Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shout-out to Andrew Astleford

News of this year's UWIRE 100 best college journalists went over Romenesko yesterday. Two of the 100 were Mizzou students. One of the two, Andrew Astleford, occasionally contributes sports stories to the Missourian that I love to read. I'm confident he'll be the kind of person the MU j-school will brag about churning out for years to come.

This is actually the second consecutive year Andrew made the cut for the UWIRE 100.

Andrew covered the MU Tiger football team last year and in 2007 with an understanding of what the real story was. He is what I might call a reliable narrator. When I read his stories, I don't look for quotes. I like to sit tight and listen to his narration.

- When the Tigers lost the 2008 Big 12 conference game to Oklahoma.
- When the '07 Tigers were so good, they called to mind the '69 Tigers.
- When hype surrounded Columbia, Mo., as the 2008 season began in the shadow of an amazing one in 2007.

UPDATE: Andrew has won this year's Atwater Writing Contest, which the MU j-school administers. On behalf of the contest committee, Columbia Missourian editor Liz Brixey writes:

With pleasure, we announce that Andrew Astleford has won this year's Atwater Writing Contest.

Submissions were exceptionally strong this year and made for some terrific reading, and we thank everyone who entered.

Andrew wins for three stories: "Seeking Relief, McHale's Life Took a Fatal Turn," about the late Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tom McHale, published in The Washington Post; "A Pitcher's Dual Dreams of Delivering at Sea, on Hill," about Atlanta Braves pitcher Mitch Harris, also in the Post; and "Daniel stayed true to his Tigers commitment," about the quarterback's loyalty to MU even when Texas came calling, in the Columbia Missourian.

The stories showed wonderful descriptive writing based on detailed reporting as well as strong use of dialogue. "He gets me in the beginning and takes me all the way to the end of every story," one judge said.

Andrew, who comes from Dodge City, Kan., is in the magazine sequence and plans to graduate in December. His summer schedule includes the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Midwest Writers Workshop at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Andrew spent two semesters at the Columbia Missourian under sports editor Greg Bowers and interned at the Orlando Sentinel and The Washington Post. Andrew placed 12th in 2008 and third in 2009 for sports writing in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program and third in 2008 for explanatory writing for the Associated Press Sports Editors. For the past two years, he has been named among the top 100 college journalists in America by uwire.com.

Andrew is now in Jacqui Banaszynski's intermediate writing class, and here is a link to a story from that class that appeared last week in the Missourian about former football Tigers Pig Brown, Darnell Terrell and Xzavie Jackson:


Andrew receives $600 and a copy of Eudora Welty's memoir "One Writer's Beginnings," which was a favorite of the late Jim Atwater, former dean and faculty member of the Missouri School of Journalism. This annual prize is given in memory of his love of writing, this J school and its students.

Please join us in congratulating Andrew.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the heads-up Jordan. I am constantly being reminded that there is greatness in our midst here in Columbia.

    And I love the links — particularly the Top 100 Journalism Works ... although it only makes my to-read list longer.