Annual Writing Awards

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

“Compelling writing always grips us. No writer can peruse a story or book on this list without thinking ‘I wish I’d written that,'” says Salley Shannon, ASJA president. “It’s a pleasure to recognize and honor the best in nonfiction writing, as we have for more than 60 years.”

The awards will be presented on April 29 during the 40th Annual ASJA Writers Conference, which will be held in New York City, April 29 – May 1, 2011.

ASJA is the only professional association focused on independent nonfiction writers, an often isolated segment of the media world. Members share expertise, ideas, opportunities, and inside information critical to success in a constantly changing environment. Through services such as a member-to-member rights and fees database, contracts and grievance guidance, and diverse educational programs, ASJA membership gives writers the confidence and connections to prosper.

Outstanding Book Awards
General Nonfiction

WinnerMurder in the High Himalaya (Public Affairs) — Jonathan Green

Honorable mentions:

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption (Gotham) — Jim Gorant

The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women (Berkley Books) — Deborah J. Swiss


Winner: Crossing the Heart of Africa (Harper Perennial) — Julian Smith


Winner: Green Sense (The Taunton Press) — Kevin Daum

Honorable mentionsA Baby at Last (Simon & Schuster) — Mark Fuerst

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing (Writers Digest Books) — Marilyn Ross


Winner: My Orange Duffel Bag (Operation Orange Media) — Echo Garrett

Outstanding Article Awards

Winner“Take us to the River” (Fast Company) — Michael Fitzgerald

Honorable Mentions

“Zinc Fingers: Entry Fee” (Proto) — Rachael Moeller Gorman

“How to Save the Grasslands” ( — Judith Schwartz

First-person (personal experience or dramatic narrative)

Winner“My Mother’s Brain” (D Magazine) — Beatriz Terrazas

Honorable mention:

“Do it Yourself Genetics” (Duke Magazine) — Barry Yeoman


Winner: “A Strange and not Unpleasant Experience” (Bicycling Magazine) — Florence Williams

Honorable mention:

“Timeless Sardines” (Leite’s Culinaria) Mary Ann Castronovo Fusco

Personal essay/opinion/op-ed

Winner“Taking Grief Step by Step” (Whole Living) — Judi Ketteler

Honorable mention:

“Hometown Exile” (Texas Observer) — Beatriz Terrazas


Winner“How Mya Saved Jacob” (Spirit Magazine) — Kate Silver

Honorable Mentions:

“Little Bill Clinton: Easing into a Comfort Zone” (The Christian Science Monitor) — Mary Wiltenburg

“Looking for a Greener Way of Death” ( — Rachel Dickinson

Reporting on a significant topic

Co-winners“Where Are We Headed? New Energy: climate change and sustainability shape a new era” (The Christian Science Monitor) — Douglas Fox

“The African Divide” (The Christian Science Monitor) — Jina Moore

Honorable mention:

“Confronting Rape as a War Crime” (Congressional Quarterly Press Global Researcher) — Jina Moore

Service Article 

Winner“Understanding Depression at Mid-Life” (Woman’s Day) — Cheryl Platzman Weinstock

Honorable Mentions:

“Your Brain on Meditation” (Yoga Journal) — Kelly McGonigal

“Between the Lines” (Better Homes and Gardens) –Leslie Pepper


Co-winners“Mindfulness and Weight loss” (IDEA Fitness Journal) — Kelly McGonigal

“When IT is Asked to Spy” (Computerworld) — Tam Harbert

The Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing That Makes A Difference

Winner“School of Hard Knocks” (Good Housekeeping) — Barry Yeoman

Honorable mention:

“Finding Ann Marie” (Bethesda Magazine) — Christine Koubek

June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism

Winner“Hot Zone — A Warming Planet’s Rising Tide of Disaster” (Discover Magazine) — Linda Marsa

Donald Robinson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism

No winners.

Honorable mentions:

“Risky Play: NYC’s Fake Grass Gamble” (City Limits) — Patrick Arden

“A Return to Baghdad”(Gay City News) — Michael Luongo

ASJA Founders’ Award for Career Achievement – Grace W. Weinstein

Grace Weinstein has written for many years about diverse financial issues within her area of expertise, a specialty that she says, she didn’t choose so much as it “chose her.” Grace’s writing has educated readers about many aspects of a topic that many people find challenging and has helped to make a significant difference in people’s lives.

Grace was the first freelance writer elected to a three-year term on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, through which she helped to make regulations affecting consumer credit. She has also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Financial Writers Association and of the Copyright Clearance Center.

Since joining ASJA in the 1970s (when it was the Society of Magazine Writers), Grace has held many posts within the Society, including serving as its first two-term president. Grace is also the treasurer of the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund (WEAF) and a member of its board, where she has worked tirelessly to help needy professional writers get back on their feet after illness, disability, infirmity or an extraordinary professional crisis left them facing financial hardship.