I have no doubt said this before, but, if it’s the April issue, it must be time to pat ourselves on the back for our perennial good showing at the Boating Writers International Writing Awards. As always, the winners were announced at the BWI’s annual membership meeting at International Boat Show in Miami, and, as always, we scored some big ones.
Michael Fincham took first place in the environmental writing category for his excellent article about the lively debate surrounding what were then proposed restrictions on the Atlantic menhaden fishery, “Food Fight,” in the May 2012 issue. If Mr. Fincham’s name sounds familiar, perhaps that’s because he is batting a thousand for us in the BWI awards. The last piece he wrote for CBM, “Go Terps,” a March 2009 article about the Bay’s native diamondback terrapin, also won first prize in that category. Or perhaps you know Michael as editor and chief writer for the Maryland Sea Grant’s excellent Chesapeake Quarterly. In any case, you’ll be seeing more of his work in our pages.
The names of the other BWI winners are even more likely to ring a bell for you: Jane Meneely, Marty LeGrand, Jody Schroath and . . . oh, somebody named Sayles (shucks, little ol’ moi?). Janie, our managing editor for many years and thankfully still a contributing writer, bagged us yet another gold medal, this in the boating lifestyles category, for her July feature “The Magic of Oz.” You may recall this lovely piece; it’s a truly heartwarming story about a group of friends and dock neighbors on the Magothy River who rallied around a widow to help keep her sailboat, Oz, on the water and in loving hands. Marty won the bronze award in the environment category for “That Sinking Feeling,” her eye-opening November article on the potential changing shape of the Bay, thanks to our geological double-whammy of sinking land and rising sea level.
Jody, our tireless and talented senior editor, scored an honorable mention for her December article, “A Sense of Rachel Carson,” part one of a profile on the famous environmentalist, whose formative writing years were focused the Bay. And then there’s yours truly, who feels quite honored to be in this lofty company, with a silver medal and an honorable mention. The silver, in the seamanship and safety category, was for the July issue article “Don’t Go There,” a compendium of the Bay’s restricted areas and danger zones, and the honorable mention was for “A Large Fleet Stalking Through the Wood,” my Patuxent River travelog in October, tracing the British advance on Washington in the War of 1812. For the former, the restricted areas piece, I’d be remiss not to once again thank Beth Walsh, our editorial designer, for making that article so visually appealing and easy to follow.
If you’d like to reread any of these stories but don’t want to disturb that artfully teetering stack of magazines on your coffee table, just go to the front page of our website, ChesapeakeBoating.net, and look for the “BWI winners” link.
Congratulations to one and all!
Tim Sayles, Editor