2017-2018 Excellence-in-Craft Winners Showcase
Congratulations to all our Winners!

Back Row L to R:  Rob Simpson, Ann Simpson, Amanda Creasey, Robert Thomas  

Front Row L to R: Nancy Sorrells, Lynda Richardson, Marie Majarov

*Note if you click on many of the titles you will find links to the winners work…read and enjoy!

Outstanding Column

1st Place:  Clarke Jones, “Off the Leash
2nd Place:  Amanda Creasey, In My Shoes
3rd Place: Bobby Whitescarver, Trump, Torpedoes, and the Clean Water Act at 45″

Outstanding Photo

1st Place: Cole Thrift, “Solitude”

We are particularly proud of this year’s first place winner. Cole is a student member from Virginia Tech who became involved in VOWA through our Collegiate contest. He entered this  fabulous image in the EIC and won first place! Cole tells us that he was on his way back from hiking in the Mountain Lake area when he noticed this lone tree standing at the edge of a hilltop pasture. Dense clouds were draped over the autumn leaves in the background and the scene looked surreal.

2nd Place: Ann & Rob Simpson, Fauna Deer”

Beautiful Rob & Ann! A strong “aaawwwww” on the cute meter!!!! This photo was published in the Shenandoah National Park 2017 Calendar. Rob & Ann describe Shenandoah National Park as one of the very best places to get pictures of white-tailed deer.

We also want to thank Rob & Ann for supporting our Collegiate contest so strongly. Very much appreciated. Lord Fairfax Community College had two winners this year!

3rd Place: King Montgomery, Sunset Over Water”

King is a very long time member of VOWA who is now living in Maine with his lovely wife Elizabeth. King, we thoroughly enjoy hearing from you and are delighted that you stay involved with VOWA with your strong EIC entries as both a writer and photographer. Gorgeous image!!!

Outstanding Blog

1st Place: Mark Fike, “Fishing & Hunting Reports
2nd Place: Madeline Vann, “Time Outside Builds Kids’ Social Skills,”  Fleetpen blog.
3rd Place: Bobby Whitescarver, “Four Compelling Reasons Cats Need To Be Indoors,”  Getting More on the Ground Blog

Outstanding Feature Story

1st Place: William H. Funk
The Dismal Swamp,” Humanities Spring 2017
2nd Place: William H. Funk
“Trauma Center Provides Creature Comforts for Injured, Ailing Animals,” Bay Journal
3rd Place: John Shtogren
“Fair Chase” Virginia Wildlife Magazine September/October 2017

Outstanding Newsletter

1st Place: Nancy SorrellsSempervirens, 
Newsletter of the Virginia Native Plant Society
2nd Place: Robert ThomasThe Singing Reel
Newsletter of the Fly Fishers of Virginia

Outstanding Book

1st Place: Ann & Rob Simpson Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Outstanding Illustration

1st Place: Betty Gatewood
Sycamore Trio”
2nd Place: Betty Gatewood
Wild Yam”

“In her botanical documentation, Betty strives to tell a whole story of the plant.  Instead of presenting the perfect specimen, Betty paints it as it is – the torn and tattered American chestnut leaves, the bug-eaten witch-hazel leaves, or documenting the winter debris of sycamore or wild yam.  Her perfection is the perfection of the survivor.”
Read Betty’s full bio and see more of her beautiful work on her website.


3rd Place: Lynda Richardson
“Snakes in the Grass”

Lynda Richardson has over thirty years experience as a freelance magazine photographer and is the Art Director for Virginia Wildlife Magazine. Clearly she is also a talented illustrator! Lynda tells us:

“Drawing has always been in my life, I drew from the time I could hold a pencil. This illustration was made for a feature in Virginia Wildlife  titled ‘Snakes in the Grass.’ The writer described snake heads as Frankenstein-like fish, great fighters with big scary teeth!  I decided it would be funny to illustrate the story with the tongue in cheek drama of a 1940’s grade B movie poster. That’s me at the bottom of the boat!”

Great Work Betty & Lynda!


 Special Awards

Fly Fishers of Virginia “Best Conservation Entry”
Marie Majarov
Building Blocks for Wildlife: Jones Nature Preserve

Mossy Creek Fly Fishing “Best Fly Fishing Entry”
Robert Thomas

“The Singing Reel”
The Newsletter of the Fly Fishers of Virginia

Appalachian Mountain Advocates “Conservation Writing Award”
Marie Majarov
Building Blocks for Wildlife: Jones Nature Preserve


Special thanks to our Excellence-in-Craft sponsors: the Fly Fishers of Virginia, Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Mossy Creek Fly Fishing.  We also send our gratitude to the many fine judges involved in this competition for their generous donation of time, patience, and expertise in judging our contest.

VOWA would also like to thank Robert Thomas for all his efforts in Chairing and organizing this successful Excellence-in-craft competition.

All conference images courtesy of Robert Thomas, Robert Thomas Photography. Thank you Robert!