2016 Best Writing Contest results announced

DALLAS Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Advertiser/Gannett Louisiana Newspapers topped all entrants with three awards in the 24th Annual FWAA Best Writing Contest. Five other FWAA writers claimed two awards each for stories written between Feb. 1, 2015, and Jan. 31, 2016.

Guilbeau won a first place in Game Story for LSU’s 2015 victory over Texas A&M, snapping a three-game losing streak and helping quiet Coach Les Miles’ critics at the time. He also picked up a second-place award in Column and an honorable mention in Features.

The five double-placers were: Sports Illustrated’s Lindsay Schnell, ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com’s Matt Fortuna, CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon and Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

Schnell won first-place in the Column Category for her stand on Oklahoma’s controversial handling of running back Joe Mixon’s off-the-field problems and Orange Bowl press conference. She also collected a third-place in Enterprise.

Schlabach collected a second-place in Enterprise with the help of three other ESPN.com writers and an honorable mention in Game Story. Fortuna placed third in Column and picked up an honorable mention in Game Story.

Solomon garnered a first place in Features and an honorable mention in Column. The Feature story was on Derek Sheely and one family’s confrontation with the concussion crisis. Thamel collected a third in Game Story and an honorable mention in Enterprise.

Edward Aschoff and Adam Rittenberg won a first place in Enterprise, collaborating on an “eye-opening, surprisingly frank and timely examination of how college football is affected by issues of race and identity,” according to the judge.

First-place winners will receive certificates, footballs and cash prizes. Second and third-place finishers will receive certificates and cash prizes. Honorable Mentions will receive certificates. All will be recognized at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Florida at the College Football Playoff Media Hotel.

The following is a complete list of the results of the contest. Click on any of the first-place winners to read their stories.


First Place  Glenn Guilbeau, Lafayette Advertiser/Gannett Louisiana Newspapers

Second Place Andrea Adelson, ESPN.com

Third Place Pete Thamel, SI.com

Honorable Mention Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com; Matt Fortuna, ESPN.com


First PlaceJon Solomon, CBSSports.com

Second Place — David Ubben, FoxSportsSouthwest.com

Third Place — Brian Hamilton, Sports Illustrated (Campus Rush)

Honorable Mention — Glenn Guilbeau, Lafayette Advertiser/Gannett Louisiana Newspapers; Luke DeCock, Raleigh News & Observer; Ted Miller, ESPN.com; Joey Kaufman, Orange County Register


First PlaceLindsay Schnell, Sports Illustrated (Campus Rush)

Second Place (Tie)— Dave Matter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Glenn Guilbeau, Lafayette Advertiser/Gannett Louisiana Newspapers

Third Place (Tie)— Ryan McGee, ESPN.com, and Matt Fortuna, ESPN.com

Honorable Mention — Matt Brown, Sports on Earth; Jon Solomon, CBSSports.com; Matt L. Stephens, Fort Collins Coloradoan


First Place  Edward Aschoff and Adam Rittenberg, ESPN.com (co-authors)

Second Place Mark Schlabach and Paula Lavigne, ESPN.com

Third Place  Lindsay Schnell, Sports Illustrated (Campus Rush)

Honorable Mention  Jesse Temple, FOXSportsWisconsin.com; Pete Thamel, Sports Illustrated (Campus Rush); Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com