Herald-Press Reporter William Patrick has taken top honors in column writing in this year's North and East Texas Press Association contest.
Patrick, who joined the Herald-Press 18 months ago, won for human-interest columns he wrote in 2018, including “Blue or Red, can't we all just get along,” lamenting the country's loss of civility. Another column explored his feelings of mortality as he approached 50.
Patrick also took a fourth-place in news writing in NETPA's annual Better Newspaper Contest for news articles on the state's unenforced jail standards and efforts to build a bullet train between Dallas and Houston.
Before Patrick joined the Herald-Press he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He also worked as an emergency medical technician and corrections officer in Texas.
“The writer may have gotten a late start in his journalism career,” the judges wrote, “but you would never know it by reading his work. A wonderful conversational style, full of great perspectives.”
H-P Editor Jeffery Gerritt said Patrick's progress over the last 18 months has helped the entire paper get better.
“I'm really proud of William,” Gerritt said. “His progress over the last 18 months is a testament to his hard work, talent, and, most of all, his desire to learn and get better.”
Column writing is a natural fit for Patrick, Gerritt said, because he has a variety of life experiences.
“That's one of the things that impressed me when I hired him,” he said.