The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012
This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2012 Best American
Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction
Conference, which is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute
of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors
exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction
storytelling at newspapers across the United States.
First place winner: Eli Saslow,”Life of a Salesman,” published by the
Washington Post, is about a Manassas, Va., swimming pool salesman
experiencing the unraveling of his decades-long success story.
Second place: Kelley Benham, “Never Let Go,” published by the Tampa Bay
Times, is her personal account of the months following the birth of her
Third place: Anne Hull, “Breaking Free,” published by the Washington
Post, traces a teenage girl’s climb out of poverty as she prepares for
Runner-ups include: John Branch, “The Day a Mountain Moved” (New York
Times); Dan Barry, “Donna’s Diner: In the Hard Fall of a Favorite Son,
a Reminder of a City’s Scars” (New York Times); Rosalind Bentley, “The
Nation’s Poet” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Mark Johnson, “I Boy”
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Monica Rhor, “Homelessness” (Houston
Chronicle); Louis Hansen, “The Girl Who Took Down the Gang”
(Virginian-Pilot); and Martin Kuz, “Soldiers Recount 60-Second Attack
That Left Them Reflecting on Life and Death” (Stars and Stripes).