North Carolina Baptists won the two top writing awards at the 53rd Wilmer C. Fields Awards, along with several other honors. The awards ceremony was held April 21 during the Baptist Communicators Association (BCA) annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Winners from North Carolina included representatives from the Biblical Recorder (BR), Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH), North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Staff members from the BR and SEBTS brought home grand prize awards in feature and news writing.
BCA is made up of writers, photographers, editors, graphic designers, videographers, etc., who work in Baptist communications at state Baptist conventions, newspapers, churches, foundations, children’s homes and colleges.
Areas for awards include: Public Relations & Development, Interactive Communications, Audio-Visual Communication, Photography, News Writing, Feature Writing, Design and Overall Publication. Student awards were also given in each of these areas. Within all of these areas there are various categories these entities and individuals can enter. All areas except Overall Publication include a grand prize winner.
Seth Brown, BR content editor, won the Frank Burkhalter Award in Religious Newswriting – the grand prize in news writing – for his story on the Syrian refugee crisis. That story also won first place in the “Single article-more than 1,000 words” entry. The story was the front-page feature for the March 12, 2016, issue of the BR.
Harper McKay, formerly of SEBTS, won the grand prize in feature writing, the Leonard Holloway Award in Feature Writing for “Freedom to Study: A Call to Keep Going.” That story placed first in the “Single article-750-1,500 words” entry.
In design, the BR staff also placed first in “Publications-Newspaper Front Page” for the design of the Sept. 24, 2016, cover and second in the “Publications-State Baptist Newspaper” category. In feature writing, the BR staff won second place in “Series or Package” for several stories staff wrote about the state of associations in North Carolina.
Carol Layton, NCBAM’s communications director, placed second in feature writing for “Building Better Balance” in the “Promotion or Advertising Copy” entry and second in the same area for “Single Article-750-1,500 words” for her “Volunteers Share Love and Woman’s Faith Renewed.”
Layton, along with Jim Edminson, editor of Charity & Children and BCH special assistant, placed third in the public relations and development division for “Communications and/or Marketing Strategy – Less than $25,000 Budget” for their “Care Team Training Resources.”
In the overall publication division, Michael C. Blackwell, president of BCH, and Edminson placed second in the “Book” entry for Above the Clouds: 9 Essentials for Thriving at the Peak.
In the design category, SEBTS’ Ryan Thomas placed second for his Center for Faith and Culture postcard in the “Promotion and Advertising-Poster or Flyer” entry.
He also placed second in photography for his “Getty After-Party” photo in the “Feature: Domestic-Single” entry. In the audio-visual communication division, Maria Estes, a photographer and videographer at SEBTS, placed second in the “Video: Editorial Feature, More than 3 minutes” for “GO: Planting a Missions-Minded Church.”
In the student division, Amber Bowen of SEBTS placed third in news writing for her “Opinion/Editorial” – “Mistaking the Part for the Whole: Human Value and the Pro-Life Ethic.”