PUNTA GORDA, FLA. – Members of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) gathered in Punta Gorda, Fla., last week for their 45th Annual Fall Conference. Arguably the “who’s who” of outdoor writing in the Southeast, this talented group met for four days to hone their craft, to learn more about their industry, and to enjoy being with fellow communicators and industry representatives.
In addition to participating in a wide variety of workshops and seminars, members received recognition by their peers with the prestigious SEOPA Excellence In Craft (EIC) awards. Given each year to members whose work best exemplifies high professional standards, the SEOPA EIC awards are a highlight of the conference.
The categories in which members compete include all media and reflect the diversity of the organization and its professionals. They include awards for newspaper, magazine, book and Web writing, photography, video and audio programming, entrepreneurial projects, and public relations programs. A complete list of winners is listed below.
Special communications awards were presented in two categories: Conference Site Story for the best stories resulting from visits to the 2007 conference site of North Little Rock, Ark., and the Sharon Rushton Award for the best story for and/or about youth in the outdoors. Freelance writer Jim Spencer from Calico Rock, Ark., took top honors in the Conference Site Story competition for a newspaper article titled, “Close Encounters of the Elk Kind.” Alex Zidock of Greentown, Pa., won second place for “Women Shooters,” a segment he produced for his weekly television show. Third place went to another Arkansan, Keith Sutton for “In the Heart of a Swamp” published in Birder’s Digest. The North Little Rock Convention and Visitors bureau sponsored this award.
Keith Sutton topped off an impressive total of five wins with the coveted Sharon Rushton award for “On the River With My Boys” published in the April/May 2009 edition of Crappie Angler. Sutton’s vivid description of stepping back in time during a three-day float on the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, has readers dodging mosquitoes, smelling campfires, and feeling all the grit and glory of the trip. This prestigious award is sponsored by Daisy Outdoor Products.
Sponsors of the EIC awards include leading manufacturers, conservation organizations and Southeastern convention and visitors bureaus. Their generous support makes this industry-leading awards program possible.
EIC – Industry Public Relations Program – Sponsored by SEOPA
1st Place: Howard Communications for Go Online in 2009
2nd Place: NWTF for 2008 NWTF Annual Report
3rd Place: The Sportsman Channel for The Sportsman Magazine.
EIC – Outdoor Entrepreneur Project – Sponsored by Liberty Press
1st Place: Barbara Baird for Women’s Outdoor News (The WON)
2nd Place: Mike Giles for All-Purpose Greetings Cards
3rd Place: PJ Pera for X-Treme Jakes Online
EIC – Audio Program – Sponsored by a Generous Anonymous Benefactor
1st Place: Mike Walker for “Fauna Security-Talking Trees” on Toyota Outdoors Radio – January 2009
2nd Place: Glynn Harris for “Turkey Hunting” on O’Neal Outdoors – March 2009
3rd Place: Glynn Harris for “Snakes” on O’Neal Outdoors – May 2009
Honorable Mention: Mke Walker for “Pass it On – Take a Kid Fishing” on Toyota Outdoors Radio – January 2009
EIC – Video Program – Sponsored by Fish Harder Companies
1st Place: Dave Appleton for “Northwest Territory” on Bass Pro Shops’ 100 Percent Reel Hunting – December 2008
2nd Place: Doug Gardner for “ACE Basin” on Wild Photo Adventures TV Series – September 2008
3rd Place: Doug Gardner for “Manatees” on Wild Photo Adventures TV Series – September 2008
EIC – Electronic Publication – Sponsored by SEOPA
1st Place: Mike Giles for “Fishing and Freedom on the 4th of July” at MeridianStar.com – April 2009
2nd Place: Keith Sutton for “Best Christmas Ever: Return From the Amazon” at ESPN.com –
3rd Place: Gil Lackey for “The Teacher” at TroutUnlimited.com – December 2008
Honorable Mention: Jill Easton for Guest Editorial at WomensOutdoorWire.com – February 2009
EIC – Outdoor Book – Sponsored by a Generous Anonymous Benefactor
1st Place: Ben Moise for “Ramblings of a Low Country Game Warden”
2nd Place: Steve Brigman for “Somebody’s Got To Do It”
3rd Place: Tommy Thompson for “Saltwater Sportsman’s Guide to Florida”
EIC – Weekly Newspaper Story – Sponsored by Johnson City CVB
1st Place: Bob Kornegay for “As the Creek Dies a ‘Kid’ Remembers” in The Miller County Liberal – June 2008
2nd Place: Kenny Kieser for “Morel Mushrooms Worth the Hunt” in The Examiner – April 2009
3rd Place: Mike Marsh for “Grandpa Lands Record Catfish” in The Tabor-Loris Tribune – August 2008
EIC – Daily Newspaper Story – Sponsored by SEOPA
1st Place: Keith Sutton for “Last Dance” in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – November 2008
2nd Place: Bob Kornegay for “Tribute to a Survivor” in The Albany (Ga.) Herald – June 2008
3rd Place: Mike Giles for “Fishing and Freedom on the 4th of July” in The Meridian (Miss.) Star –
EIC – Photograph – Sponsored by Realtree Camouflage
1st Place: Paul Brown for “Little Blue Heron” – Wildlife Calendar – 2009
2nd Place: Tim Flanigan for “Three Amigos” – Pennsylvania Wildlife Calendar – 2009
3rd Place: Paul Brown for “Wood Duck” – Wildlife Calendar – 2009
EIC – Magazine Short Story – Sponsored by Realtree Camouflage
1st Place: Keith Sutton for “A Fish for a Soldier” in Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal – Spring 2009
2nd Place: John Sloan for “Obsession” in Bowhunt America – July 2008
3rd Place: Mike Marsh for “The Longest Retrieve” in North Carolina Game & Fish – April 2009
EIC – Magazine Story – Sponsored by Coleman Company
1st Place: Jim Spencer for “Meditations of a Squirrel Hunter” in Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal –
2nd Place: Ron Jolly for “A Promise Kept” in Turkey Call Magazine – September/October 2008
3rd Place: Monte Burke for “I’ve Learned” in Angling Trade – March 2009
Honorable Mention: Jeff Williams for “It’s All About the Bugs” in Arkansas Wildlife –
Honorable Mention: Gil Lackey for “How Many Points” in Quality Whitetails Magazine –
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