That's me again (in my Cash McCall disguise*) telling our writers how great they are ... and meaning every word of it^
We held our Writers Awards Luncheon today and, I swear, it remains my favorite event after all these years. It is one of the very few elements of life in the publishing business we carried over from the Blue Ridge Business Journal when Tom Field and I started Valley Business FRONT (and brought almost all of our freelancers with is) 18 months ago.
This is an event where we can recognize effort, talent, commitment, loyalty and, sometimes, eyebrow-raising accomplishment. Our writers come in all forms, from the much-honored veteran journalist to the novice, but all of them have one thing in common: they deeply care about what they do when they sit down to write. It shows and it makes my job as editor a sheer pleasure. I love going to work (and staying at work until 11 p.m. most nights).
Today's award winners--David Perry, Most Outstanding Contributor; Alison Weaver, Best Story; and Kathy Surace and Rachael Garrity as the Editor's Award winners--are perfect examples of what I'm talking about. David and Kathy are newcomers who had always wanted to write, but had not been given the opportunity. They dug in quickly and have been learning sponges for us.
Kathy's Business Dress column has a big, loyal following and David's feature stories are a highlight of every issue. He has become something of a default setting for profile assignments.
Alison was my assistant editor at the Business Journal some years ago, but went with the local daily paper as a copy editor for a few years. The daily never recognized what it had in its own newsroom (as is often the case): Alison is a fine writer and a marvelous digger. Her cover story in next month's magazine (January) will knock your shoes off. We're already discussing book potential for it.
Rachael is a veteran writer who never lost her enthusiasm--which often leads to a loss of skill. Her writing is simply superb and Rachael has a way with people that is enviable.
But there were a room full of stories like theirs today and I'd love for you to know all of them. They're marvelous people and I feel fortunate not only to have them helping us put out a top-notch magazine, but just to know them.
(*If you have to ask who Cash McCall is, you couldn't handle the answer.)