In recent weeks, the Houston Press has picked up awards both statewide and national for stories published during the last year.
At an October 22 awards ceremony in Dallas, it was announced that the Press had won a Katie, a statewide award presented by the Dallas Press Club, for Best Specialty Feature in competition against all daily and weekly papers in Texas. Earlier, it had been announced that the Press had also been named a Katie finalist in the category of Specialty Column. The Best Specialty Feature award went to freelance writer Michael Berryhill for his "Why the Katy Prairie Matters" feature in the January 20 issue of the Press. The Katie finalist notice was given to Press food critic Alison Cook for her column "The Special? Chef du Jour" in the November 18, 1993 issue.
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Katies were also won by the Houston Post, which took two first place honors in Best Series and Best General Column and had finalists in five other categories. The Houston Chronicle won no first place honors, but had three finalists in sportswriting categories.
The biggest Katie winner among weeklies was the Houston Press' sister publication, the Dallas Observer. The Observer won seven Katies, among them first place awards for best sports feature story, best business news story and best government/political story -- the last for "The Case Against Kay," which ran jointly in the Observer and the Press on June 23.
Also on the statewide front, "Why the Katy Prairie Matters" has been given a Sierra Club Media Award and an Audubon Society Media Award.
In the national arena, Alison Cook -- who earlier this year won first place in the criticism category in the Houston Press Club's annual competition -- has been named first place winner in columns for publications under 200,000 circulation by the Association of Food Journalists, a nationwide food writers association. In the awards notice, the judges commented that Cook's "mastery of language overwhelmed other entries." The only other Texas food writer to be honored was Kitty Crider of the Austin American-Statesman, who took two third-place awards.