Meet a Member: Jo Ann Mathews

Posted May 21, 2018 by tlehre
Categories: Illinois, North Carolina, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Jo Ann Mathews is another outstanding long-time member of National Federation of Press Women. She is an outstanding writer. She is a dedicated member. Enjoy getting to know this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Name: Jo Ann Mathews

City and State: Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Jo Ann Mathews

Jo Ann Mathews

Affiliate and any leadership positions:  North Carolina Press Club

Years a member of NFPW: 30

Tell us a little about you.

Currently, I write feature stories for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, SC and for North Brunswick Magazine and South Brunswick Magazine in Brunswick County where I live. I majored in English and minored in Spanish and education at University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, where I grew up. I taught English full time until I had children (two sons) then taught English and Spanish part time and did freelance writing. After our youngest son graduated from college, I quit teaching and put all my time into writing. We moved to North Carolina 18 years ago because my husband, Steve, wanted to live on a golf course. I don’t golf. I write!

I have a blog “ Women and Adversity,” which tells of challenges noted women–living, deceased and fictional characters–have overcome, most of whom are writers.

Any career advice you would give? 

Know your skills and hone them.

Jo Ann Mathews, right, visits with friends Gwen White, left, and Cindy Cruz-Mullee at the 2017 NFPW conference in Alabama.

Jo Ann Mathews, right, visits with friends Gwen White, left, and Cindy Cruz-Mullee at the 2017 NFPW conference in Alabama.

Which talent would you most like to have?

As far as writing: saying the most in the fewest number of words; As far as other talents: I’d love to play the piano, the new and old hits. I’ve tried. I’m not going to be featured on any talent show. I also am trying to knit. Ha, ha, ha! I can crochet, though!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right where I am.

What book are you reading?

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership. I have three more on my shelf waiting to be read.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I have never tried or taken any illegal drugs, but I am in favor of legalizing marijuana/cannabis and releasing prisoners who are serving time for its possession.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The late Joanne Zerkel made me aware of Illinois Woman’s Press Association and NFPW. I met wonderful people through both organizations and learned to improve my writing.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

My website is http://www.jamathews.com, Twitter: https://twitter.com/joann_mathews, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joann.mathews.9; Blog: jamathews.com/blog. (I am on LInkedIn but don’t really follow it  because often posts are outdated.)

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Meet a Member: Tommy Simmons

Posted April 9, 2018 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

I first became aware Tommy Simmons is a food expert on the 2017 NFPW Alabama conferece pre-tour. She was on the tour and it was fun to have a food expert share comments on the different dishes as the group shared meals on the trip. She spent many years as a food columnist in Louisiana and enjoys reviewing restaurant food. Last fall her expertise was recognized when she was named the 2017 recipient of the Grace ‘Mama’ Marino Llfetime Culinary Achievement Award by the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society. Meet this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Name: Tommy Collier Simmons

Hometown: Waleska, Georgia

Affiliate: At large member since 2011. Former member and a past state president of Louisiana Press Women.

Tommy Simmons receiving Grace Mama Marino Llfetime Culinary Achievement Award.

Tommy Simmons receiving the 2017 Grace Mama Marino Llfetime Culinary Achievement Award.

 

Tell Us a Little About You:

I loved my journalist career which encompassed freelance business and technical writing, producing legislative position papers and an employee newsletter for the East Baton Rouge School Board and working for more than 40 years for the Baton Rouge morning and afternoon newspapers. I thank two high school journalism teachers for introducing me to newspaper writing and the multi-faceted communication opportunities available in journalism. If you are a current communications or journalism teacher, bravo and keep encouraging student communicators.

 

Upon retiring as an award-winning food editor from The Advocate newspaper in 2011, my husband, David, and I moved to Waleska, a small college town in north Georgia. Our new resort community, with lake, golf course, tennis, swimming, clubhouse, etc., puts us about 45 minutes from two of our grandchildren, who live in Marietta, GA, and 2 hours from the Atlanta airport, which easily connects us to two more grandchildren in Dallas, TX. We do miss extended family, friends and the food in Louisiana, but are enjoying our new home in the Appalachian mountain foothills.

