It’s that time of year – for the annual Religion Newswriters Association awards. Some years are good for me and others…aren’t but my huge freelance output in 2011 reaped huge benefits as I brought home two second places and one third place award for my Washington Post magazine stories. It was beyond odd to be tromping up to the awards platform with “Washington Post” affixed to my name instead of the long-time “Washington Times” but it was a nice change. One of the second places was for the Supple award, which generally goes for best feature-style writing. It’s an RNA contest I’ve never placed in during all my years with the organization, so it was nice to nab this award. The other second place was for best magazine reporting and the third was for writing for large newspapers.
Being that I was only freelancing and not on staff for the Post, I was pretty proud of what I was able to do compared to a lot of other writers who had the resources of an entire newsroom behind them. Me? I had my 6-year-old MacBook and aging HP printer.
As of yet, not a word in WaPo about my winnings, but am hoping something will appear. There was no one to take care of Veeka while I flew back to Washington for this event, so I schlepped her along, which turned out well in that she saw several of her little friends, all of whom she misses terribly. I didn’t get to much of the actual RNA conference this past weekend, as I had to tape a TV segment downtown about the Jimmy Swaggart era (which I reported on ages ago), plus visit Veeka’s godparents, aunt and uncle and touch base with lots of people I never get to see anymore. It felt so odd to have to rent a car to drive about the area and stay in a hotel – the Doubletree in Bethesda, which turned out to be quite nice. We all liked it. After two months in a city of 65,000, here we were back in a metro area of 4-5 million. It felt so unbelievably different; as if there were people and cars everywhere. I felt split, as though I live in two dimensions and I am not at home in either one.