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Fauquier Times takes top honors in Virginia Press Association News and Advertising Contest

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Fauquier Times VPA

This Fauquier Times front page took a first place award.

The Fauquier Times newspaper was awarded the Grand Sweepstakes award in the Virginia Press Association’s 2020 News and Advertising Contest, the association announced Thursday, April 29.

The newspaper won the News Sweepstakes, the Advertising Sweepstakes in addition to the Grand Sweepstakes in group 3 of the non-daily circulation category. In all, the Fauquier Times earned 52 individual awards for advertising excellence, page layout and graphic design and illustration, writing and photography.

Times publisher Catherine Nelson said, “Advertising Sweepstakes, News Sweepstakes and the Grand Sweepstakes! Doesn’t get any better than that. We have an amazing staff who bring to the newspaper their own unique talents and together make it look easy. I could not be more pleased to have the judges award their work.”

The Warrenton-based paper is owned by the Piedmont Journalism Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the local paper.

Landon Butler, a member of the newspaper’s board of directors, said of the VPA wins, “In 2020, support from the Piedmont Journalism Foundation enabled us to develop some long-form stories that we otherwise couldn’t have afforded. The Grey Ghost story by Chris Connell about renaming the Mosby Heritage Trust, and Dana Priest’s story about how our staff rallied during COVID were both cited by VPA.” 

Bo Jones, director and president of the PJF, said, “This recognition will be gratifying to members of the community who support the newspaper through its nonprofit owner.”

The Fauquier Times won the Grand Sweepstakes in 2017, 2018, 2019; this is the fourth consecutive year the paper has earned the honor.



  • 1st place for Health, science and environmental writing (Robin Earl)
  • 2nd place for Health, science and environmental writing (Daniel Berti)
  • 3rd place for Health, science and environmental writing (Coy Ferrell)
  • 1st place for Education writing (Angela Roberts)
  • 2nd place for Education writing (Robin Earl)
  • 1st place for General news writing about a Gingko tree in Warrenton (Robin Earl)
  • 1st place for Editorials (Robin Earl)
  • 1st place for Feature story writing portfolio (Christopher Connell)
  • 1st place for Public safety writing (Robin Earl)
  • 1st place for Sports writing portfolio (Jeff Malmgren)
  • 3rd place for Sports writing portfolio (Peter Brewington)
  • 2nd place for In-depth or investigative writing about a Buddhist temple in Catlett (Coy Ferrell)
  • 3rd place for In-depth or investigative writing about the legacy of Confederate Col. John Mosby (Christopher Connell)
  • 2nd place for Business and Financial writing (Robin Earl)
  • 3rd place for Business and financial writing (John Hagarty)
  • 2nd place for Feature series for 26 stories about adapting during the pandemic (Robin Earl, Coy Ferrell, Aimee O’Grady, Betsy Burke Parker, Christopher Connell, Daniel Berti, John Hagarty, Nancy Burch)
  • 2nd place for Feature profile writing for a news obituary about Derek De La Iglesia (Coy Ferrell)
  • 3rd place for Feature story writing for a story about the financial situation of the Fauquier Times during the pandemic (Dana Priest)
  • 3rd place for Government writing (Robin Earl)


  • 1st place for a Photo-illustration of Dr. William Simpson (Sawyer Guinn)
  • 1st place for a Breaking news photo of firefighters at a call in Warrenton (Coy Ferrell)
  • 1st place for a Feature photo of Britches Great Outdoors co-owners (Coy Ferrell)
  • 2nd place for a Feature photo of vendor Tim Ernst at the Warrenton Farmers Market (Robin Earl)
  • 1st place for a Pictorial photo of kids visiting Santa Claus at Gumdrop Square (Coy Ferrell)
  • 1st place for a Sports feature photo of a Little League practice (Carson McRae of McRae Visual Media)
  • 1st place for a Sports news photo of a youth baseball practice (Coy Ferrell)
  • 2nd place for a Sports news photo of a horse and rider jumping during a race (Douglas Lees)
  • 2nd place for a Personality or portrait photo of Johnny Ray Kerns with his donkeys (Robin Earl)
  • 3rd place for a Personality or portrait photo of firefighter Billy Hayes (Coy Ferrell)
  • 3rd place for a Picture story documenting Holy Week (Coy Ferrell)