I currently write two freelance columns a month, one on what to cook from the garden for a gardening e-newsletter published by GardenSmart.tv, and a recipe-focused column for our neighborhood magazine.

I’m curious about social media, saddened at the decline of daily newspapers and proud of NFPW’s continuing evolution as an organization for professional development and defender of “Freedom of the Press.”

Any advice to share:

I have three words of advice for new journalists:

1. Learn to listen to the people you interview and work with.

2. Try to keep up with changes in your field. Staying active in professional organizations such as NFPW supports this effort.

3. Know yourself and your situation. If you value flex time and need to be the parent picking up the kids or assisting with eldercare, don’t over extend either at work or in your personal life. I think point 3 is difficult to grasp for talented, ambitious women and men, who want to do everything – to have it all. But, I’ve seen too many unhappy people in our work, who sacrificed their well-being in not realizing there are practical limitations on how many hours can be spent at work when you have home and personal obligations as well.

What book are you reading?

I read quick-read cozy mysteries on my Kindle and am commencing a read-through study of The Bible and “Science & Health” by Mary Baker Eddy.

Ways to follow you on social media:

Tommy Simmons on Facebook

 

Meet a Member: Priscilla Owings-Chansky

Posted March 27, 2018 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Priscilla Owings-Chansky has worn many hats during her outstanding communications career. I first met her many years ago when she was the executive director of NFPW. Today, she champions the Veterans Voices Writing Project, Inc. Many NFPW members met her when she was on a communications panel at the national conference in Kansas. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Name: Priscilla Owings-Chansky

Hometown: Olathe, Kansas

Priscilla Owings-Chansky

Priscilla Owings-Chansky

Affiliate and any offices: Kansas Professional Communicators,  currently Vice President

Tell us a little about you:

I am the administrative director of the Veterans Voices Writing Project, Inc., a position I have held for 14 years. VVWP publishes the writing of military veterans from across the United States in a 64-page magazine, Veterans’ Voices, which is published three times a year (spring, summer, fall). The magazine, begun by a group of Kansas City journalists, 66 years ago continues to provide therapy and pride of publication to our nation’s veterans. VVWP has a new website: veteransvoices.org, which includes a digital copy of the current magazine and a portal for veterans to write and submit their prose, poetry, artwork and photos.

We encourage volunteers to start writing groups for veterans, to become volunteer online editors for Veterans’ Voices, and to be writing aide volunteers in VA Medical Centers across the United States.

On a personal level, I am the VA&R chair for the Olathe American Legion  Auxiliary; a 50-year plus member of Beta Sigma Phi, a life member of the Kappa Phi Club and the National Federation of Press Women, a member of The Association for Women in Communications (since 1960) and a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Olathe.

Priscilla with step-grandchildren Alana and Bennett Chansky.

Priscilla with step-grandchildren Alana and Bennett Chansky.

I have one son, Rusty Owings, a grandson, Liam Owings, and three step- grandchildren: Audrey Pendergraft, Bennett and Alana Chansky. Liam and Audrey live in Kansas City and Bennett and Alana reside in Kenosha, WI. Liam spent last summer as an AFS exchange student in Italy, where he participated in an art program and got to carve in Carrera marble. Needless to say, he couldn’t bring his work home with him, but has lots of photos. He is a junior at Lincoln Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Mo.

The first week of June, Rusty, Liam, Audrey and I will be traveling to Alaska to sightsee and cruise.

Any career advise to share:

Always take advantage of professional programs, seminars and webinars to improve your skills and knowledge. I believe that NFPW and AWC conventions and programs have been most beneficial to me.

Which talent would you most like to have?:

I’d love to be able to play the piano. I took lessons as an elementary school student. A couple of years ago, I acquired a piano…and have not taken advantage of it as I couldn’t play as well as I thought I could…and I haven’t practiced. Maybe when I retire!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right where I am – near my son and grandson.

