Writer of the Year Awarded to ORU Junior

Professional writers from eight regional states gathered in eager anticipation to showcase their writing at the Great Plains Journalism Conference. From the Hannah Covingtondecorative banquet halls of the Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa to the engaging Pulitzer Prize speakers, the event was a day to celebrate. As the evening came to a close, Hannah Covington gasped in surprise when the judges announced her as the “Student Writer of the Year.”

The 2012 Great Plains Journalism Conference was a regional exhibition for talented journalists and student writers to present their works. Junior English literature and Spanish major Hannah Covington swept all other contestants aside for the “Student Writer of the Year” award with her captivating portfolio of human interest stories.

“I was so shocked,” said Covington. “I knew I was a finalist for something, but thought it was for feature writing.”

Hannah’s writing obviously impressed the judges, who commented that she took uncomfortable and controversial stories and wrote about them.

Kevin Armstrong, who serves as the faculty adviser of the ORU student publication the Oracle and a professor of journalism, nominated Hannah because of her talent for captivating her readers.

“She is thoughtful and engaging,” said Armstrong. “Hannah writes with the human drama always in mind. She finds that emotional connection with her readers and keeps it throughout the article.”

During the 2012 academic year, Hannah worked as a senior writer for the Oracle, writing feature and investigative stories. She also wrote as a section editor of an independent online magazine called Ethnos, started by 2011 alum Bryce Merkl.

Receiving the Student Writer award was just the icing on the cake for Hannah, who just a few weeks prior received honorable mentions at the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association conference and won second place in the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to her accolades as a writer, Hannah has been promoted to managing editor of the Oracle for next year.

Hannah will be traveling to Salamanca, Spain this summer as part of her Spanish degree. While there, she plans to do some journaling in addition to her work for Ethnos.

“I would love to continue journalism in the future,” said Covington. “I love finding people in the shadows and make the general public care about them.”