The Bainbridge Island Review won 18 awards — including recognition as one of the best papers of its size in Washington — during the 2018 Better Newspaper Contest.
Winners in the annual competition were announced last Friday at the 131st annual meeting of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in Yakima.
The Review brought home 10 first-place awards, one second-place award, and seven third-place awards in writing, advertising, photography, special sections and page design.
In the General Excellence competition, the Review was named the second-place winner for newspapers of its size.
Luciano Marano, the Review’s culture and entertainment reporter, was honored as Feature Writer of the Year. Judges for the competition said Marano’s writing “stood out in the field; pacing, structure and descriptive word choices thoroughly engage the reader from the first article to the last.”
Marano won six other individual awards.
He won first place in the Personality Profile category, for his story on Bainbridge author Susan Wiggs. He was also first in Sports Personality Profile for his article on retiring volunteer Spartans Baseball Assistant Coach Gregg Mesmer, which the contest judges said was “beautifully written.”
Marano was presented third-place awards in the categories of Business Feature Story, News of the Weird, Comprehensive Coverage, and Story on the Arts.
Brian Kelly, editor of the Review, received four first-place awards and two third-place awards.
Kelly took top honors in Breaking News, Crime and Court Story, Front Page Design, and Feature, Portrait or Pictorial Photo.
He had third-place awards in Front Page Design, and Breaking News Photo.
Leslie Kelly, the former special sections editor for Kitsap News Group, was also honored for her work in the Review.
Leslie Kelly won first place in the Education Story category.
She was also first in special sections for her publication, “Let It Not Happen Again,” a look back at the families taken from Bainbridge Island during the roundup of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor at the start of World War II.
“Runaway winner!” the judges said. “Excellent reporting and use of historic and family photos to examine a controversial time in our country’s history. Journalism at its best.”
The team of Marleen Martinez and Raquee Rivera won two awards in the advertising division; a first place for Most Original Idea and a third place in Youth-Oriented Content.
Judges said of the first-place ad, for Ty Evans Windermere Real Estate: “This is the best ad I have ever seen … Keep up the great design work.”
This year’s competition, judged by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, featured nearly 2,000 entries from 62 newspapers across Washington.