Award-winning: Hook takes nine statewide prizes

In its first year of eligibility, The Hook brought home nine awards in the annual competition held by the Virginia Press Association.

"This was a superlative first showing and should give The Hook

 encouragement for future contests," says Ginger Stanley, executive director of the VPA.

"The Hook may be a toddler on Charlottesville's alt-press scene, but apparently it's doing something right to catch the attention of the VPA judges," says Jason Roop, managing editor of Richmond's Style Weekly, which earned top honors in the "specialty" category.

Besides Style, The Hook was competing against such venerable titles as Richmond magazine, Port Folio, and 15-year-old Charlottesville contender C-ville Weekly.

"We're happy to see our division of specialty publications get bigger," says Roop, "even if it does mean more competition."

Leading The Hook contingent was Lisa Provence, who won three writing prizes including a second place for her stories on turmoil at the Waltons Museum. "Fascinating series gives a whole new slant to John-Boy," wrote one judge. Provence nearly swept the General News category by garnering both the second and third prizes with her cover stories on the $10 million verdict against NBC 29 and the eight-year jail sentence handed to a local couple for providing alcohol to minors.

Regular readers may recognize the names of such Hook winners as writers Laura Parsons, Rosalind Warfield-Brown, and Elizabeth Kiem. Graphic experts Chris Conklin, Linda Sherman, and Jen Fariello also earned prizes in the prestigious state-wide competition.

Besides The Hook, the other Charlottesville publications earning prizes this year were the Cavalier Daily and the Daily Progress.

The volunteer journalists at the Cavalier Daily, competing against the professional staffs of other small dailies, earned seven awards. Among mid-sized daily newspapers, the Daily Progress had an impressive haul– 14 awards including two first prizes: a multi-authored sports package about UVA defeating Tech and "Annual Report: Central Virginia Schools, Stories of Success."

According to the Virginia Press Association, 142 publications submitted 5,769 entries for the eight categories: three daily, four weekly, and one specialty. Prizes were awarded to 120 publications. The awards banquet was held at the Hotel Roanoke.

The Hook contingent: Rosalind Warfield-Brown, Chris Conklin, Jen Fariello, Courteney Stuart, Laura Parsons, Linda Sherman, and Lisa Provence




Chris Conklin: Excellence of front cover, 3rd place: "Where the Boys Are"

Jen Fariello: Personality photo, 3rd place: portrait of Sheriff Cornelia Johnson

Elizabeth Kiem: Critical writing, 3rd place: stories about Burma, Deliverance, and Good Grief

Laura Parsons: Critical writing, 2nd place: stories on Cynthia Burke, Festival films, and Stonecarvers

Lisa Provence: Continuing story, 2nd: Whose Waltons' museum?

Lisa Provence: General news writing, 2nd: The $10 million verdict

Lisa Provence: General news writing, 3rd: 8 years for a "minor" offense

Linda Sherman: Editorial cartoons, 2nd: Culture Vulture

Rosalind Warfield-Brown & Chris Conklin: Headline writing, 3rd: "Pulp friction" and more