VENICE, FL – The Florida Outdoor Writers’ Association held its 2021 Conference in Venice, Florida and hosted its Excellence-in-Craft awards August 21, 2021. Sponsored by Visit Sarasota County and Discover Crystal River and the Plantation Resort, Ascend Hotel Collection, the Florida Outdoor Writers Association 2021 Excellence in Craft awards recognize FOWA members who produced outstanding content in the form of broadcast, digital, and print media during 2020.
NatureCoaster.com had six of its 2020 feature stories chosen for these coveted awards, making it the publication to receive the most awards received at the Conference!
“The Florida Outdoor Writers Association is a great resource for professional outdoor writers. Their Excellence in Craft awards honor the best content on the subject. We are so honored to have such talented writers working with NatureCoaster, connecting our readers to the best Florida’s Nature Coast has to offer,” said Publisher and Founder, Diane Bedard.
You can read the stories that won below:
- Conservation Story sponsored by West Volusia Tourism
Second Place: Diane Bedard – Saving Crystal River
- Family Participation in the Outdoors sponsored by Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau
First Place: Sally White – Levy County’s Best Kept Secret: the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve
Third Place: Sally White – Hiking the Blue Run Historic Railway Trail
- Outdoor Travel & Destination Story sponsored by Florida’s Adventure Coast
First Place: Sally White – Dunnellon’s Rainbow Springs Then and Now
Third Place: Paul Presson – Discovering Anclote’s Hidden Treasure
- Online Blog Post sponsored by Misty Wells of Let’s Take it Outside
Second Place: Diane Bedard – Bringing the Butterflies Back to Dade City
About Our Award-Winning Writers
Sally White is an avid kayaker and spring hunter. She is also an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, and artist with 20+ years of experience. Sally’s contributions are found in publications world-wide. A member of Florida Outdoor Writers Association, she enjoys exploring the wilder side of Florida and believes introducing families to the wonders of the outdoors is key to saving these natural resources for future generations. Sally also publishes Adventures of Mom and Florida for Families.
“I was home recovering from COVID when an outdoor writer friend messaged me: ‘Congratulations!’ I learned later that I had won three Excellence in Craft Awards and a Best of Conference Award. My heart was bursting with gratitude. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of the close-knit Florida Outdoor Writers Association and a contributor to the award-winning NatureCoaster online magazine. Both ignite a passion for Florida and preserving the outdoors,” Sally commented.
Paul Presson is an award-winning writer, cartoonist, and American Veteran. He is a passionate fisherman who takes vets on wade-fishing excursions and loves outdoor adventure. Paul is an artist. He created the map in Discovering Anclote’s Hidden Treasure from scratch and enjoys upcycling and gardening.
Diane Bedard is the creator of NatureCoaster.com and a passionate advocate for Florida’s Nature Coast and the small businesses and organizations that make it home. Diane formerly published the local edition of Travelhost magazine, and has won numerous Excellence-in-Craft awards for her stories about the area. “ I love to share my favorite places, and the stories behind them with NatureCoaster’s audience,” Diane said.
Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association is a statewide 501(c)3 paid membership organization of professional outdoor writers who seek to continuously increase their skills through education, maintaining the highest standards of journalistic excellence. Its membership is made up of the outdoor industry’s top communicators, conservationists, and industry-related companies.
NatureCoaster.com is an award-winning online magazine that began in 2014. Some of the magazine’s previous awards include
• Best Local/Events Blog 2018 Sunshine Blog Award from Florida BlogCon
• Top 3 Community/Events Blog 2019 Sunshine Blog Award from Florida BlogCon
• First Place Outdoor Travel & Destination Story – Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association Excellence-in-Craft Award 2019
• First Place Conservation Story – Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association Excellence-in-Craft Award 2020
• First Place Outdoor Video category – Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association Excellence-in-Craft Award 2017
• Second Place Self-promotion category – Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association Excellence-in-Craft Award 2017
• Third Place – Family Participation in the Outdoors Story – Florida Outdoor Writer’s Association Excellence-in-Craft Award 2020
NatureCoaster.com’s mission is to connect readers with the best of Florida’s Nature Coast through feature stories, a directory of local businesses, and an extensive events calendar covering Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties. Pat Manfredo, an award-winning local photographer, contributes a nature photo daily to the site. Interested visitors can sign up for the weekly e-zine on the homepage.