Awards to local writers announced

San Antonio, TX –

Winners from the Press Women of Texas competition includes Mary Lou Hazal of the Marketing Communications office at Texas A and M University-Commerce. She earned four awards, including a first place tie for a feature story in a publication for general or specialized circulation.

Two writers for the Greenville Herald-Banner were honored. Carol Ferguson took four first place awards and six overall and Tracy Chesney received two first places and seven overall. And Paris freelance writer June Proctor was in a first place tie for a feature story.

All the first place winners in the state contest move on to national competition this September in Virginia.

Here are details from the news release sent by the Press Women of Texas:

Bonnie Arnold of Kerrville was named the winner of the 2006-07 Ann Faragher Sweepstakes Award at the annual awards dinner during the 114th Press Women of Texas state conference in San Antonio. Arnold, president of PWT, is a staff writer for the Hill Country Community Journal in Kerrville.

Tied as first runners-up for the Faragher Award were two staff members of the Greenville Herald-Banner, Tracy Chesney and Carol Ferguson. Coming in fourth in the judging was State Sen. Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, and Anna M. Tinsley, a news reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was fifth.

The Faragher Sweepstakes Award is named in honor of the long-time editor of the Greenville Herald-Banner and a long-time member of Press Women of Texas. The winner each year is determined by a point system based on the number of entries in each contest category.

Bonnie Arnold received a first place for news reporting in a non-daily newspaper and a second place for a feature story in a non-daily newspaper. She also earned first-place awards for a personality profile, and for special articles - business, special articles - arts and entertainment, special articles - health and fitness, special articles - education, special articles - history, special articles - social issues and special articles - sports. In addition, she won second places in special articles - science, ecology, environment and energy, special articles - government or politics, and special articles -religion, and a second place for a feature photo in a non-daily newspaper. She also had a third place tie for a personality profile.

Tracy Chesney received two first places for a special series and for a humorous personal column, along with second places for a news photo in a daily newspaper, for a feature photo in a daily newspaper and in the photography-writer category. In addition, she received a third place tie for a personality profile and tied for an honorable mention for a feature story in a daily newspaper.

Carol Ferguson took four first places, for a personality profile, special articles - religion, special articles - reviews, and for a general personal, column, along with a second for a humorous personal column, and tied for an honorable mention for a feature story in a daily newspaper.

Judith Zaffirini took two firsts, one for a speech and the other for a non-fiction book - biography or autobiography. She received two second places, one for a speech and the other for single news or feature release of information for the media, a category in which she also won a third place. She also took a third for a one to three color newsletter and an honorable mention for newspaper advertising in black and white.

Anna Tinsley had first places for continuing news coverage, and for special articles - science, ecology, environment, energy, took a first and a third for special articles - government or politics, and a second for special article - social issues.

Other winners in the annual PWT contest were:

-Audrey Bailey, a columnist for the Deer Park Broadcaster, an honorable mention for a general personal column;

-Kay Casey, a free-lance writer from Denison, second place for a four-color brochure, third place for a four-color newsletter and honorable mentions for a single black and white newspaper ad and for a feature photo;

-Clara Clay, a free-lance writer from Houston, a first for a chapbook of poetry and a tie for an honorable mention for a feature story;

-Odin Clay, a contributing outdoor writer from Houston, first place for an instructional personal column, first place in the photographer-writer category and second place for a feature photo;

-Sydney Davis of Cypress, sports editor at Stephen F. Austin State University, a first place for feature writing and a first for newspaper photography;

-Amy Halbert, a communications specialist for The Texas A&M University System, two first place ties for feature stories in a publication for general or specialized circulation;

-Mary Lou Hazal of Greenville, a staff member of the communications department at Texas A&M Commerce, a first place tie for a feature story in a publication for general or specialized circulation, a second for a single feature release, and two thirds for a multiple news or feature releases and writing for the web;

-Donna Hunt of Denison, a free-lance columnist for the Herald-Democrat, first place for special articles - travel; second places for special series, for special articles - history and for a general personal column, third place for a speech and an honorable mention for public service;

-Carole Fry Owen of Temple, a free-lance writer, a third place for a special series, a tie for an honorable mention for a feature story and an honorable mention for special articles - health and fitness;

-June Proctor of Paris, a free-lance writer, a tie for first for a feature story in a publication for general or specialized circulation;

-Pat Conces Swanson of Huntsville, a free-lance columnist, a third place for a general personal column.

First place winners in the state contest move on to the national competition of the National Federation of Press Women. Winners at that level will be announced at the annual NFPW conference in mid-September in Virginia.