The St. Petersburg Times feature sections have been named one of the top five in the country and staff writer Lane DeGregory has won two first-place writing awards in the annual competition of Society for Features Journalism.
The best feature section contest was judged on sections focusing on lifestyle, arts and entertainment and general features. The Times' entry included examples of Floridian, Latitudes, Weekend and the lifestyle magazine, Bay.
The winning newspapers were not ranked. The group also included the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star and the Oregonian of Portland, Ore.
In writing, DeGregory won first place in feature specialty reporting for her stories about the inner lives of women and girls. Her entry included stories about the wife of an unemployed man, a girl who murdered her rival in a teenage love triangle and "The Swan Project," about an etiquette class for disadvantaged girls.
DeGregory also took the general feature category for "The Swan Project." She received a second-place award, with staff photographer Kathleen Flynn, for multimedia storytelling on "The Swan Project."
Other Times journalists receiving honors were John Barry, second place for a short feature about a 100-year-old baseball fan; Jeff Klinkenberg, second place in speciality reporting for his stories about Florida culture; and Steve Spears, who received honorable mention for his blog, Stuck in the '80s.