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At State Press Awards, Style Weekly Wins Sweepstakes 

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In across-the-board wins, Style Weekly received the Virginia Press Association’s top awards for news, advertising and overall excellence in its category during a ceremony Saturday at the Hilton Richmond Short Pump Hotel.

Teams in both news and advertising received sweepstakes awards, reflecting the highest points won in the specialty division. Style also received the grand sweepstakes award in the division, recognizing 2015’s work in writing, photography, art, presentation, multimedia reporting and ad design.

A judge praised Brent Baldwin’s in-depth profile on the new men’s basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, saying it went beyond the traditional sports genre. “To compare the coach to others and his work to other professions … is ingenious. Will Wade comes off as a complicated, dedicated guy one would want to know.”

Another first-place award, in the public affairs writing category, went to reporter Peter Galuszka for his work on the city’s anti-poverty fight, and to his news writing portfolio, which included a cover story on City Hall’s financial disaster.

“Thank you for making this head-spinning confusion understandable to any reader,” a judge wrote. “Not often do you read a story where you find not one word could be cut, but this is lean, clear, concise writing — the kind of writing everyone hopes to do, but few ever manage.”

Photographer Scott Elmquist took home 13 photography-driven awards, including two first places for coverage of a homicide vigil and the Dominion Riverrock festival.

Other first places include Paul Spencer’s health, science and environmental writing portfolio, Rachel Anne Warren for leisure, lifestyle or home writing, and Rich Griset in arts writing for a story on the Richmond roots of the cartoon “Doug.”

Multimedia honors included Style’s Richmond Crime Almanac for data journalism and a news report from Elmquist and reporter Leah Small on Mosby Court’s efforts to rally the community in the wake of a double homicide.

In advertising, creative director Joel Smith received a “best-of-show” honor in specialty advertising for a poetic ad promoting the Hogtober festival.

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