  • 1st place for an illustration depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. (Annamaria Ward)
  • 2nd place for Readers’ Choice awards illustrations (Annamaria Ward)

Informational graphics

  • 1st place for charts listing the results of the 2020 general election (Coy Ferrell)
  • 2nd place for a graph illustrating unemployment trends (Coy Ferrell)
  • 3rd place for charting the historical preferences of Fauquier voters (Coy Ferrell)

Page design

  • 1st place for General page make up (Sawyer Guinn, Robin Earl, Coy Ferrell, Christopher Connell, Peter Brewington, Betsy Burke Parker)
  • 1st place for Sports pages (Peter Brewington, Vincent Sales, Betsy Burke Parker)
  • 2nd place for Page design (Sawyer Guinn)
  • 3rd place for Front page (Sawyer Guinn, Robin Earl, Coy Ferrell)


  • 1st place for video of a “Hate has no home here” rally in Warrenton (Robin Earl)


Digital advertising

  • 2nd place for Treasure Guest Adventures (Vincent Sales and Jeanne Cobert)
  • 2nd place for Fauquier Health (Vincent Sales and Tony Haugan)

Education, churches and organizations

  • 1st place for First Baptist Potter House (Sawyer Guinn and Catherine Nelson)
  • 2nd place for Rotary baby shower (Annamarie Ward and Catherine Nelson)


  • 1st place for Ohana Pet Paradise (Vincent Sales)
  • 2nd place for The Fifth Street Salon (Vincent Sales, Nancy Keyser)

Food and drug

  • 1st place for Wikivapes (Vincent Sales, Tony Haugen)

Home and garden

  • 1st place for Prissylilly


  • 3rd place for Thank you to carriers (Annamaria Ward, Vincent Sales, Catherine Nelson)

Real estate

  • 1st place for Century 21 (Vincent Sales)
  • 2nd place for Long and Foster Beahm and Pancione (Annamaria Ward)
  • 3rd place for Piedmont Fine Properties (Vincent Sales, Tony Haugan)

Prince William Times

The Prince William Times, sister paper to the Fauquier Times and also owned by the Piedmont Journalism Foundation, competes with the state’s largest weekly papers in VPA’s “non-daily group 4.” The Prince William paper won 11 awards, including three first-place, four second-place and four third-place awards. 

Daniel Berti won a first-place award for feature profile writing, for his piece on Del. Lee Carter, D-50th.

Coy Ferrell won a first-place award in the feature photo category, with a portrait of a rescued lamb and its owner, and a second-place award for combination picture and story about a local family juggling the demands of online learning. 

Annamaria Ward won first-, second- and third-place honors for three of her original illustrations, with “Reaching out to students online” taking first place; “Thank you to pandemic helpers,” taking second place; and “Closed in by COVID,” taking third place. 

Photographer Alfredo Panameno won a second-place award in breaking news photography with his photo of the May 30, 2020, Black Lives Matter protest in Manassas, while Delia Engstrom won a third-place award in the photo essay category for coverage of a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Manassas.  

Sports Editor Peter Brewington won a third-place award for sports pages design and presentation. 

Page designer and graphic artist Vincent Sales won a third-place award in the self-promotion category for an ad explaining how to sign up for a digital subscription. 

Angela Roberts, a summer intern who is graduating this year from the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism, won a third-place award in feature writing for her piece, “Service dog swindle.” 

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Fauquier community has proven resilient. The Fauquier Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --


We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Fauquier Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.


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