The Virginia Press Association recently announced the winners in the 2021 VPA News & Advertising Contest and the Rappahannock Record had a strong presence competing among community newspapers of similar circulation.
The Record garnered 22 awards including six firsts, 10 seconds and six thirds. The Rivah Visitor’s Guide, produced jointly with the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, won a first and a third. The Record staff also contributed to a Southside Sentinel second-place entry.
“Congratulations to the winning news, advertising and design/production teams,” said editor Robert D. Mason Jr. “And thanks to the publishing/business staff, advertisers, contributors and readers for your support. As a community newspaper our success depends heavily on that continuing support.
“Keep those letters, press releases, photos, advertisements and suggestions coming. You can find our contact information in the masthead on page 2.”
In the news contest, reporter Jackie Nunnery earned first place in public safety writing. The entry included coverage of the FBI offering a reward in a cold case murder investigation; coverage of the Matthew Scott Chapman trial, regarding the shooting death of John Carter Gordon; and coverage of the Jacob Monday trial, regarding the shooting death of David LaForge.
Judges noted the package was “well written, thorough, nice selection.”
Reporter Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi and Mason placed first in combination picture and story for coverage of Lancaster County Little League opening day in 2021.
Judges noted the “story went beyond the annual opening day by recognizing a deserving team from the 60s.”
In the advertising contest, graphic designer Stephanie Feria and advertising manager Susan Graves won first place in home and garden with an ad for W.F. Booth & Son, Inc.; professional services (medical and healthcare), Old Dominion Eye Care, Inc; fashion and personal care, Mill Creek; and small space ads, Pearl.
Among the comments, judges noted the Old Dominion Eye Care, Inc. Merry Christmas advertisement displayed “great eye-catching design and colors. I also loved the 20/21 being the tree trunk.”
For The Rivah Visitor’s Guide, Feria and Graves placed first in home and garden with an ad for Mill Creek.
In the news contest, reporter AnnGardner Eubank won second place in government writing for Irvington Town Council coverage.
Judges noted, “AnnGardner Eubank knows Irvington and her coverage in this entry shows it. She reports with authority on the turmoil. Nice government reporting.”
Production manager Susan Simmons placed second in page design with an entry consisting pages from the Christmas Greetings and the Bay Heritage special sections.
Judges noted “Susan Simmons’ Corner Bygones design has a nice sophisticated look, taking good advantage of old photos by not overdoing it.”
The Record staff won second place for Bay Heritage.
Judges noted “Nice use of photos and pull-out boxes to break up text. I enjoyed the variety and playfulness of type choices. Nice variety of design from page to page. Range of content game me a good feel of the subject.”
Hinton-Valdrighi picked up three second-place awards for column writing, Everybody Has a Story; feature profile writing, an article on Carroll Lee Ashburn; and sports writing portfolio for coverage of Lancaster County Little League opening day, Lancaster High School state golf championship action and cross country champion Hailey Smith.
Among the comments, column writing judges noted “Great story telling with precise writing. I love the Everybody Has a Story concept. Lisa executes it well.”
Nunnery, Hinton-Valdrighi and Eubank shared second-place honors in feature series or continuing story for pieces on Callao, Warsaw and White Stone.
In the advertising contest, Feria and Graves teamed up for second-place in professional services (medical and healthcare) with another advertisement for Old Dominion Eye Care, Inc.; fashion and personal care, Pearl; and education, churches, and organizations, Animal Welfare League.
Record staff contributed to the Southside Sentinel’s second place for the Windows on the Bay 2021 supplement in the special sections or special editions competition.
Judges noted “Clean design and good use of white space, and the subtle pops of color were nice. I liked the variety of text style and size. Nice, large photos.”
In the news contest, Nunnery’s pictorial photo of canola fields took third place.
Judges noted “An argument to preserve spaces, farmland with such a great image like this.”
Nunnery also won third for breaking news writing with coverage of the Lewisetta tornado and for feature story writing with an article on birdwatching that appeared in the Bay HealthStyles supplement.
She also placed third in leisure-lifestyle or home writing with a feature story on nature photography that appeared in the July 2021 Rivah Visitor’s Guide.
Hinton-Valdrighi took third in feature profile writing with an article on Taylor Mitchell, living a cowgirl’s dream.
In the advertising contest, Feria took a third in VPA member self-promotion with a Thanksgiving-theme advertisement.
Feria, Graves, advertising representative Marilyn Bryant and graphic designer Rebecca Riddell won third in multiple advertisers and themed pages with Kilmarnock Salebration Days advertisements.