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Texas Auto Writers Association Recognizes 2017 Excellence in Craft Competition Winners


October 2, 2017 - DALLAS, TX

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwired - October 02, 2017) - The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) gathered for the annual Excellence in Craft Competition. More than 100 entries were received across six different categories. This year's competition included two new features -- the inaugural Texas Truck Invitational, sponsored by Katzkin Automotive Leather, and a new PR Press Kits category for manufacturers.

In the same spirit as TAWA's signature Texas Truck Rodeo event, the new Texas Truck Invitational writing competition punctuates the importance of the state's nationally prominent truck market. It gives TAWA members an opportunity to gauge the caliber of their work in comparison to non-member truck writers across North America. TAWA Texas Truck Invitational entrants compete in Magazine and Newspaper writing categories. An overall winner is chosen from the two categories based on the highest score.

The new PR Press Kit category had strong Manufacturer member participation with the submissions of informative, easy-to-navigate press kits. Entries also were creative, grabbing attention with bold and vivid graphics, engaging videos and photos suited for high-quality production.

This year, EICC was judged on a point system, so it could be seen in detail how an entry was scored. There were high-scoring entries that didn't place, but came close in crowded, highly competitive categories. This situation led to a couple of tied scores and the decision to give Special Recognition awards.

TAWA thanks Katzkin Automotive Leather for its support of the Texas Truck Invitational writing category, providing a $2,000 Katzkin leather interior as the grand prize. This significantly contributed to the success of the Excellence in Craft Competition's new endeavor.

The 2017 Excellence in Craft Competition marks the first year of an all-digital entry and judging process. This new approach worked remarkably well and significantly increased the competition's overall efficiency.

The Excellence in Craft Competition has grown considerably for 2017. Two new categories have been added and the number of awards presented more than doubles last year's effort.

2017 EICC WINNERS

TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL WINNERS

OVERALL WINNER (Katzkin Automotive Leather recipient)

Sue Mead - Automobile Magazine

"The desert hills life: Rod Hall -- 24-time Baja 1000 winner"

TTI MAGAZINE WRITING

FIRST PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Sue Mead - Automobile Magazine

"The desert hills life: Rod Hall -- 24-time Baja 1000 winner"

Judge's comment: "Just floor it and head southeast. I can smell the dust on this one. Great job."

SECOND PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Gregory R. Whale - Autoblog.com

"Power Wagon train: Exploring the Mojave Road"

Judge's comment: "Greg puts me right in the Power Wagon on the Mojave Road and explains the truck's product features in plain English."

THIRD PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Dave Boldt - Autoblog.com

"The super-sized Atlas isn't the three-row VW should build"

Judge's comment: "You can't fault VW for giving buyers what they think they want, but David makes a convincing point that VW is losing its brand focus established over a half century and will be difficult to win back."

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - MAGAZINE WRITING

Tim Esterdahl - Truck Trend Magazine

"Million-mile Tundra: The teardown"

TTI NEWSPAPER WRITING

FIRST PLACE - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Bill Owney - Texarkana Gazette

"Ford Raptor: New truck less bird of prey, more ball of energy"

Judge's comment: "Informative. Engaging. Well done."

SECOND PLACE - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Kelly Taylor - Winnipeg Free Press Autos

"Discovery most capable vehicle in Land Rover's lineup"

Judge's comment: "Good detail"

THIRD - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Derek Price - Green Shoot Media

"Pumped to the Duramax"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Marlon Hanson - Focus Daily News

"2017 Ford Raptor tackles Barnhill Mountain with ease"

EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION

TAWA MEMBERS-ONLY CATEGORIES (NOTE: There were 2 ties in the Magazine category *)

MAGAZINE WRITING

*FIRST PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Frank Ledwell - OutdoorX4 Magazine

"Above and beyond - Land Rover's new Discovery"

Judge's comment: "A bell-ringer! This is one of the best new product drive reviews I've read in quite a while."

