The Gazette's features staff on Tuesday received five awards, including two top honors, from the Society for Features Journalism in a contest recognizing the best work in North America from 2017.
Reporter Stephanie Earls won first place in Division 1 (circulation up to 90,000) for best sports feature in the 30th annual Excellence in Features Journalism contest. Her account from Tarryall Reservoir impressed judges, who commented that "Earls combines humor and vivid imagery in this riveting fish-out-of-water take on ice fishing. ... Bonus points for having to take notes in minus-15-degree weather."
Seth Boster, who won first place a year ago for his profile of renowned Colorado castle builder Jim Bishop, garnered another top honor Tuesday. This winning submission, for best short feature (fewer than 1,000 words), focused on a man who's measured snow outside Crested Butte for 45 years. "Nice job painting a picture of solitary, remote living without overly romanticizing it," judges commented. "Measured, smooth writing."
Both of Boster's stories were part of "Colorful Colorado," a magazine that earned praise from judges for being "beautifully written and photographed." It took second place for best special section.
The staff also received runner-up honors for best overall features section. It is the third time in five years that The Gazette's daily Life sections and weekly GO! entertainment magazine have been named among the top three in North America. "Striking designs are the hallmark of these award-worthy sections," judges commented. "They feature a nice mix of local and national topics, and they are tightly and brightly written."
In the Finest in Features Sweepstakes Awards, The Gazette finished third behind The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and The Palm Beach Post in Florida.