The Society for Features Journalism has recognized the Tampa Bay Times among the nation's top features sections.
The national organization on Tuesday awarded the Times a second place in its highest honor, Finest of Features Sweepstakes, and a second place in the Best Section category for its entry that included the arts & entertainment, lifestyle and features sections Weekend, Taste, Latitudes, Floridian magazine and Bay magazine.
The Times competes in the SFJ's large-newspaper division that includes the Washington Post, which won first in the Finest of Features Sweepstakes and tied for first with the Los Angeles Times in Best Section.
In the writing categories of SFJ's 28th annual Excellence in Features Journalism contest, the Times won a first-place award and eight overall.
Graham Brink, Eli Murray, Tracee Stockwell and Aric Chokey won first place in the Sports Feature category for Brink's "One Wild Ride" story about bicycling across Florida ( tbtim.es/wildride). The judges commented: "What a terrific reminder of how rich sports beats are with great people stories and adventures."
Lane DeGregory won second-place awards in two categories: in the General Feature category for "Dear Birth Mother" ( tbtim.es/birthmother), a story about birth parents as they chose an adoptive family for their baby and said goodbye; and in Narrative Storytelling for "The Space Between Life and Death" ( tbtim.es/hospice), on patients experiencing the gentleness of hospice care.
Jay Cridlin also received two awards: second place in Short Feature for his "Lucille falls silent" obituary on B.B. King ( tbtim.es/bbking); and third place in Blog Portfolio for Soundcheck.
Colette Bancroft won second place in Arts & Entertainment Commentary for her appreciation piece on Little Women, "The gift of a book that lasts a lifetime" ( tbtim.es/littlewomen), and stories on Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.
Bay magazine won second place in Best Niche Product.
Anna M. Phillips won third place in Diversity in Digital Features for "The Dreamer" ( tbtim.es/dreamer), about a young migrant worker in Plant City's strawberry fields.
All awards, which honor the craft of feature writing and editing, will be presented during the SFJ national conference this summer in Austin, Texas.