Seven Days Wins 18 Awards in Vermont Press Association Contest | Inside Seven Days

Seven Days Wins 18 Awards in Vermont Press Association Contest


Alicia Freese
  • Alicia Freese
Seven Days newspaper won 18 awards Thursday at the Vermont Press Association’s annual meeting in Montpelier. Those included six first-place prizes and the prestigious Mavis Doyle Award, which went to staff writer Alicia Freese.

The paper swept the “Best State Story” category. First place went to the entire Seven Days news team for its five-week “Give and Take” series, which examined Vermont’s nonprofit economy. Staff writer Taylor Dobbs, political editor Paul Heintz and political columnist John Walters jointly took the second-place prize for their coverage of a pitched battle over the state’s gun laws. Third place in the category went to Heintz for a story documenting the decline of Vermont’s dairy industry.

  • Margot Harrison
Seven Days also took home all three prizes in the “John Donoghue Award for Arts Criticism” category. First went to associate editor Margot Harrison, second to assistant arts editor Dan Bolles and third to theater critic Alex Brown.

Other first-place finishers included staff writer Mark Davis, who won “Best Local Story” for his coverage of  Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon’s real estate empire, and staff writer Katie Jickling, who won the “Feature Writing” category for a story about a father grappling with his son’s mental illness.

Walters, author of the weekly “Fair Game” political column, took home top honors in the “Column Writing: Political/Hard News” category. Seven Days also came in first for “Best Website.”

Dailies and weeklies enter separately in most VPA contest categories, but all Vermont newspapers compete against one another for the Donoghue and Mavis Doyle awards. This was the second year in a row that Freese, who covers the Statehouse for Seven Days, won the latter. Named after the former dean of the Statehouse press corps, the Mavis Doyle Award recognizes a reporter’s “aggressiveness, determination, compassion, commitment to journalism, dedication to social justice and unwavering belief that journalism should be the watchdog of the government and the voice of the people.”

“We’re certainly not in this business to win awards, but we appreciate the recognition of our peers in the Vermont Press Association,” said Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly. "Week in and week out, we strive to produce top-notch journalism that — we hope — is fair, accurate, incisive and well written."

Here’s a full list of Seven Days’ prizes:

Best State Story:
Best Local Story:
Feature Writing:
John Donoghue Award for Arts Criticism:
Best Arts & Entertainment Story:
Column Writing: Political/Hard News:
Column Writing: Features/Lifestyle/Humor:
Best Feature Photo:
Mavis Doyle Award:
Outstanding Website: