On Friday night, a party of Yellow Scene revelers and hoodlums ventured over to the Denver Press Club in Denver for the annual and very prestigious Society of Professional Journalists “Top of the Rockies” awards.
Having already been informed that we had four winners on staff, we knew that it was going to be a good night. At that point, the worst case scenario was that we would walk out with a couple of “third place” awards. We had entered two pieces of journalism – managing editor Brett Callwood’s education piece “Options in Education” and associate editor Ryan Howe’s health piece, “From Light to End of Life.”
This being our first time at the Denver Press Club, we soaked up the surroundings. It’s a small place, but historic and demanding of awe. Caricatures of veteran journalists decorate the walls, as do ancient clippings. The building represents much of what has been achieved by local-area writers and artists.
When the ceremony began, we were treated to some inspiring speeches from the night’s big winners. Jennifer Brown of the Denver Post was named Journalist of the Year, while the rather wonderful Marcia Martinek of the Leadville Herald Democrat got the First Amendment Award thanks to her impressive pursuit of audiotapes recorded at a secret meeting held by Leadville’s Board of County Commissioners. Everyone should stand and applaud this incredible journalist.
KUSA 9News anchor Adele Arakawa got the Keeper of the Flame Award thank to her tireless work in journalism. It was worth showing up just to hear her closing comments on journalistic integrity. “Demand it,” she said. Oh, we do.
And then it was on to the Top of the Rockies portion of the evening which basically saw a room full of publishing peeps sat watching a Powerpoint presentation, waiting for their names to appear. Suffice to say, in the Education: General Reporting category, Callwood and designer Jennifer Ho took first place. In Health: General Reporting, Howe and designer Trisha Himmler also took first place.
Two pieces entered, two Firsts. Next year, we’ll enter a lot more. We whooped, we high-fived, we hollered, we received a few funny looks. It was a great time.
It’s also worth mentioning that designer Katherine Preucil was a finalist in the Maggie Awards for her work on the December cover, making this an extremely successful and satisfying year for the Yellow Scene creatives.