First place: Justine Griffin, formerly of The Herald-Tribune

About this entry: Justine’s submission is a first-person narrative of egg donation, in which she chronicled the process and procedure in extensive detail.

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Read Justine’s full story, complete with video logs and stories from other donors, online here.

Justine Griffin’s first-person report on egg harvesting is so different, so deep in detail, and such a good story that it alone pushes her to the top of a very competitive field. It’s a gutsy move to undergo a risky procedure and write about virtually every detail. For enterprising work and excellent writing, Justine Griffin draws our applause.

Second place: Chris McKenna, Times Herald-Record

About this entry: Whether it’s an investigative piece on voter fraud in the area or examining the increase of residents on Medicaid, our judges write, “Chris McKenna is a bulldog of a reporter. He grabs hold of issues important to the community and shakes them until every detail has emerged. And then he puts it all together in a way that a layman can understand not only what it’s about but why he should care.

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Read online: Inside the Kiryas Joel voting machine

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMcKenna845

Chris McKenna is a bulldog of a reporter. He grabs hold of issues important to the community and shakes them until every detail has emerged. And then he puts it all together in a way that a layman can understand not only what it’s about but why he should care.

Third place: Stephanie Allen, formerly of The Ledger

About this entry: Stephanie Allen uses her gift with words to bring troubling issues to light. Her vivid storytelling provides readers a striking exposé of Lakeland’s sex trafficking crimes while her advocacy journalism brings light to the issue of bullying. With a pen in her hand, she is a reporter determined to make an impact in her community.

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Read online: Praying for a Miracle: Lakeland woman’s friends hope for recovery from traffic accident, Police, communities come together to target sex trafficking, More laws needed? Proposed bullying legislation spurs debate

Stephanie Allen paints pictures with words. She uses scene-setting detail to take readers to places they would never go and reveal problems they need to address. These stories draw in a reader and compel him or her to keep reading.