2011 – 2012 Writing Winners

From 535 writing entries received in the 2011-2012 writing competitions, eight finalists’ competition articles qualified them for the Hearst National Writing Championship in San Francisco, where they competed for additional scholarship awards. This special event consisted of an on-the-spot assignment and a press interview. The finalists’ articles were judged for accuracy, writing quality, enterprise and innovation.

On Monday, June 4th, shortly after arriving in the city, the finalists met with the judges for orientation and assignments. This year, the on-the-spot assignment was on the topic of the burgeoning cycling trend in the city. The finalists’ press interview subject was San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. The Mayor spent an hour with the finalists at City Hall, sharing an overview of his life and career and answering questions. The final deadline was Wednesday at 6 p.m. by which point the news story from the interview, a personality/profile of Mayor Lee and the spot news piece were due. After reviewing the articles Thursday morning, the judges made their decisions and the winners were announced at the awards ceremony that evening.

The first through third place winners were awarded scholarships of $5,000, $4,000, and $3,000 respectively and are featured below. The five finalists who earned $1,500 scholarship awards were: Ellen J. Hirst from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Trey Miller from Pennsylvania State University, Taylor D. Moak from University of Kentucky, Anna Orso from Pennsylvania State University and Kelly Parsons from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two additional awards of $1,000 each were given to Ellen J. Hirst for Article of the Year and Biz Carson for Best Reporting Technique for their articles submitted in the monthly competitions.