2003-05-09: ASJA Presents 2003 Writing Awards

New York, NY - May 9, 2003: The authors of two outstanding nonfiction books and eight magazine articles have received national awards for excellence from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA).

Hal Higdon of Long Beach, IN, won ASJA's Career Achievement Award for a lifetime of enthused and quality writing.

Edwin Black of Washington, D.C. won ASJA's general non-fiction award for his book IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation, published by Three Rivers Press. Black also won the Donald Robinson Award for Investigative Journalism for his article "Final Solutions: How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland," which appeared in the Village Voice on March 27, 2002.

Sarah Wernick, of Brookline, MA, won the endowed June Roth Award for Health and Medical Books for Lung Cancer: Myths, Facts and Choices, written with Claudia I. Henschke and Peggy McCarthy, which was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in July, 2002. The judges commented that this was "a reassuring book on an important topic" that is "unmedically" written and "reads beautifully."

Lisa Collier Cool of Pelham, NY won the June Roth Award for Medical Journalism for "Saving Sophie," the story of rare and life-saving fetal surgery to remove a tumor that was larger than the baby herself. Collier-Cool's article was published in the December 2002 issue of Self magazine.

Cheryl Reed of Eden Prairie, MN won the service and self help category award for her article "Monastic Experience: Finding a Hermitage of One's Own," a travel piece about visiting monasteries, published in the May 2002 issue of Poets & Writers magazine. Honorable mention in the this category went to Cheryl Platzman Weinstock of Westport, CT for "A Place for Us," published in the June 4, 2002 issue of Woman's Day magazine. The piece described how new women's heart centers opening across the country are offering gender-specific care and saving lives.

Mary Collins of Alexandria, VA won the personal essay award for "Don't Have a Seat," about surviving a bicycle accident. Her essay was published in the Washington Post on March 5, 2002. Honorable mention in the personal essay category went to Paul Perry of Paradise Valley, AZ for "X Marks the Spot," which the ASJA judges characterized as "a fun yarn of exploration," published in the March 2002 issue of National Geographic Adventure.

Claire Tristram of San Jose, CA won the award for business and technology writing for her article "Data Extinction," published in the October 2002 issue of Technology Review. Tristram described the vulnerability of our electronic age to large-scale archival obliteration.

Melba Newsome of Matthews, NC won the Significant Reporting Award for her article "The Devil You Know," which revealed the tragic inadequacies of California rape laws through the story of a well-drawn and sympathetic character. Newsome's piece was published in the January 27, 2002 issue of the Los Angeles Times magazine.

The awards were presented on May 2nd at a luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City in connection with the ASJA's 32nd annual Writers Conference.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) is the national organization of independent nonfiction writers. Founded in 1948, the Society includes more than 1100 members who have met ASJA's exacting standards of professional achievement.

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