What book are you reading?

I just finished reading a mystery story that a friend loaned me – Porcelain Dolls Don’t Bleed – a story by a Denver writer set in Colorado and involving the maker of porcelain dolls who was murdered. Previous to this, I read several of Tony Hillerman’s southwest Indian mysteries. I was so pleased to again meet Anne Hillerman, his daughter and NFPW member, at a Kansas City library event featuring her writing. So pleased to learn that she was continuing stories about her father’s characters.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am an independent Mary Kay consultant. I have been widowed twice (both husbands succumbed to lung diseases). Current/new NFPW members might be surprised to learn that I was once the executive director of NFPW, having previously worked for the organization. I have also been the interim director of the Piano Technicians Guild, manager of the United Federation of Doll Clubs. I co-owned a weekly newspaper for seven years along with a typesetting and public relations company. I spent many years in public relations with the University of Kansas Medical Center, Liberty Hospital and Comprehensive Mental Health Services, both in Missouri.

Why are organizations like NFPW important?

I believe that professional organizations are important to honing our skills, to keeping our knowledge relevant to today’s workplace, and to creating the lasting friendships and professional advice that we get from other members.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

VVWP’s website is: veteransvoices.org; Veterans’ Voices on Facebook; and @VeteransVoices on Twitter.

Meet a Member: Meredith Cummings

Posted January 16, 2018 by tlehre
Categories: Alabama, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,
When you talk about amazing NFPW members, remember the name Meredith Cummings. She just completed a term as president of Alabama Media Professionals. She also spent six months in 2017 traveling 10,000 miles by car to chronicle American Journalism. The University of Alabama named her an Innovation Scholar in Residence so she could chronicle journalism for her #followmylede project. She has written an outstanding blog about her adventures (see link below). She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member.
Name: Meredith Cummings
 
Meredith Cummings in her office at University of Alabama.

Meredith Cummings in her office at University of Alabama

City and State: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

 
Affiliate and any leadership positions: Alabama Media Professionals, immediate past president of AMP
 
Tell us a little about you.
For over 20 years I’ve worked in print, web, and multimedia reporting. I now teach at the University of Alabama in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media where I supervise production for our WVUA-TV newsroom and coordinate our JCM social media. I am a freelance journalist and immediate past president of the Society of Professional Journalists Alabama Chapter. I currently write for al.com and Medium, among other publications. My passions are the three non profit groups I direct, the National Elementary Schools Press Association as well as the Alabama Scholastic Press Association and the Multicultural Journalism Program. Both groups help K-12 students create better journalism in all of its forms. I have four cats (yes I’m that lady) and one daughter, Isabel, 15. I’m also just realizing that I told you about my cats before my child, so there’s that. 
Any career advice you would give? 
Be open to any possibility. If anyone had told me when I entered college that I would be a journalist, I would have laughed at them, then slapped them silly. I was too shy to talk to strangers and never wanted to be a reporter. Boy, things can change.
 
Which talent would you most like to have? 
I would love to be one of those talented people who can easily speak multiple languages. Sadly, I’ve just never been great at picking up other languages without tons and tons of work and studying.
 
Meredith Cummings with Big Al. Roll Ride, y'all

Meredith Cummings with Big Al. Roll Tide, y’all

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

Sweet home, Alabama. I love the South.
 
What book are you reading? 
Barbarian Days is an incredible book about surfing without really being about surfing. (It should be noted that I have no interest in surfing. That’s how good this book is.) It’s written by William Finnegan, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and is possibly one of the most well-written books I’ve ever read. I listened to it on Audible and loved it so much I’m reading it now. His ability to use language is astounding. I’m also reading journalist Ariel Levy’s new book, The Rules Do Not Apply, which is incredible so far.
 
Meredith Cummings with Kermit

Meredith Cummings with Kermit

What would people be surprised to learn about you? 

