Two Whidbey News Group staff members received top writing awards at a statewide newspaper competition Friday.
Jessie Stensland, editor of the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record, won the News Writer of the Year Award for the fourth time at the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Patricia Guthrie, former reporter for the South Whidbey Record and the Whidbey News-Times, was named Feature Writer of the Year.
Both awards were across all circulation groups.
The staff also won first place in the category Community Guide Special Section, circulation groups three and four, for the 2019 Whidbey Almanac.
Reporter Maria Matson got third place in News of the Weird for the story “Fruitcake may be ancient.”
For the News-Times, Stensland won second place News Story for “Ugly chapter in island history” and third place Crime and Court Story for “Judge disgusted by ‘lack of remorse.’”
For The Record, Stensland won second place Crime and Court Story for “Man kills ex-girlfriend, himself.”
Guthrie won awards at The Record in four categories. She won first place in Environment Story for “Sounds of the Sound,” third place in Business News Story for “Boat builder christens new crane,” third place Business Feature Story for “When history comes calling” and third place general feature for “Whidbey’s rocket man.”