Dear Readers of Lyons Recorder,
Thank you for welcoming me into your homes as a reporter and editor at the weekly Lyons Recorder.
I wanted to prove to you that you would be reading a quality newspaper, so I entered both the Colorado Press Women /and/ the national NFPW organization’s annual contests.
The first year I submitted five articles and won awards for each of them. The second year, I chose three articles, and all three won first place. I will no longer be entering the contests, as I believe I have proven myself worthy of your readership. Thank you, Kathleen Spring
1. Photo Essay “It Takes A Village to put on a Festival (Planet Bluegrass)”
I spent a day taking photographs of all the people who helped put together the Planet Bluegrass festivals, from the ticket takers to the “roadies” behind the scenes, and the recycle folks as well as the cooks. Planet Bluegrass has seven full time, year round staff. There are about 185 people hired to be part of the festival crew (production, sound, bar, etc.), and they accept around 125 volunteers. I presented 24 photographs of the event’s workers. See ARTICLE. I did get feedback from some of my fellow journalist friends who said that they looked up Planet Bluegrass after reading the article, saying they had not heard of it before, and they were impressed on how this small town put together such a quality festival.
2. Single page/section or supplement: “Life During a Time of a Pandemic (1 year with COVID)” 28 articles
After the end of 2020 – the first year of isolation and restrictions due to COVID-19 – I gathered 28 articles from different people, groups, businesses, and more. After 2021 – the second year of COVID-19 – I did the same thing. They both took me over two months to gather, edit, and coordinate. Each covered a different aspect of the pandemic — eg, a business… grocery store, restaurant, artist, music world — a high school teen, the two school principals, mom with 3 elementary school kids — the town mayor, administrator, LEAF, LCF, church — RV travelling, going away to college, food banks, poem, sermon. —- I felt I captured the picture of how an AMERICAN SMALL TOWN HANDLED COVID. This will be important, not only to Lyons, but to US history. You can see the INDEX and click on the links for more information.
3. Specialty Article Review — Book Reviews
I submitted five book reviews done in 2021. I chose them as an example of the quality of the writing, research, and entertainment value that is put into “interviews, and arts /and/ culture” articles. These are not just critical analysis of the writing, and story development. First, my rules are that all reviews or arts articles ONLY highlight people from Colorado. Second, I give readers something specific to take away from the book — such as: using the short story conclusions as ways to do “conflict resolution,” or take the book in your backpack to use as meditations on the trail, or see how to “story build” using the author’s use of putting all the facts at the beginning, and then letting the reader use them as clues in the mystery to come. Each one (listed below) is completely different than the other.
==“A Town Called Paradox” – fiction, in red earth Utah. The authors set everything up at the beginning, and then the mystery explodes — like playing a game of chess. A compelling story that shows how ‘twin-flame’ couple defines recovery and love.
==“Journey Beyond Learning to Live” spectacular, yet familiar, photos and meditations or reflections by well-known Estes Park nature photographer
==“Mixed Company” – fiction short stories that show how people deal with conflict-resolutions (eg, mental illness, gentrification, homelessness, etc)
==The Aspen Cookbook shares more than 100 recipes from 69 chefs — the author took handwritten notes and translated them for the public! along with their life stories (and “yummy” photographs!)
==Bears Dont Care About Your Problems: If you have any connection with the outdoors – whether you camp in the wildness for a month, or take a one-hour hike with your kids, you will “understand” and be entertained by his wry and witty comments on outdoor adventure (and many helpful tips). Short chapters, often with funny graphics.
Hi Kathleen, Colorado Press Women member: Congratulations again on winning a first place award in the NFPW at-large communications contest. You won first place awards in: photo essay category, single page/section or supplement, and book reviews. We had an extremely competitive at-large contest again this year. We had strong entries from entrants from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Spain, Washington D.C. and Washington state. Thank you, Teri Ehresman, NFPW contest director
Colorado Press Woman (CPW) is a diverse organization of professional communicators, both women and men, who are reporters, editors, broadcasters, public relations practitioners, publishers, advertising and marketing professionals, college communications educators, graphic designers, photographers, freelance writers and authors. Our Mission: To enable professional growth for communicators in an evolving environment by promoting excellence through education, opportunities for achievement, and supportive relationships.
NFPW is a nationwide organization of women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum, including print and electronic journalism, freelancing, new media, books, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography, advertising, radio, and television. Recipients from across the country were honored for excellence in communications during an awards ceremony in Fargo, North Dakota A distinguished group of professional journalists, communications specialists, and educators judged nearly 2,000 entries in a wide variety of categories. Only first-place winning entries at the state level are eligible to enter the national contest. All entries were published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.