The annual Illinois Press Association awards took place June 13 in Springfield and Forest Park Review won several awards. 

Editor Jean Lotus won first and second prize for feature writing. A story about Forest Park’s dive bars “elegantly describes a not-so-elegant topic,” judges said.

“This writer has a flair for crisp, makes-you-feel-like-you’re there description,” said judges about “Goddesses of Light,” a story about local photographer Geoff Binns-Calvey’s boudoir photo studio. The competition’s 3,500 entries were judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association. Lotus won second place in the Knight Investigative award competition for stories about Forest Park Commissioner Tom Mannix’s connection to an anonymous “dirty laundry” political blog. 

“The kind of reporting that needs to be done in the digital world,” judges said.

The Review’s original columnists also won awards: First place was Sharon Daly, with judges saying her work was, “willing to take on local issues with a strong voice.” Columnist Tom Holmes won second place and John Rice won honorable mention.

The Review also won first prize awards in the categories of Best Website, Best Special Section and Best Newspaper Design.

Chicago journalists from newspapers across the state were honored. The Illinois Press Association, located in Springfield, represents 460 daily and weekly newspapers.

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