With the 2014 column contest of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists now open — see 2014 Contest Rules for details — writers interested in submitting three pieces they published or posted in 2013 might find it helpful to see what the previous winners did.
Following are PDFs or links to the winning columns of the six 2013 first-place winners in the annual contest of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Each entrant was required to submit three columns originally published in 2012.
Category A. General Interest (print) over 50,000 circulation — Tom Rademacher, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press. “Dying Wife Presents Husband with Special Gift to Remember Her By,” “After Grandville Girl Falls in Love with a Horse, Grownups Make Her Dream Come True” and “‘Holidays With Hope’ Gala Puts a Spotlight on Those Who Live in the Shadows.”
Category B. Humor (print) over 50,000 circulation — Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal. “Getting Pickled,” “Whose Month Is April? Everyone’s” and “How Many Police Officers Does It Take to Calm Grandmother?”
C. General Interest (print) under 50,000 circulation — Kevin McKeever, The Advocate, Stamford, Conn. “Physical Wounds Not All That Take Soldiers’ Lives,” “Big Lessons Learned from Little League and Losing” and “You’ll (Insert Marketing Verb Here) It in Connecticut.”
F. Online, Blog and Multimedia under 100,000 monthly unique visitors — Suzette Standring, The Patriot Ledger (Mass.). “To the Fathers Who Stayed,” “Karen and Natalie Get Married” and “High School Reunions Heal.”
A list of all 2013 finalists, including the comments made by judges, can be found on “One Last Time for Ebert: 2013 Column Contest Winners.” Names of winners and finalists all the way to the 1980s can be found at “Column Contest Winners, Going Way Back.”