A young Dallas-area writer attending the University of Georgia is this year’s winner of the Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Contest, the scholarship of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Contest Chair Joel Brinkley was the final judge for this year. He called UGA’s Blake Seitz “an excellent, clever writer.” Seitz this fall will be a senior majoring in political science and public administration and policy. He is from Coppell, Texas.
Assisting Brinkley, the award-winning syndicated columnist who teaches at Stanford University, were NSNC past presidents Suzette Martinez Standring and Ben Pollock.
Blake Seitz, University of Georgia, first place, Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award
“Excellent, clever writer,” Brinkley said, ” worthy of our encouragement. His stuff is a little over-punctuated, but he’ll learn.”
“Seitz’s playful phrasing, sense of humor and fresh perspectives kept me reading,” Standring said.
Vivica W.S. Morris, Yale University, second place, Laurence Cohen Presidential Award
“Fine writer with a strong, well-argued point of view,” Brinkley said.
“Morris’ columns on animal factory farming were horrifying, but she hits the right balance with her factual and straightforward style,” Standring said.
Chris Grillot, Louisiana State University, third place
“Nice writer. Strong reporting,” Brinkley said.
“Grillot forms unmincing opinions only after taking the time for research, presented with clear, active writing,” Pollock said.
Grillot also was the third-place finalist in the 2012 Zaslow contest.
Here are the three columns that Seitz submitted:
- SGA Chick-fil-A Resolution Disregards More Important Needs, Issues
- Washington, D.C., Parties on the Taxpayer’s Dime
- SGA Pols Prep for World’s Most Important Election
The Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Contest is a project of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation. The foundation is “devoted to the education and training of new and experienced columnists everywhere.” This is the scholarship’s 15th year.
The three scholars receive awards. First prize is $1,000. Second prize is $500. Third prize is $250. Also, the first-place winner is invited to be the NSNC’s guest — including hotel and transportation — at its annual conference, this year to be June 27-30 in Hartford, Conn.
The foundation’s scholarship — and its first-place prize — was renamed following the February 2012 death of Jeff Zaslow, the best-selling author, Wall Street Journal columnist and longtime NSNC member. The second-place honor was named the Laurence Cohen Presidential Award, following Larry’s death in August 2012, months after being elected NSNC president.