Features awards presented to Texas newspapers

The Society for Features Journalism has announced its 28th annual award winners. Among the winners are the five largest newspapers in Texas: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Austin American-Statesman, San Antonio Express News, Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News.

The SFJ Excellence-in-Features awards honor the craft of feature writing and the people who do it for a living at news organizations and wire services. Winners will be honored at SFJ’s national conference in Austin, Aug. 10-13. 

Hector Saldana of the Express-News placed first in the Feature Specialty Writing Portfolio. 

Judges said Saldana “showed a depth of writing and insight and the ability to make his characters pop off the page.”

The Dallas Morning News placed first in the Best Niche Product Category for FD. 

“Stunning visuals, elegant typography and solid storytelling made this the kind of magazine you wanted to curl up with in a comfy chair and stay awhile. Absolutely gorgeous covers,” said the judges.

Texas winners

DIVISION 2 (Circulation 90,000 to 199,999)

Best Section 

Third place: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

Honorable mention: Austin  American-Statesman 

General Feature 

Honorable mention: Hector Saldana, “Death of ‘Little Oz’ Galvanized Football Team in 1975,” San Antonio Express-News 

Feature Specialty Writing Portfolio 

First place: Hector Saldana, San Antonio Express-News 

Honorable mention: Jeanne Jakle, San Antonio Express-News 

General Commentary Portfolio 

Third place: Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express-News

Sports Feature 

Honorable mention: Mike Finger, “Smart Doesn’t Just Win Games,” San Antonio Express-News 

Diversity in Digital Features 

Second place: Francisco Vara-Orta, “Talking It Out: One Middle School Community’s Fight to Disconnect the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” San Antonio Express-News 

Third place: Nancy Flores, Kelly West, “Austin Gente Series,” Austin (Texas) American- Statesman 

DIVISION 3 (Circulation 200,000 and up)

Best Features Website, Digital Channel or App 

Honorable mention: Staff, GuideLive.com, The Dallas Morning News 

General Commentary Portfolio 

Third place: Ralph Strangis, The Dallas Morning News 

Arts & Entertainment Commentary Portfolio 

Third place: Mark Lamster, The Dallas Morning News 

Honorable mention: Alison Cook, Houston Chronicle 

Best Niche Product 

First place: Staff, FD, The Dallas Morning News