2020 Writing Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2020 winners! Our judges worked hard to select from the abundance of great submissions. Our members are so talented! A special thanks to the members who volunteered their time to judge. ASJA thanks you! 

Thank you to our judges! 


Blog Post/Personal: 
“The Emotional Debris from An Abusive Father,” by Margie Goldsmith.

Business/marketing: “How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow,” by Ashley Powers.

Excellence in Reporting: “Shot in the Dark,” by Laura Beil. 

First Person Essays: “Still Life with Dick Van Dyke,” by Marian Sandmaier. 

Health Articles: “When Measles Arrives: Breaking Down the Anatomy of Containment,” by Apoorva Mandavilli. 

Honorable mention -- “Our Skulls Are Out Evolving Us and That Could Mean A Public Health Crisis” by Katherine Lewis.  

How-to Articles: "How to Teach Consent to Boys -- Without Shaming Them," by Jennifer Fink.

Honorable mention: "How to Bullyproof Your Child," by Estelle Erasmus.

The June Roth Memorial Award for an Outstanding Medical Article: “Bite Marks,” by Bobbi Dempsey.

Lifestyle Articles: “The Survival of Japan's Music Rests on Artificial Ivory,” by Rachel Nuwer.

Honorable Mention: “Secret Life of a Mermaid,” by Maureen O’Hagan. 

Profile Articles: Randy Rainbow's Witty World,” by Margaret Engel.

Reported Essays: How can I wean my children off their new habit of playing ‘musical beds’?” by Sarika Chawla.

Honorable mention: “The silver Christmas tree, an icon of Space Age kitsch, turns 60,” by Kate Silver. 

Science: "A Significant Problem," by Lydia Denworth.

Technology: "Social Media Has Not Destroyed a Generation", Lydia Denworth

Trade: "Opioid Crisis Spurs New Strategies for Cancer Pain," by Darcy Lewis.

Travel: "How Palermo Became a Host to African Refugees" by Ashley Powers. 

Honorable Mention: 'The Risky Fame of a Rare Island Wildcat,' by Rachel Nuwer. 


Fitness & Sports: "Women Deserve to Run Without Fear," by Christine Yu.

Food & Drink:  "Please Don't Call This Cultured Nugget ‘Lab Meat," by Jenny Splitter.

Opinion/Op-Eds: “Chernobyl, the HBO miniseries: Fact and Fiction,” by Robert Peter Gale

The Arlene Award for an Article That Made A Difference: How Japan Undermines Efforts to Stop the Illegal Ivory Trade,” by Rachel Nuwer.

The Donald Robinson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism: Worse Than a Death Sentence,” by Rohini Mohan. 


Biography/History Books: "The Lost Brothers by Jack El-Hai". 

Honorable Mention: "Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court"by Michael Bobelian. 

Children’s Books/Young Adult Books: "Enemy Child, the Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II", by Andrea Warren. 

Honorable Mention: "Eclipse Chaser, Science in the Moon’s Shadow", by Ilima Loomis

General Non-Fiction Books: "Bottle of Lies: the Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom", by Katherine Eban.

Memoir/Autobiography Books: "Your Heart, My Hands: An Immigrant's Remarkable Journey to Become One of America's Preeminent Cardiac Surgeons", by Arun K. Singh, MD, with John Hanc

Service/Self-Help Books : Sex After Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Losing Your Beloved, by Joan Price

Salley Shannon, ASJA Past President and Janine Latus

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson