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The following outstanding student writers were honored April 16 at an awards luncheon at The Kansas City Club. Click here for a list of finalists, a list of our blue-ribbon judges, and other program information.

Commentary Winner

Maria Abascal is a senior at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio, where she is the co-chief editor of the Spark, the school's newsmagazine. She is also involved in the Lakota East Book Club and Academic Quiz Team. She credits her little sister for her motivation to address concerns about the world. She plans to attend Rice University to study political science.

Maria's winning entries:

A Legal Right To Be Wrong

Feature Writing Winner

Ross Boomer is a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School. Since the middle of his junior year, he has been a staff writer for his school's award-winning newspaper the Harbinger. Ross is also the executive student council treasurer, a violinist for his school's symphony orchestra and captain of the varsity cross-country team. He is still undecided for college nexst years but plans on studying international relations and economics.

Ross's winning entries:

Hawa's Journey

News Writing Winner

Sara Full is a junior at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., where she is the managing editor of The Express. This is her second year writing for The Express, and she plans to continue next year. She enjoys reading, writing, playing lacrosse, basketball and spending time with friends.

Sara's winning entries:

Blue Valley Northwest Students Under Fire

Students Take a Lighter Approach

Sports Writing Winner

Dan Oshinsky is a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., where he is a managing editor of The Spectator. He has previously interned at States News Service in Washington, D.C., The Nantucket Independent in Massachusetts and The Business Gazette in suburban Maryland. For the past three years, Dan has covered Washington Redskins home games for The Sports Network, a national media service, and he will cover the Washington Nationals for them this summer. He does not yet know where he'll be going to school next year.

Dan's winning entries:

Inside the Redskins: Week 5

Why Whitman Remembers T.C. Williams' Titans

2005 Hemingway Award Finalists


  • Sean Towey, Bellarmine Preparatory, Tacoma, WA
  • Ed Quish, Jonathan Law High, Milford, CT
  • Caroline Summers, Lee County High, Leesburg, GA
  • Elly Bookman, Henry W. Grady High, Atlanta, GA
Feature Writing
  • Jon Goulding, St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, TX
  • Elise Bascom, Lakota East High, Liberty Twp. OH
  • Michelle Alderson, Clayton High, Clayton, MO
  • Jasmine Linabary, Idaho Falls, ID
News Writing
  • Kristen Dreisig, Lakota East Liberty Twshp, OH
  • Libby Nelson, Shawnee Mission East Prairie Village, KS
  • Jennifer Courtney, San Leandro High, San Leandro, CA
  • Jake Horowitz, Horace Mann School, Riverdale, NY
Sports Writing
  • Jonathan Doss, Grace Davis High, Modesto, CA
  • Andy Dent, Carroll High, Fort Wayne, IN
  • Jackie Pardini, Hopewell High, Huntersville, NC
  • Alex Salazar, Tom C. Clark High, San Antonio, TX

The 2005 Hemingway Finalist Judges

  • H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, author of

    Friday Night Lights
  • Diana Mitsu Klos, senior project director, American Society of Newspaper Editors
  • Laura Sessions Stepp,reporter,

    Washington Post .
  • Joe McGuff, author and former sports editor and former editor of

    The Kansas City Star and a member of the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Dean Dean Mills, dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of

    The Kansas City Star .

Other Program Information

Special Guests

Mariel Hemingway

The Program

Welcoming Remarks

    Mark Zieman

    Editor, The Kansas City Star
Luncheon Speaker
    Tom Hallman, reporter, Portland Oregonian

    Tom Hallman Jr., 49, was born and raised in Portland. Graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1977. His first job was in New York City where he was a copy editor for Hearst Magazines Special Publications.

    He then returned to Oregon and was a reporter at The Hermiston Herald in Hermiston, Oregon. He moved to the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington and joined the Oregonian in 1980.

    He covered crime for 10 years, and is now a senior reporter specializing in features/narratives.

    Awards: Pulitzer Prize - feature writing, Pulitzer finalist - beat reporting, Pulitzer finalist - feature writing. American Society of Newspaper Editors winner - feature writing American Society of Newspaper Editors winner -- feature writing American Society of Newspaper Editors - finalist National Society of Professional Journalists - feature writing National Society of Professional Journalists - feature writing. National Scripps Howard Journalism Award - Ernie Pyle Human Interest Writing..

Presentation of Awards
  • News...Anne Spenner, assistant managing editor, metro
  • Features...Mary Lou Nolan, features editor
  • Commentary...Lewis Diuguid, vice president community resources
  • Sports...Kevin Bull, assistant sports editor

Kansas City Star Participants

Semi-Finalist Judges:

  • Jeanne Meyer, managing editor/business and features
  • Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, opinion-page editor and columnist
  • Steve Shirk, managing editor for local/national news
  • Wright Thompson, reporter/sports daily
Awards Coordinators
  • Mark Zieman, vice president/editor
  • Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
  • Lisa Lopez, administrative assistant
Awards Sponsor
  • Mac Tully, president and publisher