Three students named winners of 2024 Mark Finley writing award

April 17, 2024
Students compete in Mark Finley writing contest

Ten undergraduate journalism students competed in the 2024 Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer contest on April 16.

Three University of Arizona School of Journalism undergraduate students were named the winners of the annual Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer contest held on April 16.

Sarah Dillon (First Place), Aiden Williams (Second Place), and Madison Kimbell (Third Place) will receive scholarship awards for their work. 

The ten journalism students who competed were nominated by their JOUR 205 professors as promising news writers and were all gifted personalized engraved gold pens. 

Participants were given one hour to write a news story using information provided in press releases and interview transcripts centered around a fictional arson investigation. 

Judges Ellie Wolfe and Alisa Reznick

Ellie Wolfe (left) of the Arizona Daily Star and Alisa Reznick (right) of KJZZ served as the contest's judges.

Ellie Wolfe, a higher education reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, and Alisa Reznick, a senior field correspondent for KJZZ, served as this year’s judges. 

The contest is named after the late Mark Finley, a 1934 UArizona alum who was a journalist and assistant to the publisher of Hearst's Boston newspaper for 17 years. 

The three winning students will be honored at the School of Journalism’s annual Just Desserts awards ceremony on May 8.