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  1. Life & Culture

Tampa Bay Times wins 6 awards for features journalism

The stories honored by the Society for Features Journalism were all published in 2020.
Raymond Whitehurst, 93, and Vivian Whitehurst ,92, were married September 14, 1947. A Lane DeGregory story about the couple won first place in short features in the Society of Features Journalism contest.
Raymond Whitehurst, 93, and Vivian Whitehurst ,92, were married September 14, 1947. A Lane DeGregory story about the couple won first place in short features in the Society of Features Journalism contest. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]
Published Sep. 22

The Tampa Bay Times won six awards in the 2021 Society for Features Journalism Excellence-in-Features contest announced this week. All winning work was published in 2020.

Lane DeGregory won first place in short features for “When Vivian Was 6, She Met a Cute Boy Named Ray. 86 Years Later, This Is Their Story.” The judge said DeGregory, a master of long form journalism, shined in the short form. “Lane’s choice to focus on specific years allows her to efficiently tell this story and to do so with emotion,” the comments note.

Jay Cridlin won third place for  “‘Believe in the Pencil’: At the Florida Orchestra, the Music’s in the Margins” in the arts and entertainments features category.

Claire McNeill tied for third place for “Life While Black, As Told by One St. Petersburg Couple” in the general features category. Christopher Spata got an honorable mention in this category for “What Does a Raised Fist Mean in 2020?”

Former staffer Ileana Najarro won third place in sports features for “In Tampa, the Pigeon Men Flock to a Beloved Sport.”

And columnist Stephanie Hayes won an honorable mention for a portfolio of columns.

The Times competes in Division 3, for newsrooms with circulations of 200,000 and up, against the largest newsrooms in the country.