Alexandra Owens, Executive Director/ [email protected] / 212-997-0947


April 12, 2016, New York, NY -- The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) announces the recipients of its annual writing awards, honoring the outstanding nonfiction work produced on a freelance basis during the past year.

ASJA 2016 Award Winners


Arlene Award for Writing that Makes a Difference: Book
Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence by Susanna Hope and Alex Roslin (Golden Inkwell Books, 2015)

June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Writing: Book
Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us by S. Lochlann Jain (University of California Press, 2013)

Biography or History:
Abandoned in Hell: The Fight for Vietnam's Firebase Kate by Marvin J. Wolf (co-author William Albracht; NAL, 2015)

Children's or Young Adult:

The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas by Andrea Warren (Two Lions, 2015)

General Nonfiction:
What Stands In a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley by Kim Cross (Atria Books, 2015)

The Book of Wanderings: A Mother- Daughter Pilgrimage by Kimberly Meyer (Little, Brown and Company, 2015)

The Debt Escape Plan: How to Free Yourself From Credit Card Balances, Boost Your Credit Score, and Live Debt-Free by Beverly Blair Harzog (Career Press, 2015)

Honorable mention: Writing Well for Business Success: A Complete Guide to Style, Grammar, and Usage at Work by Sandra Lamb (St. Martin's Griffin, 2015)


Arlene Award for Writing that Makes a Difference: Article
"The Thrift Store Chain That Dressed Up Like A Charity And Got Sued" by Francesca Lyman; InvestigateWest, October 28, 2015

Donald Robertson Award for Investigative Journalism
"(A Brutal Beating Wakes) Attica's Ghosts" by Tom Robbins; The Marshall Project / The New York Times, February 28, 2015

June Roth Memorial Award for a? Medical Writing: Article
"The Poisoned Gulf" by Linda Marsa; Playboy, June 2015

Blog Post
"A Bittersweet Goodbye as My Firstborn Leaves Home For Good" by Risa Doherty;, Summer 2015

Business/ Technology/ Science
"Automation in the Newsroom" by Celeste LeCompte; Nieman Reports, Summer 2015

Honorable mention: "Every Living Thing" by Emily Sohn; Aeon, August 31, 2015

Excellence in Reporting
"The Sand and the Fury" by Vince Beiser; Wired, June 2015

First Person Experience/ Essays
"Surviving an Alcoholic" by Paula Ganzi Licata; New York Times, May 27, 2015

Health & Fitness
"What Your Doctor Should Know About Women" by Linda Marsa; More, February 2015

Honorable Mention: "Be the Death of Me" by Kate Silver; Chicago Health, Summer 2015

"Forsake the Snake" by Kim Campbell Thornton; UExpress Pet Connection, May 18, 2015
Honorable Mention: "A Policy of Saying No Can Save You Time and Guilt" by Jennifer Breheny Wallace; Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2015

"Born on the Bayou" by Kimberley Lovato; American Way, August 2015

Honorable mention: "Spirits on Safari" by Kim Campbell Thornton; Cigar & Spirits, May/June 2015

Opinion/ Op Ed
"Just an Ordinary Miscarriage" by Candy Schulman; New York Times, October 25, 2015

"A Most Personal Venture" by Gayle Keck; Drew Magazine, Summer 2015
"Meet Andy Raymond" by Eugene Meyer; Bethesda Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015

"The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by Barbara Robertson; 3D World, December 31, 2015
Honorable mention: "High-Flying Patriotism" by Molly Blake; Air Force Sergeants Association, Sept/Oct 2015

2016 ASJA Awards Committee Co-Chairs: Janine Latus and Salley Shannon

About ASJA

ASJA is the professional association of independent nonfiction writers. Founded in 1948, its more than 1200 members have each met exacting standards of professional achievement.

  • 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
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    – Lawrence Welk
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    – Stephen Wright
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    – 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