*FIRST PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Stan Wright - OutdoorX4 Magazine

Judge's comment: "Clearly, this story is in a whole other league as to subject matter, making mere drive reviews somehow seem inconsequential. BTW, photos are outstanding, too."

SECOND PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Sue Mead - Truck Trend Magazine

"2017 Land Rover Discovery -- rugged elegance"

THIRD PLACE - MAGAZINE WRITING

Gregory R. Whale - Turbo Diesel Register

"Corporate Average Fuel Economy and you"

*SPECIAL RECOGNITION - MAGAZINE WRITING

Mark McNabb - TopSpeed.com

"2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - Driven"

*SPECIAL RECOGNITION - MAGAZINE WRITING

Jeff Yip - AutoWeek

"What is right? So many tire options available"

NEWSPAPER WRITING

FIRST PLACE - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Sue Mead - Cool Hunting.com

"Bollinger Motors' B1 Electric Sport Utility Truck"

Judge's comment: "Nice depth on a unique vehicle"

SECOND PLACE - NEWSPAPER WRITING

David Boldt - Katy Trail Weekly

"Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio: In love with the shape of you"

THIRD PLACE - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Derek Price - Green Shoot Media

"FIAT 500 woos buyers with styling, price drop"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - NEWSPAPER WRITING

Bill Owney - Texarkana Gazette

"Cruising in comfort: Boring can be a great thing in Volvo's S90"

RADIO

FIRST PLACE - RADIO

In Wheel Time

"James Espey, VP DeLorean Motor Company interview"

Judge's comment: "DeLorean exec: Well-told, seldom-heard perspective."

SECOND PLACE - RADIO

Harold Gunn & Wayne Cronin - The Automotive Reporter

"Ford Motor Co. historian, Bob Kreipke"

THIRD PLACE - RADIO

Michael Garfield - Representing The High-Tech Texan/iHeartVehicles

For his "High Tech Auto Report - Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - RADIO

Meggan Bailey - Skidmarks Show

"Skidmarks Show -- Episode 30"

PR PRESS KITS

FIRST PLACE - PR PRESS KITS

FCA Communications

Dodge Challenger Demon press kit

Judge's comment: "Vivid graphics and video, a great magazine-like design. The site is clean and easy to read while being appropriately bold for the subject matter. Even the manufacturer-rep interview was compelling. All in all, the best package I saw."

SECOND PLACE - PR PRESS KITS

Brad Nelson - Honda Public Relations

2018 Honda Odyssey press kit

THIRD PLACE - PR PRESS KITS

Dan Passe - Nissan

"Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept makes world debut at North American International Auto Show"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - PR PRESS KITS

Mazda Public Relations

"2017 Mazda CX-5 press kit"

WEB DESIGN

FIRST PLACE - WEB DESIGN

Greg Riley & Reagan Wyka - GearboxTV.com

"1957 Ford Skyliner"

Judge's comment: "We ride shotgun along with Greg in a '57 Ford Skyliner. Classic, understated web design in a wider format showcases the vivid photography well.... you feel as if you're a fellow car buddy along on the test drive."

SECOND PLACE - WEB DESIGN

OutdoorX4 Magazine

"Adventure riding and the venerable KLR"

THIRD PLACE - WEB DESIGN

Sherri Tilley - TheFlashList.com Travel & Entertainment Guide

"Riding like a rock star in the new 2017 Lincoln Continental"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION - WEB DESIGN

Michael Garfield

iHeartVehicles.com - "Driven . . . with an opinion"

PHOTOGRAPHY

FIRST PLACE - PHOTOGRAPHY

Kristin Barclay - In Deep H20

"The Ram life"

Judge's comment about this Ram pickup shot: "I like the angle -- it draws attention to the truck. It also helps with the lighting and reflections on the truck."

SECOND PLACE -- PHOTOGRAPHY

Frank Ledwell - OutdoorX4 Magazine

"Colorado's front range"

THIRD PLACE -- PHOTOGRAPHY

Jeff Yip - AutoWeek

"Blue BMW"

SPECIAL RECOGNITION -- PHOTOGRAPHY

Marlon Hanson - Focus Daily News

"The new Camry"

For multimedia - http://texasautowriters.tritium.co/texas-auto-writers-association-recognizes-2017-excellence-in-craft-competition-winners

All winner photos can be found HERE.

A special thanks goes out to James "Spoony" McClain with Major League Photography for photos of all of our winners.

JUDGE BIOS

Stan Hulen: Judge for Web Design and PR Press Kits:

Stan Hulen is an award-winning Dallas designer with more than 35 years of experience. Starting his career with a journalism degree from University of Missouri, he worked as Art Director for both the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald until he started his own design firm 25 years ago. Since then, he has served a variety of clients including the State Fair of Texas, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare, Texas Instruments, SMU, Southwest Airlines, and the cities of Frisco and Plano, Texas. An avid automotive-design buff, Stan said he's devoured every car magazine he could get his hands on for the past 50 years.

Christian Alan Waits - M.Photog. Cr (Master Craftsman Degree): Photography judge

Christian has been a photographer for 45+ Years.

Degrees: Commercial Photography Degree from East Texas State University, with High Honors, Master of Photography, Professional Photographers of America 1992, Craftsman Photographer, Professional Photographers of America 1993, Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association 1993, Christian holds the degree of Master Craftsman Photographer in Professional Photographers of America. Awards, professional organizations:

He has been awarded the Kodak Gallery Award for Photographic Excellence, SWPA Best Commercial, SWPA Special Award Best Commercial Product, TPPA Best Overall Commercial, TPPA Best Product, Dallas PPA Best Commercial, Loan Collection Photograph and numerous first-place Distinguished Print Awards and Merits. Christian has lectured at many photography guilds and conventions throughout New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. He is Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association and Charter Fellowship Dallas PPA. Christian is currently the Dallas Summer Musicals photographer.

Ron Sessions and Steven Cole Smith:

Newspaper and Magazine Writing/Texas Truck Invitational.

Ron also judged Photography and Steven was a Radio judge

Ron Sessions:

Ron's career has spanned 40+ years. He's been a staff editor at Road & Track, Motor Trend and Car and Driver, worked behind the scenes as a vehicle analyst at General Motors, created two auto enthusiast magazine titles (including the award-winning Open Road), and he's written five automotive books. He created the award-winning magazine Exotic Cars Quarterly and penned a coffee-table book on the Nissan 350Z. In addition to his work for BeCarChic.com, Ron is a contributing editor for Car and Driver, Caranddriver.com, Autotrader.com, AutoWeb.com, the New York Daily News and others.

Ron also was a photography judge. He has had thousands of his images published in magazines, books and online.

Steven Cole Smith:

Steven holds a bachelors degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and was a TAWA founding member. He's formerly the executive editor of Car and Driver and AMI Auto World magazines, and he wrote a weekly column for the New York Times Syndicate for seven years. He has worked for newspapers in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, and has had bylined stories in hundreds of publications ranging from The Times of London to Forbes magazine to the Financial Times. He has held NHRA Pro Comp, IMSA, NARRA and SCCA Pro racing licenses. Steven also was the Radio category judge -- he was the executive producer of Car and Driver Television, and hosted a nationally syndicated motorsports radio program, as well as two weekly local automotive radio shows in Florida.

About TAWA

Texas Auto Writers Association is a nonprofit organization that has promoted professionalism and quality reporting in automotive journalism for more than two decades. TAWA produces two annual events that have gained national traction; the Texas Truck Rodeo at the Long Horn River Ranch in the Texas Hill Country and the Texas Auto Roundup at Texas Motor Speedway. Each year, TAWA awards scholarships to Texas College and university students majoring in journalism. The group's annual Excellence in Craft Competition recognizes its members' exceptional coverage of the automotive industry.

Media contact:
Fabian Campos
214.674.8987
fabian.campos@texasautowriters.org

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