2012-08-09 / Front Page

Dawn Timbs earns national writing award


Dawn Timbs Dawn Timbs Dawn Timbs, reporter for the Staples World, has earned an award from the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Timbs received an honorable mention in the Best Feature Story category in a non-daily division for her story “Another Thanksgiving without Peter.”

The story was published in the Nov. 24, 2011, Staples World. At that time Peter Achermann of Leader had been missing for over two years and his family had published his diary into a memoir of his life.

“The story is very personal and the reader really feels the family’s pride in their relative,” the judge wrote. “It makes me want to read the memoir.”

“It was a tough story to write given the subject matter,” Timbs said. “I’m grateful to the family for being so open with me about Peter.”

Timb’s acknowledged bittersweet feelings, too.

“I’m honored to receive the award, but I’m sad that I had this story to write,” she said. “I wish it could have been about finding Peter, about bringing closure for the family.”

Achermann disappeared on July 24, 2009.

Timbs added that she hoped this national exposure could bring more attention to the situation.

“Dawn really has a knack for connecting with the people she interviews and translating that into a connection with our readers,” said Brenda Halvorson, general manager of the Staples World. “We’re proud of her and we’re so pleased that her peers in journalism also recognize her hard work and talent.”

National Newspaper Association (NNA) contest chair Jeff

Farren, publisher of the Kendall

County Record in Yorkville, Ill., announced and congratulated the contest winners in an award notifi cation email.

“The winners reflect the high quality of publications represented by the association,” Farren said.

There were 1,954 entries in the

Better Newspaper Contest and 395 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of

2,349 entries. A total of 525 awards were won by 135 member newspapers in 36 states.

Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers and included retired university journalist professors and retired or former newspaper men and women.

Timbs has been a reporter with the Staples World since February 2006, primarily covering the Motley, Leader, Pillager and Cushing areas and writing feature stories as well as other reporting and photography duties.

She and her husband Gary live just west of Staples with their dog Minnie and the occasional visiting bear. They also have a musical career as a duo and sometimes as a family group with Dawn’s family, the Schimpps.

Dawn serves on the board of Lamplighter Community Theatre and has been in several recent productions including “Cemetery Club,” “Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn” and “Drinking Habits.”

Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community papers inform, educate and entertain nearly 150 million readers every week.

Return to top