Up the Valley in the News!

July 1, 2014

Dear Readers,

I will be back and writing very soon — I’ve been on a short hiatus while I re-think these columns, looking for ways to distill maximum silliness into bite-size pieces. Thankfully, recent encounters with Garrison Keillor, pistol-packing drag queens and Proust-reading tourists have inspired a new wave of creativity about to make a splash — or at least little puddles – on this blog.

Meanwhile, I am proud and grateful to announce that for the third year in a row, my “Up the Valley” column in the St. Helena Star was a winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award in the category of humor, under 50,000 circulation. Judge Tom Walsh reviewed 160 humor columns submitted, and made these comments:

Ms. Rafaty’s work is consistently very intelligent and well-written, offering her readers insights into the quirky aspects of what passes for culture. I’m still chuckling over her line in the column “The Skinny” in which the reader is asked to “Picture Popeye’s Olive Oyl in a D-cup.” Great stuff, column to column.

The column won first place in its division the last two years, and second place this year. My last regular column for the Star appeared on April 23, 2014.

Awards were granted in six categories, and went to distinguished journalists from the New York Times and The Washington Post as well as to regional publications. A posthumous award was given to Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, while two-time Pulitzer winner Gene Weingarten received the 2014 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more about the NSNC and my fellow columnists, see: http://www.columnists.com/2014/06/nsnc-column-contest-winners-2014/


5 Responses to “Up the Valley in the News!”

  1. Andi Says:

    Hi Laura,

    Wow!—Congratulations on the newest, well-deserved award and recognition—certainly I am not surprised you’ve won again!
    I’ve missed your postings…think of you often and hope all is well!

  2. Joan Comendant Says:

    Hey, YOU are such a winner!

  3. Thomas W. Allen Says:

    Congratulations, Laura! Keep writing!!


    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Bill Savidge Says:

    Well-deserved, Laura. You made us smile, without telling us that our clothes have become invisible. Bill Savidge

  5. Congrats on your win!

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