KEMPA Gebhardt Award Winner for Feature Writing Announced


The Gebhardt Award is given to a student from a KEMPA-member publication who shows excellence in feature writing. It is presented in memory of longtime KEMPA Summer Workshop instructor Tom Gebhardt, who died in a car accident in the fall of 2000.

Each entry must have been published online, in the newspaper or in the yearbook during the previous school year.


This year’s winner of the Gebhardt Award is Ivana Kosir. She will receive a plaque and a check for $100. Her feature story about Gotcha!, explained a senior game that has taken place annually for nearly 30 years Niles West High School. It was published in the Niles West News online publication. Her adviser is Evelyn Lauer. This is the second year in a row that a student from this publication has won the Gebhardt Award. Read the entire story here.

Read The 2013 Gebhardt Award Winner!

The judge, Susan Hathaway Tantillo, wrote her evaluation of this entry:

This story gets my vote as the winner. While there are always ways to improve a story once it “goes to press,” this one has less room for improvement than the others submitted this year. In addition, this writer has done a skillful job of using quotes from eight local live sources and has provided national perspective with information from Massachusetts and California. This writer attributes indirect quotes and does not provide analysis not supported by the quotes.

Most importantly, this writer ends with a quote from a local source and resists the temptation to editorialize in the final graph.