Sun showered with journalism awards

The Sun won three first place awards for First Amendment defense, in-depth reporting and humorous column.


Sun earns nine statewide awards

The Anna Maria Island Sun was recognized with nine awards in the 2018 Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Competition at a ceremony in Mt. Dora on Saturday.

The Sun’s online edition,, won third place for “News Website” statewide, competing against online newspapers of all sizes.

Staff writer Kristin Swain swept the “Community News Writing” category, winning all three awards in the division. Her first place award for “Hurricane recovery begins for condo owners” was about delays in the repairs of several Holmes Beach condos damaged by Hurricane Irma.

She won second and third place awards for “Protecting Holmes Beach from rising tides,” about a city engineer’s plans to harden the city against flooding, and “Property owners sue neighbors for complaining about noise,” about vacation rental owners suing neighbors who reported noise violations to the city.

Staff writer and Digital Editor Cindy Lane won first place in “Commentary Writing” for “The press goes back to school,” about statewide coverage erroneously reporting that a new Florida law allowed beachfront property owners to keep people off the beach.

Lane won second place in “Online Package” with Bob Hite, of Kinship Productions, for “Vaught’s Vietnam,” a story honoring the military service of Sun staff writer Tom Vaught.

See video

She won second place in “That is so… Florida” for “State investigates net camp construction,” about a Cortez resident who built a structure on pilings in state waters.

Lane won second place in “General News Writing” for “Fishermen ask Floridians to vote against net ban,” about commercial fishermen’s efforts to put a constitutional amendment on the state’s ballot reversing the net ban.

Lane won third place in “Features Photography” for “Island SUNset.”

– Cindy Lane | Sun

 Sun showered with journalism, Sunshine awards

The Anna Maria Island Sun earned seven statewide awards for reporting and photography in print and online at the Florida Press Association Weekly Newspaper Contest on Aug. 10, 2018.

First place awards

  • Staff writer Joe Hendricks, First Amendment Defense, for “Bradenton Beach Sunshine Violations.” Hendricks also won the statewide Jon A. Roosenraad award for First Amendment Defense.

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  • Columnist Sean Murphy, Humorous Column, for “Uncle George’s Zipper Parade.”

Second place awards

  • Cartoonist Steve Borggren, Original Local Editorial Cartoon, for “To Die For,” depicting red tide victims.

  • Staff writer Cindy Lane, Online Slideshow, for “Flippers and Feathers,” featuring photos and information about manatees, dolphins, sea turtles and shorebirds.

Third place awards

  • Staff writer Cindy Lane, Photo Series in One Issue, for “Surf’s Up,” featuring West Coast Surf Shop summer surf campers.

FPA trophies 20172017: Sun best weekly in Florida

The Anna Maria Island Sun earned the distinction of being the best weekly newspaper of its size in the state of Florida.

The first place award in General Excellence is one of 14 awards The Sun earned in the 2016 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper Contest at the FPA annual convention at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples on Aug. 11. The awards and judges’ comments are:

First place

General Excellence, Staff

“There is a lot to like about this newspaper. The front page design is unusual but very inviting. The paper is chock full of everything – solid, comprehensive coverage of the community, including arts and sports. Love the info graphics and treatment of the editorial page. Paper is well designed – fun and engaging treatment of every page – and loaded with ads. I would subscribe to this paper in a heartbeat. Nice work.”

Original Local Editorial Cartoon, Steve Borggren, “No app for that”

“Steve Borggren has a talent for finding irony and wry humor in news events and everyday life. Especially liked his cartoon about a parent telling her kids to get out in the yard to hunt for Easter eggs rather than look for an ‘app for that’ on their phones.”


Second place

Best Headline, Pat Copeland, “Commission pooh-poohs peeing in public.”

“Playful alliteration helped draw readers into what might have been just another story about a city commission meeting.”

Commission pooh poohs peeing in public

Breaking News Story, Joe Hendricks, “Webb challenges voter’s eligibility”

“Points for recognizing a story that’s not sexy but it is important – especially when the newspaper takes note of it.”

Webb challenges voters' eligibility 2

Feature Story: Non-Profile, Cindy Lane, “Legendary hammerhead immortalized”

“This is a great little story about immortalizing a local legend – Ol’ Hitler, the biggest, meanest, scariest hammerhead ever to scare people out of the water. Well done with plenty of local color. A story that people will keep talking about.”

Legendary hammerhead immortalized 042716

Third place

Local Government Reporting, Pat Copeland, “Stirring the pot”

“Well written story covering all sides of this issue – great headline – lots of compelling arguments to help the public understand.”

Stirring pot 1

Stirring pot 2

Best Headline, Mike Field, “You ain’t nothing but a houndfish.”

“Fun headline. Elvis would approve!”

You ain't nothing but a houndfish

Overall Graphic Design, Ricardo Fonseca and Mike Field

“Less flashy, but a nice, solid design, with very well-designed graphic elements.”

042016 front page

Humorous Column, Cindy Lane, “Eat more octopus”

This entry was cute and funny, but also informative and entertaining. Good writing – nice work.”

Community History, Cindy Lane, “Tourism slogans, logos evolving”

“Loved the topic, and it was presented in a very stylish way.”

Tourism slogans, logos evolving 030916

Outdoor and Recreation, Cindy Lane, “Saving seashells on the seashore”

“Picking up shells on the beach is probably one of the most popular seaside recreations there is. But this story went well into the science and conservation of shelling. A story you should read before you reach for that sand dollar.”

Coast Lines Saving seashells on the seashore 030216

Editorial Award, Cindy Lane, “Respect the wildlife”

“It’s refreshing to see the newspaper use its power to remind the locals of their responsibilities to help protect the environment.”

Respect the wildlife 071316 (1)


Respect the wildlife 071316 (2)

Sports Photo, Monica Simpson, “Two little wrestlers”

“With apologies to the many other great entries in the category – beware of photos with cute kids – this one stole the show.”

Two little wrestlers

Portfolio Photography, Tom Vaught

“Loved the shot of Elvis in the water on New Year’s Day for the annual ‘Shamrock Shiver.’ And a dramatic news photo of workers trying to cap a water leak in Anna Maria.”

Shamrock Shiver