Orange Patch editor Terri Miles has just been awarded two NENPA s (New England Newspaper and Press Association Awards) (Formerly known as NEPA, New England Press Association) at the 2011 awards banquet in Boston. Miles won for a series she had written while still editor of the Amity Observer for Hersam Acorn Newspapers, formerly Hometown Publications.
The Making of a High School Musical, a nine-part series, premiered on March 11, 2010, when the drama students at Amity Regional High School first hit the stage to rehearse for Les Miserable. Miles followed the actors through production and on to the state awards ceremony where John Jorge won for best actor in a musical. Jorge went on to the nationals, and Miles chronicled his stay in New York City, along with his rehearsals and performance.
The series was entered in two categories at NENPA, and took second place in the Human Interest Category as well as third place in Arts and Entertainment.
Miles had edited the Amity Observer for 13 years, and this is not her first NEPA for her work with the weekly. About 10 years ago she won for an article she co-authored with Milford Mirror editor Jill Dion, and in 2007 she took a first place for An Amazing Will to Live, the story of Slick, a horse that fell through the ice in Woodbridge and was the subject of a harrowing rescue operation.
In August of 2010, after 13 years, Miles left the Amity Observer and came to Patch, launching the Orange website on Election Day last fall.
"The 13 years I worked at Hometown," Miles said, "the NEPAs were the most elusive award you could win. The competition is extremely stiff, so it's awesome to be recognized by other professionals in the industry."
The NEPAs are one of journalism's most prestigious awards, with more than 3,000 journalist entries competing for 75 award categories.
From the NENPA awards program:
Second Place: Terri Miles, The Amity Observer
The making of a high school musical comes at a time when many eyes are glued to the acts in our school. Editor Miles has devoted considerable energy and writing to tell the story of what's going on in schools across the country. The story tell of the fun and work required to succeed in the arts.
Third Place: Terri Miles, The Amity Observer
Along with the annual homecoming games the spring musical is sometimes the pinnacle of arts and entertainment in many small communities. This writer not only takes the opportunity to develop a series on key aspects of an annual production, but keeps the story going long after the final curtain. Her decision to provide follow-up reports on the professional success of one of its principal actors was a smart touch which elevated this coverage above and beyond the work of many other candidates.