9 Up & Coming Weekly received seven North Carolina Press Association awards in a ceremony Aug. 25 in Raleigh. Publications throughout North Carolina were honored during the 149th NCPA convention for excellence in news and advertising coverage.

“I am extremely proud of our newspaper's standings as determined by this year’s NCPA annual competition,” said Bill Bowman, publisher of Up & Coming Weekly. “We have a talented staff who understand the purpose and mission of local community newspapers to be the stalwart for relevant and trusted local news, views and information.”

NCPA’s advertising and editorial contest is one of the largest in the nation, with over 4,000 entries submitted by more than 125 newspapers and news organizations.
Up & Coming Weekly competes in Division B, which represents community newspapers with a circulation between 3,500 to 10,000. Entries are judged by newspaper professionals from another state to ensure impartiality and avoid conflicts of interest.

“Receiving recognition for our publication is wonderful encouragement,” said April Olsen, the managing editor of Up & Coming Weekly. “We are a small business doing our best to provide a quality product that is useful to our readers and helpful to the community. The NCPA awards, and others we’ve received this year, are an indication that we are on the right path.”

Staff Writer Kathleen Ramsey took home first place for Arts and Entertainment Reporting for her article, “A Tale of Two Nutcrackers.”
The article details the two dance studios that perform “The Nutcracker” in December in Fayetteville. Those shows are performed by dancers from the Charlotte Blume School of Dance and Leslie’s Dance Academy.

Ramsey began writing for Up & Coming in the fall of 2021, but is no stranger to local storytelling. A graduate of NC State’s creative writing program, Ramsey was an intern at the Fayetteville Observer and later worked there.

Ramsey’s article was cited by a judge as a “beautifully written story on the dance school and the Nutcracker. Great lede, drew me right in and the second paragraph kept me going.”

The story can be found online at www.upandcomingweekly.com/arts/8163-a-tale-of-two-nutcrackers.
Former Art Director Dylan Hooker received six awards total in advertising. He received two first- place wins in Newspaper Promotion and Use of Color. Those awards were our “Contributing Writers” ad and the “Gates

Four Groovy New Year’s Eve Party” ad.

Hooker received three second-place wins in Advertising Campaign, Entertainment Ad and Newspaper Promotion.
His third-place award was in the Retail Ad category.
Hooker, a former soldier and Fayetteville Technical Community College graduate, began at Up & Coming Weekly in 2020 as a graphic designer and became the Art Director within a year.

“With words and design, Hooker and Ramsey have demonstrated the importance of telling a community’s story,” Bowman said. “Up & Coming Weekly is proud of their achievements and proud to have been serving the Fayetteville and Cumberland County community for over 26 years.”

For a full list of NCPA award winners, visit www.ncpress.com.

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