Advocate places in Texas Press sweepstakes

Margie’s Bakery advertisement designed by Adrian Gilmore

By Lisa Morton

143 newspapers submitted over 1,400 entries in the Texas Press Better Newspaper Contest for 2017 through their membership with the Texas Press Association (TPA).  Lisa Morton, representing the Van Horn Advocate, attended the General Session of the retreat last Saturday at the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico.  Awards in 12 sweepstakes contest categories and 4 non-sweepstakes contest categories were given in 10 Divisions based on newspaper circulation size.

General Manager Lisa Mortan accepting one of the three awards given to The Van Horn Advocate for their exceptional work in the last year. 

All first place winners received plaques and second through fourth place winners received certificates.  In addition, Sweepstakes points were earned for each division based on point accumulation in the 12 sweepstakes categories.  The Van Horn Advocate came home with its best recognition since the newspaper was purchased by the late Editor-in-Chief, Robert C. Morales.

Advocate Assistant Adrian Gilmore was recognized in graphic design receiving a 1st place Advertising award.  Editor Gilda Morales also received 1st place in Editorial Writing with submissions on “A Tale of Two Candidates”.  The comparison interview of then incumbent Congressman Will Hurd and former Congressman Pete Gallego.  The other was “We’ve Come a Long Way Baby . . . NOT”.  A progressive piece on minorities.  General Manger Lisa Morton and Gilda Morales took 1st place in Headline Writing with submissions for “What goes up . . .” the Launch, Land, Repeat story on Blue Origin, “City Pool site of kiddy candy caper”, and “On your mark, get set, GLOW” headlines.  A shared award of 4th place for Feature Photos by Lisa Morton, Gilda Morales and Lora Jernigan was for photo submissions that include the VHHS band silhouette at dusk, a deer in front of the Valentine Community Church, two Van Horn elementary students at school Thanksgiving Dinner, and the 100-year birthday celebration of Hazel Walker.

Acting editor of the Advocate commented, “The three first-place and one fourth-place awards to The Van Horn Advocate by the Texas Press Association, illustrates our resolve to continue my brother Robert’s legacy, and his insistence on excellence.  I’m sure he is looking down on us proudly as we pick up where he left off.”

Other far West Texas neighbor publications receiving awards in Division 7, were the Fort Stockton Pioneer:  2nd place Column Writing, 2nd place New Photo, and 4th place New Writing and The Big Bend Sentinel: 2nd place in New Writing and 3rd place in News Photo.

Cumulative points for awards placed The Van Horn Advocate in 4th place overall in the Sweepstakes. The Winners’ Circle publication saluted the Better Newspaper Contest winners, and included Judges’ comments on the winners from the Louisiana Press Association as part of the annual contest swap.  In 2018, TPA will “swap” with the Nebraska Press Association.


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