I love The Muppets (Kermit started as a broadcast reporter, don’t forget.) I can twirl fire batons. I collect PEZ dispensers. I recently completed one of the things I’m most proud of ever: My Follow My Lede Project that took me to newsrooms around the country. I road tripped 10,000 miles to chronicle journalism in America in 2017. Now I need a book publisher. Any takers? 
 
Why are organizations like NFPW important? 
I love NFPW because the members inspire me. I participate in NFPW as well as the Society of Professional Journalists because I meet such talented people who are not afraid to help me learn. I feel comfortable asking them questions (imagine that – a journalist asking questions!) without needing to apologize for my deficiencies. We’re all in it together to help each other learn.
 
Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc. 
I am @merecummings on all social media and blog for al.com as well as Medium.

Meet a Member: Helen Sheffield Plotkin

Posted November 21, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Arkansas, Louisiana, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Helen Sheffield Plotkin is the 2017 Communicator of Achievement for Arkansas Press Women. She is an active member of the affiliate where she has served in many capacities during her professional career. She is currently serving as the affiliate contest director in a affiliate known for high quality entrants. This year’s national sweepstakes award winner was from Arkansas. Plotkin is a dedicated NFPW member and a great asset to our organization. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better.

Name: Helen Sheffield Plotkin

 City and State: Conway, Arkansas

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Arkansas Press Women – I’ve served APW as president, first vice president, secretary, high school contest director, scholarship chair, conference organizer and, this year, I’m chairing the professional contest. I joined APW in 1977. Charlotte Schexnayder, who was NFPW president, spoke at the first APW meeting I attended. I was honored to be asked to join the state board as Southwest District Director in 1978; I found out later that there were few members in the southwest corner of the state and that they’d already asked everyone else who qualified for the position and been turned down. I’m still glad they asked me because that opportunity introduced me to the APW leadership and helped form personal relationships that continue to be important to me 40 years later. That early involvement also prompted me to seek out membership in Louisiana when I moved there in 1979. I was an active member of Louisiana  Press Women for the next decade, serving on the board, helping plan a state conference, and serving as contest chair in the days before you needed to be computer literate to enter. I resumed membership in Arkansas Press Women when I moved back to my home state in 1989.

Helen Plotkin with her niece Amy and holding her grand-niece, Jemma. Photo is from last spring when Jemma was about four months old.

Helen Plotkin with her niece Amy and grand-niece, Jemma. Photo is from last spring when Jemma was about four months old.

Tell us a little about you.

I grew up in Mount Ida, Arkansas, population 897 for most of the time I lived there. My mother, father, sister and brother lived on a farm along the South Fork of the Ouachita River.

 We were poor, but didn’t know it because we didn’t know anyone who wasn’t in the same shape. When my grandparents, and then my parents bought televisions, I got my first glimpse of the outside world and realized that other people lived differently. I was seven when the television arrived and when the wood cookstove was replaced with a gas range; I was 14 when we got running water.

 I graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, with bachelor of arts in journalism and spent the next 13 years working at newspapers in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana – mostly as a feature writer, editor and columnist. I also worked the news desk, covered city hall, county government, the local school board, police, fire and such, and anything else the editors I worked for needed done.

 In 1989, my husband (a Chicago native who was a copy editor at the Monroe, Louisiana, newspaper when I joined the staff) accepted a job of the Arkansas Gazette and we moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, about 100 miles from where I grew up. A couple of months after we moved, I started work in the Public Information Office at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, my first step toward a career in public relations. I spent five years at UALR, learning from a group of talented co-workers and leaving in 1995 as Managing Editor (and interim director) of the Office of Communications. I went to Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas as Director of College Relations for the small liberal arts college that is widely regarded as among 100 best liberal arts colleges in the nation. When I retired in May 2017, I’d been at Hendrix for 22 years, the last two as Vice President for Marketing Communications and a member of the Senior Leadership Team and the President’s Cabinet.

 I’ve been married to Richard Plotkin (also an APW/NFPW member) for 36 years, as of Nov. 15, 2017. We haven’t any offspring, but my late sister was kind enough to have a daughter and son, who have both provided grand nephews and – as of December 2016 – one grand-niece whose arrival is one of the reasons I decided to retire and give myself more time to spoil her rotten.

