Features Writer of the Year: Division A
First place: Lori Kurtzman, The Columbus Dispatch
About this entry: Lori Kurtzman’s tone and attention to detail, whether she’s writing about two brothers who are actively creating a fictional town history or the tragic stories surrounding a group of missing women, makes her features stories shine as examples of excellent reporting.
Read online: World War II veteran shares memories of Buchenwald, Brothers rewrite Westerville’s history on Facebook in their own private joke, Dead, missing Chillicothe women have city on edge
Follow Lori on Twitter @LoriKurtzman
Really wonderful stories rich with details that show a lot of reporting behind the scenes. The bright about the mischievous brothers perfectly captured the spirit of their jokes. The story of the missing girls is heartbreaking, especially when you get to the end and learn how small things like a spicy chicken sandwich can be painful reminders of loss. Finally, the profile of the WWII vet deftly wove together two storylines and included that basic tenet of journalism: Get the names of the pets.
Second place: Carrie Seidman, The Herald-Tribune
About this entry: Carrie Seidman’s features stories have the masterful ability to insert readers into the lives of the people represented in her pieces and also serve to teach them about the occasionally unfamiliar topics she discusses. Whether they be about the incredibly involved process of learning to work with a guide dog or the lives of people affected by mental illness, Seidman’s work never fails to make readers think about the lives of others.
Read online: The S Word, Dancing on sacred ground, Getting a new set of eyes at Southeastern Guide Dogs
Follow Carrie on Twitter @CarrieSeidman
The in-depth coverage of schizophrenia was illuminating. The personal essay really revealed how the illness can affect and surprise a family. When paired with the other stories, the project made for a powerful package that sticks with the reader.
Third place: Chris Anderson, The Herald-Tribune
About this entry: Whether Chris Anderson is writing about people who do good things or just good people, his stories paint poignant pictures of his subjects.
Read online: At 79, with dementia, ‘Karaoke Cowboy’ in his element, Man of motion, and of emotion, Decades after a daughter’s death, a reunion
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisA0213
The profiles are nicely written with interesting details, from descriptions that give a sense of place and person. The story about the cowboy karaoke singer was especially strong in these areas.