Houston Press writers were well represented in a national competition for alternative newsweeklies as well as in a statewide journalism contest open to all print media.
In the Association of Alternative Newsweekly Awards national contest, Press food writer Robb Walsh placed second in the Food Writing category for "The Cow Says 'Oink,' " "Sex, Death and Oysters" and "Osso Buco Me? Osso Buco You!"
Staff writer Josh Harkinson was a double finalist, placing third in News Story Short Form for "Firing Line," "Carrying the Torch" and "Cooked Book." Harkinson also placed third in the Education category for "HCCS's Gift Basket."
And in that same competition, Press editor Margaret Downing received an honorable mention in the Column category for "Watching You," "A Dog's Life" and "Up in the Air."
In the statewide Lone Star Awards sponsored by the Houston Press Club, Harkinson won first place in the Business Story category for his story "Ship Wrecked."
A judge described the story as "The superbly researched and executed tale of a Houston-based ship-certifying company whose shoddy inspections may have been responsible for the worst 'ecological genocide' that Spain and the Mediterranean have ever experienced."
Harkinson also placed second overall in the prestigious Print Journalist of the Year category for his body of work. Former Press staffer Sarah Fenske placed third in that category of the contest.
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Downing received two awards. She placed second in Editorials for "Beggars Can't Be Choosers," and she and co-writer Bob Burtman received third in the Business Story category for "A Closer Look at Dillard's."
D.L. Groover, a regular contributor to the Press, received second place in the Arts and Entertainment Commentary/Criticism category for "One Screwy Family."
Former staffer Michael Serazio placed third in the Feature Story category for "Gambling on Iraq."
And Ray Hafner, competing in the Student division for an article written for the Press while he was enrolled at the University of Houston, received a third-place award in the News, Sports or Feature Stories category for "Package Deal."