TRUCKEE, Calif. — Sierra Sun staffers Amy Edgett and Sylas Wright have once again been recognized as some of the best at their trade in the state of California.
The duo was honored over the weekend in California Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2013 Better Newspapers Contest with a trio of top awards, including first place in Best Writing for Edgett.
Edgett defeated several newspapers in the Sun’s division to earn one of the contest’s most coveted awards with her emotional human-interest tale about Truckee Dr. Brooks Bloomfield and his ongoing battle with Multiple System Atrophy in the story “Living while dying, one day at a time.”
Her July 17, 2013, feature dove into the lives of the veterinarian and his wife, Jennifer, who live and love to help others and their four-legged and two-winged friends. And it’s a story that tells people of the disease, what support groups exist — and its unfortunate, fatal prognosis.
“It was a very difficult story to tell, but it was one that was very important to get out there because, frankly, rare diseases like MSA just don’t get the treatment through the media that they deserve,” said Edgett, who’s served as the Sun’s community editor the past seven years, in a recent interview. “This story was of great importance because of the beloved couple’s standing in the community and their trust in me to tell the story and get the word out about a rare, slippery and deadly disease.”
Wright, who’s been with the Sierra Sun for nine years, serving as sports editor of the Sun since 2006 and also of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza since 2009, earned two second-place awards for Best Sports Page or Section and Best Sports Writing.
In the writing category, the aptly named Wright was acknowledged for his Nov. 21, 2012, story “Four-Peat, State beat-down,” which recapped the Truckee football team’s fourth-straight NIAA Division I-A state championship with its 34-10 win over Southern Nevada nemesis Moapa Valley.
CNPA’s annual Better Newspapers Contest judges papers of similar size against one another in categories such as local breaking news, best writing, photography, page design and general excellence. More than 3,000 entries are received each year.
The 2013 winners were unveiled Saturday at CNPA’s annual awards banquet in San Jose.
Despite its twice-weekly publication schedule and small staff, the Sun has performed well in recent years in the contest. In 2012, Wright earned a second-place award for Best Sports Writing, while Edgett placed second for Best Writing.
In 2011, Edgett earned second place for Best Editorial Comment, while Wright placed first in Best Sports Writing for his story “Perfection,” about the Truckee High football team’s 27-7 win over Moapa Valley in the 2010 3A state championship.
CNPA comprises nearly 500 non-college, professional newspapers, including 373 non-dailies; the Sun competes in the “Weekly C” category, among 100 or so mid-level weeklies with a circulation between 4,301 and 11,000.
Wright and Edgett also perform well annually in the Nevada Press Association’s contest.
In 2013, Edgett was tops in the Best Feature Story category for the Nov. 16, 2012, cover story “Hell on the highway.”
Wright, meanwhile, won the Best Sports Story award for his Oct. 10, 2012, Truckee football article “Fernley snaps historic win streak at 41 games.”