The Virginia Press Association held its Best of the Best awards ceremony online today and Style Weekly took home one of the top awards for 2019: the Grand Sweepstakes for the specialty division. That means we earned the highest number of points for total awards in editorial and advertising categories, also taking home sweepstakes awards in news and advertising.
Other big winners included the Bristol Herald Courier, which won the 2019 Virginia Press Association Journalistic Integrity and Community Service Award for its investigative series “Critical Mass,” which focused on the issue of jail overcrowding. Denise Watson, a longtime features writer for the Virginian-Pilot, was named Outstanding Journalist of the Year and Joey LoMonaco, a journalist from The Free Lance-Star, was named Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year.
The VPA awards ceremony was postponed this year due to the pandemic. Style learned in April that the paper had won 44 total awards with 16 first-place honors. Freelancers who took home first place awards included Tom Nash for in-depth or investigative reporting for his feature on the FBI’s Oliver Hill files, Jason Roop for his news writing portfolio, and Samantha Willis for arts writing (“Reclaiming History”).
Among the first-place winners from Style’s 2019 staff were Scott Elmquist for general news photo, picture story or essay, and slideshow or gallery, former lifestyles editor Laura Ingles for general news writing, and Editor-in-Chief Brent Baldwin for headline writing and multimedia report with Ed Harrington, Scott Elmquist and Laura Ingles. Sales manager Dana Elmquist and former Style Creative Advertising Director Joel Smith won numerous first-place advertising awards.
The Hoosier State Press Association in Indiana judged the entries. For more information about the contest results, you can watch the awards show presentation here.