 Any career advice you would give?

When I told my Hendrix team that was retiring, I was asked to share some parting words of wisdom with the group at one of our monthly “Brown Bag Lunches,” a short professional development time that we all took turns leading. I put together a list I titled 22 True Things, one for each year I worked at Hendrix. After I left, the new Vice President for Marketing Communications had my list framed and hung on the wall (mainly to embarrass me, I think). Here are a few of the items that would fall in the career advice category:

  1. Ask, don’t assume. What you think you already know can get in your way.
  2. Remember that someone else’s idea could be better than yours and you’ll never know that if you don’t pause and listen.
  3. How you respond to setbacks and failure will determine the course of your career.
  4. Don’t be shy about claiming credit when you’ve excelled at something. Also, don’t be shy about sharing the credit. We do very little of value all alone.
  5. While earning the approval and respect of others is valuable and affirming, you are the only person whose approval or respect you require to be a person of integrity.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Since I love music, it would nice if had some talent in that area. My late sister often commented, when we sang duets together in church as teenagers, that the issue wasn’t so much my lack of talent as it was my lack of willingness to practice enough to compensate for it – and my inability to grasp that when we were singing a duet it was actually important that we sing in the same key. I miss my sister every day, but I’ve yet to miss that sharp elbow of hers that landed in my side every time I was flat!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

The ideal place would require a little reorganization of the continent. If no one objects, I would create a cozy little cottage on a few acres of the old family farm in Mount Ida. Then I’d replace the South Fork of the Ouachita River that borders the property with the Pacific Ocean, so I could watch the sunset every night and fall asleep to the sound of the surf. I can’t decide between plopping my little paradise down near Monterey or placing it along the coast of Oregon, where some of my favorite relatives live. Those details can be worked out after I get the cottage built, I’m sure.

What book are you reading?

I usually have several going at the same time. I just started Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly, a Harry Borsch crime novel.

And, I’ve been dipping periodically into Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg, which I purchased at the NFPW meeting in Birmingham and am thoroughly enjoying, and Atlas Obscura, a collection of stories about just plain odd places around the globe.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve been employed as a professional chicken catcher – along with the other members of my high school class. It’s what we did to raise money for our junior banquet and senior trip. It was both hard work and fun, in a weird sort of way. But, I wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term career.

Why are organizations like NFPW important?

Organizations like NFPW connect us with others who share our professional passion. Friendships develop that enrich our lives on a number of levels. NFPW and its state affiliates provide professional development workshops and opportunities to develop leadership skills, and create networks of fellow communicators we can call on when we encounter challenges at work or when we are searching for work.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-plotkin-7b7813b/ – My Linked In page, although there’s not much on it. And, that’s about the same for my Facebook page.

Meet a Member: Michele Cook

Posted October 18, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Michele Cook is one of the newest members of NFPW. She joined this year after joining the NFPW management team, Admin Concepts. Many of you met Michele at the Alabama conference. She is part of the communications contest team and was the leader in getting the contest online and ready for entries by our Oct. 1 target date. (See https://nfpw.org/wp/communications-contest/ ) Now, in her role as Contest Manager, she is handing all the technical questions relating to the contest. I hope you will take time to get to know this unique and unbelievable new NFPW member.

Name: Michele Cook

City and State: Covington, VA

 

Michele Cook

Michele Cook

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Virginia Professional Communicators

 Tell us a little about you.

I am blogger, freelance writer, and author.  About every ten years I reinvent something about myself, this time I decided it was time to give writing my full attention. So, in August I walked away from my full time job to work for Admin Concepts part-time and dedicate more of my time to writing. In the past I have trained horses and people to jump over stationary objects, hunters and jumpers for those familiar with the industry.  I then spent ten years working in various positions for a class 1 railroad. I was everything from a conductor to a signal construction engineer.

