DARKE COUNTY — A column for The Early Bird was named the first place “Best of Show” entry in the newly announced Ohio Society of Professional Journalists 2021 competition.
The winner in the under-60,000 circulation category was Hank Nuwer for his “Near Darke” column. Daily Advocate/Early Bird Editor Erik Martin, who edited the column, submitted the required six sample columns from Nuwer to judges representing the Cincinnati/Cleveland/Columbus SPJ chapters.
Judges characterized Nuwer’s column as having “Distinctive voice, erudite but conversational, interesting and varied subject matter.”
Nuwer, age 75, was newly moved to Union City, Ind., in 2020 when he began his weekly column about historical events on both sides of the stateline border. Many of his columns were illustrated with photos taken by his wife Malgorzata (Gosia) Wroblewska-Nuwer.
“I was pleased and honored to win columnist of the year because the competition was judged by a jury of my peers,” Nuwer said. “I’m grateful to Erik and the Early Bird for a chance to showcase my writing.”
“What can I say? Hank is a natural writer and a genuine person. He writes with enthusiasm and heart,” said Martin. “I’m extremely happy for Hank and feel privileged he has shared his talent with us. This honor is well-deserved.”
Nuwer retired in 2020 as a tenured full professor at Franklin College after 18 years teaching journalism, including classes on column writing. He previously taught at Ball State University and was elected to the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame in 2010.
Nuwer has been a member of SPJ since 1985 and writes for the group’s flagship magazine The Quill. His byline as a freelance writer also appears in national magazines such as The Conversation, Harper’s, GQ, Outside and the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
He is currently under contract to write a biography of the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut for Indiana University Press.