FLORENCE, S.C. — The best work of the nation’s brightest outdoor communicators was recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Craft awards at the 54th Southeastern Outdoor Press Association conference last week. The award winners include multiple RheaReview.com Outdoors stories and photos provided by outdoor writer Richard Simms.
Simms was awarded 1st Place in the Best Conference Site Story category for a story he wrote on RheaReview.com Outdoors called, “Making memories with Big Bully Outdoors.” about bowfishing for stingrays in Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
Simms garnered a 2nd Place Award in the Photography category for a RheaReview.com Outdoors photo titled, “Deepwater Invictus” (above), taken 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana while on a yellowfin tuna fishing trip.
Simms took 3rd place in the Weekly Newspaper Story category for a RheaReview.com Outdoors story titled, “Hiwassee Angler adds a gold medal guide,” and another 3rd Place Award in the Electronic Publication category for a RheaReview.com Outdoors story titled “The Piebald Buck.”
The awards, sponsored by Mossy Oak, celebrate the best among the SEOPA members’ works of the previous year across the full spectrum of online, print, video and audio media.
“SEOPA’s Excellence in Craft contest is true to its name,” said Kevin Tate, 2nd vice president and EIC chairman. “The group’s membership brings an extraordinary bevy of talent to the field, and the best of their handiwork in any given year is truly a powerful selection of video, audio, photography and prose.”
Judges included outdoor communicators, mainstream journalists and professionals. They included members of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association, the Mississippi Press Association, Camp Compass Academy, the National Rifle Association, the Professional Outdoor Media Association and more.
Other winners include Daryl Ratajczak who won the Sharon Ruston Award, which recognizes the best communication work related to mentoring and encouraging youngsters in the outdoors. He also claimed top prize in the Outdoor Entrepreneurial Project and Magazine Feature categories.
Other first place winners included Capital Sportsman, for Industry Public Relations, Jim Ferguson for Audio Project and Ron Jolly for Video Project. Brent Frazee placed first in both the Online Publishing and Daily Newspaper categories. Whit Gibbons won the Weekly Newspaper category, and Tes Jolly took top honors in Photography. Keith Sutton placed first in the Magazine Short category. Ken Perrotte won the Realtree Website Award.