Arizona Press Club Awards, Spent Saints review

Earlier this year I submitted a few stories to the Arizona Press Club’s 2017 Writing and Design Competition. From its website: The Arizona Press Club is a nonprofit organization of professional reporter, editors, photographers and designers from publications across the state. our goal is to promote excellence in journalism through an annual contest, training seminars, scholarships and networking events. 

Every year the Press Club hosts the Writing and Design Competition, with numerous categories involving arts reporting and criticism. Being an arts and culture reporter, I thought I’d submit a few pieces. Of those pieces, my review of Spent Saints & Other Stories by Brian Jabas Smith, a former Phoenix New Times reporter and current Tucson Weekly reporter, took second place in the Community Arts Criticism category. Fun fact: Smith is also on the list of winners this year for his article “Sticky Summer Nights,” which won first place in Community Human Interest Writing.

The first place winner this year was Margaret Regan, also from Tucson Weekly, for her story, “In Defense of Wilderness” — a great read from a great writer.

The judge this year for the Community Arts Criticism Category was Steve Barnes, a writer at the Albany Times Union since 1996. He has served as arts editor for six years, and has been a senior writer and restaurant critic since 2005. He had this to say about my review: “The critic’s voice is vivid, a true pleasure to read, but he never pulls attention from the work he’s writing about. Although a book review, based on hours spent in solo consumption of the writer’s words, the review has the immediacy of writing about the communal experience of live music or theater.”

Read the full list of winners for the Arizona Press Club 2017 Writing and Design Competition here:

Read my review of Spent Saints and Other Stories by Brian Jabas Smith which appeared in Flagstaff Live! here:

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