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Falmouth journalist wins press women contest

Marty van Duyne of Falmouth was named sweepstakes winner in the Virginia Press Women’s 2014 communications contest.

This is the third straight time that the photographer and writer has won the award.

Van Duyne was among seven Fredericksburg-area winners—including three with ties to The Free Lance–Star—who were honored at the professional organization’s recent annual spring conference at the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville.

Entries were judged by experienced journalists and public relations professionals. Those receiving first-place awards will advance to the National Federation of Press Women contest.

This year there were 41 VPW winners in the contest, which awarded 57 first places, 45 second places, 25 third places and 21 honorable mentions in such categories as newspaper writing, public relations, advertising, photo journalism, Internet and magazine writing, and books.

The sweepstakes recipient is determined by a point system that considers the total number of entries submitted to the contest and the number and level (first, second, third, honorable mention) of awards received.

Van Duyne won first-place awards for a photo essay and a single news or feature photo. She also won four second-place awards, three third-place awards and two honorable mentions.

The other local winners are:

  • Cathy Jett, business editor at The Free Lance–Star and VPW’s immediate past president, who won a first-place award for specialty articles, agriculture, agribusiness, aquaculture; and one second-place award.
  • Virginia Johnson, Web content librarian for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, who won a first-place award for blogs, nonprofit, government or educational; one third-place award; and an honorable mention.
  • K.J. Mushung, a reporter and copy editor for, who won first-place awards for specialty articles, science and environment; news story—online publication; writing for the Web; and website edited or managed by entrant—nonprofit, government or educational. She also won one second-place award, one third-place award and three honorable mentions.
  • Donna Harter Raab, executive director of the University of Mary Washington’s Advancement Campaign Initiative, who won a first-place award for newsletters—nonprofit, government or educational.
  • Linda White, an author and retired Free Lance–Star editorial writer, who won a first-place award for novels for adult readers.
  • Gwen Woolf, a retired Free Lance–Star editor who is now a freelance writer, who won two second-place awards and an honorable mention.