Fall Conference - 2014 Wild Rivers Coast September 14th - 16th

Outdoor Writers
Association of California


PO Box 975
Lake Elsinore, Ca. 92531
Contact: Yvonne Graham
Email: OWAC.director@gmail.com
Phone: 760-522-3720


2012 Winners


2012 Excellence in Craft Awards Outdoor Media Communications Competition


Congratulations to the winners of OWAC’s 2012 Excellence in Craft Awards. The Craft Awards recognize California’s best outdoor writing, photography, broadcasting, publishing and media.

Twenty-two awards were presented in 24 categories. There were 89 entries, with one in four odds of winning.

This year’s awards included new categories including an award to the Best Outdoor Medium which was awarded to California Game and Fish.


Best Outdoor News Report

A news report is a straight-forward account, without spin and free of all faction, in which the reporter delivers attributed information that is verifiable, submitted in any medium.

Ed Zieralski
of the San Diego Union-Tribune wins best outdoor news report for his article, “La Mesan’s 445-pound yellowfin makes history”


Best Outdoor Series

A series of articles is a formal connection of stories, numbered Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc. with thematic unity from start to finish and published consecutively, submitted in any medium.

John Burk of the Montecito Journal was judged to have the best outdoor series for his three-part series: Alaska, The Expanding Frontier


Best Outdoor Newspaper Feature

A newspaper feature is a piece of writing that covers a selected issue, person or event in-depth and usually focuses on the human-interest elements of a situation, event or adventure.

Risa Wyatt, writing for the Chicago Tribune received the best outdoor newspaper feature for her report, “Cactus, Sand and Skis”


Best Outdoor Newspaper column

A column is a piece of writing that gives the writer’s perspective or opinion, such as an essay or first-person report, often on an issue of the day.

Bill Ryan of the St. Helena Star.


Best Outdoor Magazine feature

A feature is a piece of writing that covers a selected issue, person or event in-depth and usually focuses on the human-interest elements of a situation, event or adventure

Yachting Magazine’s Peter Schroeder received honors for Best Outdoor Magazine Feature for his article, “A Place Apart – Palau.”


Best Outdoor Magazine column

A column is a piece of writing that gives the perspective or opinion, such as an essay or first-person report, usually on an issue of the day.

Best Outdoor Magazine Column went to Tom Martens of the California Fly Fisher for his column, “The Good Fight: The Politics of Fishing.”


Best Outdoor Medium

An outdoor medium is the whole or any regularly scheduled section that is devoted to outdoor feature and news reporting in any medium. The award is presented to the medium.

California Game and Fish submitted by Don Vachini was selected as the Best Outdoor Medium


Best Outdoor Newsletter

A newsletter is a printed report, often in booklet form, that provides news or information of interest to a specific group. This award is presented to the medium.

Best Outdoor Newsletter was presented to Wilderness Unlimited, submitted by Rick Copeland.


Best Outdoor Book

This award is specifically designed for outdoor books that are not guidebooks or travel books, such as memoirs, fiction and photography books.

Diana Lindsay received honors for the Best Outdoor Book in the 2013 OWAC Excellence in Craft Awards.


Best Outdoor Guidebook

A guidebook or travel book provides details of a geographic area or a skill, often both, and is published with the intent to be the ultimate information source for that geographic area or skill.

"Best Climbs: Joshua Tree National Park", written by Bob Gaines, was selected as the Best Outdoor GuideBook.


Best Outdoor Feature Photo

A feature photo covers a selected issue, person or place, and usually focuses on the human-interest elements of a situation, event or place.

Gary Graham’s photograph of sport boats racing out to compete in a billfish tournamentpublished in Pacific Coast Sportfishing was named the Best Outdoor Feature Photograph.


Best Outdoor Action Photograph

An action photo captures a moment in time, a real-life event that cannot be duplicated.

Jim Niemiec of Western Outdoor News won Best Outdoor Action Photograph for a dramatic still life photograph of a buck reflected in a lake.


Best Outdoor Photographic Series

A series of articles is a formal connection of photographs with thematic unity from start to finish and published as a single work. The maximum number of photos for this contest is five.

A trio of photographs of a whale watching trip taken off Mexico won Best Outdoor Photographic Series for Gloria Jones of Chubasco.


Best Outdoor Radio Show

A radio show is either a one-hour show or a collection of shorter features.

John Henigin’s Fish Talk Radio won Best Outdoor Radio Show,


Best Outdoor Radio Feature

A radio feature is any broadcast or podcast of one to ten minutes in length.

Thomas C. Wilmer’s report for KCBX Public Radio on “Rio Grande Valley Wildlife” was named Best Outdoor Radio Feature.


Best Outdoor TV Show

A TV show or video is any broadcast of one-half hour or longer in length.

The Best Outdoor TV Show went to Mike Ritz of World Fishing Network for “Adventures South of the Border.”


Best Outdoor Internet Site

An Internet site is any online website, application software or mobile app, accessible through the World Wide Web.

Monica Prelle received the award for Best Outdoor Internet Site for her work at About.com: “Camping.”


Best Outdoor Internet Article

An Internet article is a feature, column or news report published solely on a website.

The Best Outdoor Internet Article went to Greg Niemann of Dezert Magazine for “Baja’s Onyx Capital of the World.”


Best OWAC Conference-related Work

Conference-related work is any work (print, web, photographic, video or broadcast) based on an OWAC conference.

Monica Prelle received the award for Best OWAC Conference-related Work for a photograph she took of a rock climber for the Mammoth Times.


Phil Ford Humor Award

The Phil Ford Humor Award is named after OWAC charter member Phil Ford and exemplifies his ability to capture the outdoor world with a wink and a grin.

The Phil Ford Humor Award went to Don E. Webster of MyOutdoorBuddy.com for his hilarious description of hunting dogs in his column, The Outdoor Edge: “Canine Comics.”


John Reginato Conservation Award

The John Reginato Conservation Award is named after OWAC co-founder John Reginato and honors work that exemplifies his life-long passion to restore and conserve fish or wildlife resources damaged from neglect.

OWAC’s John Reginato Conservation Award was presented to Gary Graham of Western Outdoor News for his article on commercial despoliation of the fishery at Magdalena Bay.


Outdoor Writer of the Year

Diana Lindsay, author of the Sunbelt Publications book "Ricardo Breceda|Accidental Artist", was named Outdoor Writer of the Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC). Runner Up, Outdoor Writer of the Year Mike Ritz was named Runner Up as Outdoor Writer of the Year for his TV show. “Adventures South of the Border.” Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in OWAC’s 2013 Excellence in Craft Awards competition.