Boating Industry editor receives Grand Prize Writer’s Award

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Liz Walz, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry magazine, has received the top honor Boating Writers International presents to a journalist – The BWI Grand Prize Writer’s Award, Boating Writers International reported in a statement today.

Announcement of the award, consisting of a $2,500 check and a crystal trophy, was made during the BWI membership meeting at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show today. Walz, of Manlius, N.Y., has served as an editor of the magazine for 10 years and oversees the mission for all of its outlets, including a Web site, e-newsletters, blog, white papers, Top 100 Dealers Program and more.

Walz’s feature article, “The New Word-of-Mouth,” a treatise on why businesses need social networking strategies and how to implement them, was published in the June 2009 issue of the magazine. The article was first recognized in the Business of Boating writing category earlier this year, one of 51 award winners in the 2009 BWI Annual Writing Contest. The top three entries in each of 17 writing categories were considered for this grand prize. Click here to read the article.

Judges said of Walz’s entry, “This is soooo on target. The right stuff at the right time. The writing is crisp. Organization is about perfect. You can not read this without learning something – painlessly even in these painful economic straits. This makes for a most significant story. And the accompanying graphics accentuate the text – great package!” A link to the feature is posted on the homepage at

Judges for the Grand Prize Award are associated with Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and have had careers in newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and on-line enterprises. They include: David Nelson, Professor of Media Management and Ethics; Michele Bitoun, Senior Director of Undergraduate Education and Teaching Excellence; and Professor Marcel Pacatte, Managing Editor of the Medill Reports website.

Several additional entries were cited by the judging team for excellence in writing:

  • “It Was A Club of Their Own” by Ann Dermody in BoatUS Magazine: “This is good, engaging writing. It tells one heckuva story about the nation’s first all-black yacht club. Excellent reporting and graphics help explain the conditions these sailors faced with important historical information tucked inside the text.”
  • “Bouncing Along the Bottom” by Michael Verdon in International Boat Industry: “This technical / economic story is straightforward in presentation and well supported by graphics. That makes for an important piece of journalism. This is an exception to the rule: Long, in-depth work can make a difference and people will read it.”
  • “” by Bill Sisson: “The Two-Minute Mechanic and Complete Guide to Winterizing were incredibly helpful, well-thought-out and well-produced. Perfect web content. Overall, a great news website that reflects the print product and yet offers users the navigation and organization that they expect.”
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