DENTON (UNT), Texas — For the second year in a row, a Washington Post reporter received the top prize in the annual Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest sponsored by the University of North Texas' Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.
Terrence McCoy will be recognized July 22 (Saturday) during this year's conference for "After a toddler accidentally shot and killed his older sister, a family’s wounds run deep," which was published Dec. 1, 2016, in the Washington Post. McCoy will receive $5,000, and his article will be included in "The Best American Newspaper Narratives 2016," an anthology published by the UNT Press that includes the first-, second- and third-place winning articles, as well as entries chosen by the judges as runners-up and "notable narratives."
Co-sponsored by the Dallas Morning News, the Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest began in 2013 as a way for the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to honor published work and to encourage narrative nonfiction storytelling at U.S. newspapers. Long-form narratives published during 2016 were eligible for the 2017 competition.
McCoy's story relates how a family in Alabama coped after the family's 4-year-old accidentally killed his 9-year-old sister. Washington Post writers also took the contest's first-place prizes in 2016, 2014 and 2013.
Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier won the second-place prize of $2,000 in this year's contest for "A child’s scraped knee a life or death matter in Venezuela," which depicts how medical supply shortages turned a simple injury into a life-threatening condition for a 3-year-old. The story appeared on the websites of dozens of newspapers, including the Albuquerque Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post, in October 2016.
The third-place prize of $1,000 was given to a Boston Globe reporter for the second year in a row. "The Power of Will" by Billy Baker focuses on a family's search for a cure for their son's rare form of cancer, which led them to a maverick doctor.
The runners up in this year's Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest are:
●John Woodrow Cox of the Washington Post for "A Marine’s Convictions."
●Christopher Goffard of the Los Angeles Times for "Framed."
●Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News for "The Long Way Home."
The notable narrative winners are:
●Lauren Caruba, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now with the San
Antonio Express-News, for "55 Minutes."
●N.R. Kleinfied of the New York Times for "Fraying at the Edges."
●Steve Thompson and Anna Kuchment of the Dallas Morning News for
●Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe for "In search of sanctuary."
The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, hosted by the University of North Texas' Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, will take place for a 13th year July 21-23 (Friday-Sunday) at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, 1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas. This year's conference has the theme of "The Power of Words" and will feature Sebastian Junger, most famous for his best-selling book "The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea,”"as a keynote speaker. Registration is currently available online.