSNC Column Contest Chair
The 2013 writing contest of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists is in the books.
The judges in each of the six categories have pondered, mulled, evaluated, assessed, contemplated, pored over, considered, consulted the stars, even read the entries and indulged in serious thought, and their verdicts have been rendered. All that remains now is the unveiling of the names of the winners.
Which will not happen until the evening of June 29. And we’re talking really secret here.
This is not “Who did the AP reporters call” secret, or “Who did James Rosen talk to” secret, or even “Who sent Susan Rice out to say those things” secret. We’re serious here. If you hear a politician say he didn’t know about it until he read it in the paper, in this case you can believe it.
The results will be announced at the awards banquet during our annual conference in Hartford, Conn., and not before. However, we are not above a little tease. We can share the names of the writers who earned honorable mention, as well as the finalists who finished first, second and third in each category. We just can’t tell you which finalist is first, which is second and which is third.
Without further ado, and in alphabetical order:
Category A: General Interest, Newspapers over 50,000 Circulation
Finalists: Dave Lieber, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Thomas Rademacher, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press; Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times.
Honorable Mention: Katie Harrington, The State News, Michigan State University; Marney Rich Keenan, The Detroit News; Philip Reisman, The Journal News, Westchester, N.Y.
Category B: Humor, Newspapers over 50,000 Circulation
Finalists: Samantha Bennett, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal; Brian O’Connor, The Detroit News.
Honorable Mention: Tracy Beckerman, Gatehouse Media, NJN Pub, North Jersey Media Group; Jim Shea, Hartford Courant.
Category C: General Interest, Newspapers under 50,000 Circulation
Finalists: Kevin McKeever, The Advocate, Stamford, Conn.; Telly Halkias, The Portland (Maine) Daily Sun; Amanda Beam, News and Tribune, Jefferson, Ind.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Girod, Inland Empire Weekly, Corona, Calif.; Harriet P. Gross, TexasJewishPost.com.
Category D: Humor, Newspapers under 50,000 Circulation
Finalists: Beth Bartlett, Lovely County Citizen, Eureka Springs, Ark.; Laura Rafaty, St. Helena (Calif.) Star; Ginger Truitt, The Lebanon (Ind.) Reporter.
Honorable Mention: Tiffany Roach, Akers Media Group.
Category E: Online, Blog and Multimedia Columns (over 100,000 monthly unique visitors)
Finalists: John Avlon, The Daily Beast; Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times; Richard Parker, The New York Times.
Honorable Mention: David Cay Johnston, Reuters; James Kirkchick, New York Daily News.
Category F: Online, Blog and Multimedia Columns (under 100,000 monthly unique visitors)
Finalists: Mike Farley, Farleyinwriting; Lisa Molinari, The Meat and Potatoes of Life; Suzette Standring, The Patriot Ledger (Mass.).
Honorable Mention: None.
First place in each category will receive $300, second place $200 and third place $100, in addition to certificates suitable for framing. Finalists also are eligible for discounted registration to the June 27-30 conference in Hartford. Honorable mentions receive certificates.