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Students take prizes in magazine writing contest

Boston University journalism students walked off with five national prizes in the highly competitive student magazine competition sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Twenty-three Universities from the U.S. and Canada took part in the competition.

The winners were announced July 11 2012. Here are the results:

First Place, First Person Category:

“The Debutant Wars,” by Elizabeth Jones. Jones wrote the article for Caryl Rivers’ Creative Non-Fiction class and it was published in Vision magazine.

Judge’s Comments: Why it won: “Extremely engaging, funny, and just plain fun. I struggled a bit with picking the top spot, but this one kept calling out to me. It’s quite simply my FAVORITE story of the batch. The one that I would read till the end, were I browsing a magazine…The writer has an enormous amount of potential, and I look forward to seeing what she does next. This is the sort of story that people make movies out of.”

Third Place, First Person Category:

“Gambling Man,” by Brittany Danielson, Boston University. This article appeared in “The Comment,” COM’s graduate student magazine.

Judge’s Comments: Why it won: “What I love about this story is how effortless it seems. A lot of young writers tend to overwrite and pack their stories with thousand-dollar words. This one seems honest and simple, but is still very powerful. It’s also engaging and tragic, without being self-pitying.”

The student editor of The Comment was James Robinson, faculty editor was Amy Sutherland and The Comment is under the overall direction of Writing Center Director Susan Blau.

Third Place, People category:

“Sofie at 10,” by Gretchen Baker.

Why it won: “This unusual profile takes you into the life of 10-year-old Sofie Butler of Brookline, Massachusetts. And it does so with amazing insight: it’s as if a 10-year-old author were describing the 10-year-old subject. Yet the language and observations are quite sophisticated. If Holden Caulfield had been a 10-year-old girl, this is the kind of story J.D.Salinger might have written about her. It leaves you vaguely worried about mercurial Sofie’s future, but eager someday to be brought up to date on whatever happened to this fascinating child.”

The article was written for Prof. Elizabeth’s Mehren’s Literary Journalism class.

Third Place: Investigation and Analysis category:

“Hunting the Craigslist Killer,” by James Robinson.

This in-depth investigative article about a sensational murder case was written under the supervision of professors Dick Lehr and Mitch Zuckoff. It appeared in Boston’s Commonwealth magazine. (No judge’s comments were available for this category.)

Honorable Mention: Start-up Magazine Project: Team

“Underground.” This project was created in Magazine Workshop, taught by professors Safoura Rafeizadeh and Caryl Rivers.

Why it won: “Love the passion from the editorial team proposing this magazine. The prototype is great and perfectly suited for their targeted audience. It is however, very targeted and regional. The editorial staff certainly brings their POV and uniqueness to this magazine. They had an extremely aggressive business plan, particularly with one ad sales representative who also serves as Editor and Launch Director Photography, editorial and art direction is really good.”

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