Michele Cook with her dogs.

Michele Cook with her dogs.

I have always had a love for animals and the outdoors. I currently own three dogs, two cats, and one horse (and a husband, but he gets upset when I put him on this list). In my spare time I love to hike, fish, and ride my horses through the Alleghany Highlands of western Virginia.

Any career advice you would give?

Never stop learning, there is always more to know, you can always improve upon your craft, and there is that pesky everchanging technology.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to draw or paint. Somedays I get wonderful pictures in my head, but when I try to transfer them to paper, they rival a 4 year-olds finest art work.

Michele Cook on a fishing trip.

Michele Cook on a fishing trip.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love the town I live in, although I would like to be a bit farther away from my neighbors hounds.

What book are you reading?

I just finished Speaking in Bone by Kathy Reichs and am now working on The Hideway by Lauren K Denton

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I like to crochet.

Why are organizations like NFPW important?

A group of like-minded individuals is always more powerful than a single individual. Groups like NFPW give weight to issues women face in today’s world. It is also a great place to network and find inspiration for your next project.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

http://www.michelemcook.com http://www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

Meet a Member: Michelle Harmon

Posted August 23, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Media Network Idaho, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

Michelle Harmon will soon be attending her first NFPW national conference in Birmingham, Alabama. It will be fun to introduce her to all our amazing members. When she was a senior at Borah High School in 1980, I was honored to award her first place in the high school writing contest feature writing category during my first term as the Idaho affiliate president. The past several years she has been special to Media Network Idaho in her position as adviser to the Borah High School newspaper and her work as president of the Idaho Student Journalism Association. The Borah student newspaper is one of the top journalism programs in Idaho and usually wins the MNI High School Communications Contest sweepstakes award, like it did this spring. Take a minute to get to know this unique and unbelievable member and be sure to welcome her during our conference in Alabama.

Name: Michelle Harmon

City and State: Boise, Idaho

Michelle Harmon

Michelle Harmon

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Media Network Idaho member and Idaho State Director, Journalism Education Association / President, Idaho Student Journalism Association

Years a member of NFPW: Two

Tell us a little about you.

My first foray into journalism was in eighth grade, when a teacher earmarked me to type the school newsletter. By high school, I had earned a full-ride tuition scholarship to The Ohio State University (1980-1984). I’m a bit of a butterfly in that I took jobs that would allow me to travel, lived in New York City for 12 years.

After 9-11, I rearranged priorities again, and got my master’s in education. I parlayed my teaching certificate to return to Boise, get married, and teach in the same high school news room that my mentor teacher was in. I retired from the Boise School District in May after 13 years of advising the newspaper staff. I finally feel savvy and confident enough to be a writer!

Any career advice you would give?

Never let money be your main motivation. Do what makes you happy, and the money will come.

Michelle Harmon was named 2014 Journalism Educator of the Year by Youth Journalism International

Michelle Harmon was named 2014 Journalism Educator of the Year by Youth Journalism International

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing and dance. I wasn’t lucky enough for them to come with my writing talent.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Where I live, Boise, Idaho.

What book are you reading?

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlando. I also recently read Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. I am also reading an academic introduction to Hamlet, because that is one of my next profile/feature pieces I will write.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an Army brat — lived in 5 states by the time I was 5 years old. I think it gave me the travel bug that distracted me after I graduated college.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

1980 Idaho Press Women high school writing contest first place award

1980 Idaho Press Women high school writing contest first place award for feature writing.

Originally, NFPW and Media Network Idaho were important to me as a high school newspaper adviser. My students always did well, and the awards they won were invaluable to them and their parents. For example, one autistic student that graduated from my newspaper program went to college (a revived dream for the student’s parents) and wrote movie reviews for the university’s newspaper (print and online).

Earlier this year, I discovered my own high school first place feature award from Teri and the Idaho Affiliate. Now, NFPW is recognizing my writing on a national level nearly 40 years later. It’s confirmation that I have the talent to write, and I should be doing so.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Twitter: @mrharmon