Carole Vasta Folley, assistant editor of South Burlington’s The Other Paper, took home second place as a humor columnist among weekly newspapers in the annual New England Newspaper and Press Association competition Feb. 16.

More than 3,000 entries were received overall from the 450 member newspapers for the annual competition.

“I wish there was an emoji just for reading Carole Vasta Folley,” the anonymous newspaper judge commented. “She’s breathless and energetic, and so funny with observations and personal foibles. More! More!”

Other writers, editors and advertising artists for the Vermont Community Newspaper Group won 35 other awards in the contest — 10 firsts for journalism, three firsts for advertising, and 22 second and third places. The group’s members are the Stowe Reporter, Waterbury Record, the News & Citizen, the Shelburne News, the Citizen of Charlotte and Hinesburg, and The Other Paper.

Other notable awards included a first place for a social-issues feature story by Shelburne News and The Citizen staff writer Madeline Hughes, Caleigh Cross, and Kayla Collier. 

“This piece rose to the top among all submissions thanks to its crisp writing style, wide engagement of sources, and its success of conveying the challenges facing women from Vermont’s town halls to its statehouse and the nation’s capital, who have sought and achieved leadership roles but continue to face hurdles in these still male-dominated halls of government,” judges said.

Andrew Martin was selected as New England Reporter of the Year for weekly newspapers, after he took first place for sports story, education reporting and environmental reporting. Martin, 32, started as a reporter with the News & Citizen in 2010, and after the Stowe Reporter bought  the Morrisville paper in 2015, Martin has also reported for the Reporter and the Waterbury Record.

The Stowe Reporter took second place for General Excellence among smaller weeklies in both the journalism and advertising contests; judges noted “the Reporter is chock-full of original reporting (and) writing, with compelling enterprise pieces like a front-page elder housing story backed up by plenty of secondary material deeper in the paper.” 

Other first places:

Journalism: Right-to-know, Stowe Reporter staff; editorial writing, Tom Kearney; special sports section, RIDE (a mountain-biking section); pictorial photo and photo series, Paul Rogers, Stowe Guide; human interest feature story, Hannah Marshall Normandeau for Stowe Guide.

Advertising: Best niche publication, Stowe Guide & Magazine; local display ad (color).

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