Contests for the 2023 Conference have closed.

2023 Winners:
“Captive No More: One SC man’s journey to freedom after years in modern-day slavery.” By Jennifer Berry Hawes, for The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C.
The story tells readers how a white restaurant manager in a small town held an intellectually disabled Black man in slavery-like conditions for almost six years.  
“American flashpoint: A drag show, a protest and a line of guns” By Andrea Ball and Will Carless for USA Today
The story tells how owners of a Roanoke, Texas, distillery touched off a massive and potentially violent controversy by posting an event, a drag show brunch, on social media with an “all ages welcome” note. 
“A World Gone Mad,” By Thomas Curwen of the Los Angeles Times
Curwen artfully describes the breadth and depth of the crisis in mental health care in the Los Angeles area, through the struggles of a mom and the 26-year-old son for whom she is trying to get meaningful healthcare. 
“Blood and Money: Modern Vascular prioritized profits, faces claims patients were maimed or died” By Andrew Ford for for the Arizona Republic
The story recounts the medical horror show created by a chain of Phoenix-area medical clinics whose questionable procedures are alleged to have cost patients their limbs or their lives.  
“Darvin Ham survived the streets, a bullet and intense grief to coach Lakers” By Dan Woike for the Los Angeles Times
Woike describes the journey of Darvin Ham from the tough streets of Saginaw, Michigan, to become coach of the L.A. Lakers. 
“Is this what a good mother looks like?” By William Wan for The Washington Post
Wan explores of how a North Carolina woman was driven to give up custody of her son in order to get treatment for his mental illness. 
“A Jan. 6 pastor divides his Tennessee community with increasingly extremist views” By Annie Gowen for The Washington Post 
Gowen’s story reads as a cautionary tale of a Tennessee televangelist whose church claims millions of online followers and who preached on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, a message causing deep divisions in his home community.  
“Uvalde Stories” By Edgar Sandoval for The New York Times 
Sandoval’s entry included selected pieces from a series of narratives in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.  
“To end his wife’s suffering, he shot her. Was it mercy or murder?” Lane DeGregory for the Tampa Bay Times
DeGregory tells the story, both moving and chilling, of a decorated Marine and devoted family man who eventually acceded to the pleas of his wife, suffering from early-onset dementia, to kill her. 
Gayle Reeves, Editor-at-large for the Texas Observer
Tom Koetting, Senior Manager for Content and writing coach for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel