Feature Writing (over 25,000 circulation)
Winner: Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator
Jon Wells’ 5,400-word feature on the death of a popular Port Dover fisherman mixes extensive reportage with confident, detail-driven writing that compels the audience to keep reading. The story is a portrait of the man lost by his community, and alongside it, provides context and insight that helps readers build an appreciation for Ontario’s commercial fishing industry and the work of search-and-rescue crews.
Runner-up: Sebastian Bron, Hamilton Spectator
Bron’s well-written tale of a couple who fell in love in a retirement home is a reminder that good stories are all around us, and that speaking to people about their lives is often the best way to find them. The story is also an example of how even in the midst of a global pandemic, there is room for optimism. “What a blessing it was to read this story after all the gloom and doom we have been reading about the coronavirus,” one reader wrote to the newsroom.
Runner-up: Joel Rubinoff, Waterloo Region Record
Joel Rubinoff’s deft tale about Anne Innis Dagg’s experience reading and re-reading the same book while quarantined with scarlet fever is a reminder of how past experiences can inform the present. Rubinoff skillfully weaves together details of Dagg’s life and elements of her personality extracted solely from a telephone interview. Rubinoff writes with voice and authority and allows his subject to shine.
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