Carol La Valley won the 2009 Outstanding Writing Award given by Arizona Newspaper Association through Arizona Press Women (APW).
Former Payson Roundup reporter La Valley swept the 2009 APW Communications Conference. Rim Country residents Carol Osman Brown, Patricia Gail Hearne and Jaimie Bruzenak also placed in the competition.
A feature story appearing in the Roundup — “Brothers reunite at graduation” — was “a labor of love at the end of a long week,” La Valley said. “I was a bit disappointed when I heard the judge say honorable mention, so a few minutes later I was stunned to accept the Outstanding Writing Award.”
“What makes this simple story so compelling is the way it is constructed,” writes Kristin Gilger, Assistant Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “The writer sets up her story like a stage play. If it had been told in traditional journalistic feature-writing style, the story would have been fine, but indistinguishable from hundreds of other stories about Iraq veterans returning home.”
La Valley won the Outstanding Writing Award in 2007 for “Happy endings,” the fourth in a series on foster care.
Her column, “Papa, watch me fly” took first place in the competition, and has been entered in the National Federation of Press Women 2009 Communications Contest. She also accepted a second-place award for editing the Rim Country Gazette, a second-place honor for travel writing and for a personality profile, and third place for a feature story.
Rim Country resident Carol Osman Brown won a second-place award in the Newsletter 1/3 color competition for the Beaver Valley Bulletin. Patricia Gail Hearne received honorable mention for a feature story in the Roundup.