- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, the Northern Virginia Daily of Strasburg and Style Weekly of Richmond received the sweepstakes awards for news, advertising and general excellence Saturday at the annual meeting of the Virginia Press Association in Roanoke.

The association gives sweepstakes awards for news and advertising in each of its circulation group, as well as a grand sweepstakes for best overall performance in both of those categories.

The Free Lance-Star, competing with medium-sized daily newspapers, collected 104 points for writing, photography, artwork, presentation and online news categories and 40 points for advertising, for a total of 144 out of a possible 365 points. There were six publications in the medium daily group.

The Northern Virginia Daily, in the competition group for small dailies, tallied 62 points in news and 61 points in advertising, for a total of 123 out of a possible 351 points. There were eight publications in the field.

Style Weekly, in the specialty publications group, scored 75 points in news categories and 40 points for advertising, for a total of 115 out of a possible 297 points. There were 14 publications competing.

Sweepstakes awards are based on three points for each first-place award; two points for each second-place award; and one point for each third-place award. To qualify for the news sweepstakes, a print publication must win at least one award in each of the major components of the contest - writing, art/photography and presentation. Presentation points are not required in the online-only group.

To qualify for a grand sweepstakes award, a publication must win at least one award in each of the two major components - news and advertising.

The other winners of grand sweepstakes awards were:

Large daily newspapers: The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, with 52 points in news and 34 points in advertising, for a total of 86 out of a possible 349 points. There were six publications competing in this group.

Small non-daily newspapers: The Tidewater News of Franklin, with 27 points in news and 39 points in advertising, for a total of 66 out of a possible 346 points, competing in a field of 33 publications.

Medium non-daily newspapers: The Breeze from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, with 35 news points and eight advertising points, for a total of 43 out of a possible 350 points in a field of 18 publications.

Large non-daily newspapers: The Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg, with 10 news points and 40 advertising points, for a total of 50 out of a possible 344 points in a field of 18 publications.

Sweepstakes winners for the advertising categories:

Small dailies: The Northern Virginia Daily, with 61 points.

Medium dailies: The Free Lance-Star, with 40 points.

Large dailies:The Virginian-Pilot, with 34 points.

Specialty publications: Style Weekly, with 40 points.

Small non-dailies: The Tidewater News, with 39 points.

Medium non-dailies: The Courier -Record of Blackstone, with 27 points.

Large non-dailies: The Virginia Gazette, with 40 points.

Sweepstakes winners for the news categories:

Small dailies: The Northern Virginia, with 62 points. The Strasburg paper led its group in writing with 26 points, and art/photo with 23 points. The Danville Register and Bee scored the most points in news presentation, with 14; and The Progress-Index of Petersburg led in online and multimedia, with 14 points.

Medium dailies: The Free Lance-Star, with 104 points. The Fredericksburg paper led its group in writing, with 50 points; in presentation, with 22 points; and art/photo, with 25 points. The News & Advance of Lynchburg led the group in online and multimedia, with 14 points.

Large dailies: The Washington Post, with 90 points. The Post led the group with 36 points in writing, 26 points in presentation; and 20 points in online and multimedia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had the most points in art/photo, with 20.

Online-only members: Charlottesville Tomorrow, with 42 points. The website led its group with 33 points in writing, three points in art/photo, and six points in online and multimedia.

Specialty publications: Style Weekly with 75 points. Style led the group in writing with 33 points and in online and multimedia with 15. Richmond Magazine led the group in presentation with 23 points. Style and Richmond Magazine tied in art/photo with 14 points apiece.

Small non-dailies: The Amherst New Era-Progress and the Nelson County Times tied with 28 points apiece. Amherst led the group in art/photo with 13 points. The Tidewater News led in presentation with 11 points and in online and multimedia with three points. The Coalfield Progress of Norton and the Tidewater Review of West Point tied with nine points in writing.

Medium non-dailies: The Eastern Shore News of Accomac with 58 points. The News led the group in writing with 21 points; in art/photo with 26 points; and in online and multimedia with 10 points. The Bedford Bulletin led presentation with 15 points.

Large non-dailies: Loudoun Times-Mirror of Leesburg with 53 points. The Leesburg paper led its group in presentation with 21 points; in art/photo with 13 points and in online and multimedia with 10 points. The Fairfax County Times led the group in writing with 25 points.

The news and advertising contests were for work published in VPA-member publications during 2014. Judges from members of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association reviewed 3,628 news entries and 1,278 advertising entries to select the award winners.

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