May 27 is deadline for entries Carmage Walls Commentary Prize, honoring editorial page excellence

First-place carries a cash prize of $2,000; second-place winners will receive $1,000 (in each of two circulation brackets)

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America's Newspapers will recognize editorial page excellence at its annual meeting this fall, with the presentation of the 2022 Carmage Walls Commentary Prize.  This contest is open to members of America's Newspapers.

Click here to view full contest details and submit your entry

The prize is named for the late Benjamin Carmage Walls whose newspaper career spanned seven decades. Walls primarily owned community newspapers and advocated strong, courageous and positive editorial page leadership. His friends and associates funded the cost of the awards for the first 10 years. Southern Newspapers, Inc. — led by Lissa Walls Cribb, his daughter, CEO of Southern Newspapers — has been underwriting the cost of the awards since then.

In announcing the return of this annual award, which previously was presented by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Walls said: "My father, Carmage Walls, believed a newspaper was a semi-public trust which should reflect and serve its community by providing constructive criticism and positive leadership. 

"Central to providing that leadership are local editorial pages. Editorial pages that are relevant, insightful and engaging should be the 'town hall' for a community and serve a role that no other institution or organization can.

"It takes courage and commitment by talented and resourceful editors and writers to shine a light on their community and offer praise when earned and constructively criticize when necessary."

Leonard Woolsey, president of Southern Newspapers and president and publisher of The Daily News in Galveston, Texas, added: “As the leadership DNA of Carmage Walls continues to pulse through the body of Southern Newspapers with purpose and respect, his words related to the central core of a newspaper’s editorial service remain firmly intact and universally admired. This award, fortunately, invites everyone, regardless of their location on a map, to celebrate in the call of honorable leadership through editorial commentary. I am proud everyone can continue to aspire to such a high standard of excellence.”

This award recognizes thoughtful, courageous and constructive editorial page leadership on issues specifically relevant to the newspaper’s primary readership.

Awards will be presented in each of two circulation categories — over 50,000 circulation and under 50,000 circulation.

In each circulation group, the first-place winner will receive a plaque and a cash award of $2,000. Second-place winners will receive a plaque and $1,000.

Entries must have been published — online or in print — by a daily or non-daily newspaper between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 27, 2022. And all entries must be submitted no later than Friday, May 27.

An individual entry may consist of up to six opinion pieces, editorials or columns on a single subject, allowing editorial page writers to show the depth of their commitment to a given topic.  The contest fee is $25 per entry package.

Multiple entry packages are allowed.  An invoice for your entry (or entries) will be sent you to after your contest materials are received.

Click here to view full contest details and submit your entry

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