By Ken Stern 

29 newspaper contest awards for Weekly News


October 11, 2023

Staff at the La Conner Weekly News continue to be recognized for their excellent work. They received 29 WNPA best newspaper awards at the annual Better Newspaper Contest of Washington’s community newspapers in Kennewick Oct. 7. News editor Bill Reynolds led with 10, including first for his “Rehabbed bald eagle released near McGlinn Island” in the animal features story category. Reynolds added five seconds and four thirds across categories ranging from an arts feature story on Maggie Wilder leading the repainting of the mural under the Rainbow Bridge to social issues and news sports stories. Reynolds sly and nuanced use of words gained him second and third place for headlines - sample: “Pet parade raises the woof.”

Craig Barber took first for his photo essay, “A big day for our little town,” a centerfold capturing the community moving books to the new La Conner Swinomish Library. Nancy Crowell won first for her pictorial photo of “A blizzard of snow geese,” taken just about a year ago.

Madoc Hiller won the first photo award of his career, second for his sports feature photo of retiring volleyball coach Susan Marble hugging Peg Seeling. Former staffer Marissa Conklin took three third place photo awards, including “A top flight costume for Halloween,” a young pilot at last year’s parade.

Mel Damski gained second place for a set of his “If I ran the Zoo” in the general interest column category.

Anne Basye won a second and third place for a general feature story and an environmental story, respectively.

Ken Stern took three first place awards, in breaking news, government and for a theatre review, three seconds, including his feature story on the “Good old days of typewriters” and a third place in the general interest column category for a set of his “Musings - on the editor’s mind.”

Design and Layout Editor Ronda Hundertmark won three awards, including first for her use of clip art in promoting the La Conner Chamber of Commerce Ice Cream Social.

The paper is this good because of the efforts of many people, who are all unrecognized winners. The behind the scenes staff of Rhonda Hundertmark, Eileen Engelstad and Nancy Crowell ensure each week’s publication.

The contest time period was for newspapers published from April 2022 through March 2023 Awards are presented in four groups based on circulation. The Weekly News is in group 1, circulation under 2,000. Judging was by members of the Montana Newspaper Association.

In 2022 staff win 34 awards.

The community can be rightfully proud of the well-crafted stories, photos and ads that are in every issue of the Weekly News.

Thank you, everyone.


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