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                  NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:  May 2013


Contact:           James Russell, President  (517) 323-6233 or

                         Mary Spagnuolo

                         The Amy Foundation

                         P.O. Box 16091

                         Lansing, MI  48901

The Amy Foundation Awards $34,000 to 15 Writers — First Prize of $10,000 to Bethany Starin for article in the Frederick Gorilla (MD)


LANSING, MI—Bethany Starin is the $10,000 first-prize winner of the 28th annual 2012 Amy Writing Award.  A young journalist, Starin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008 as the top print journalism student in her class. While in college, Starin lived in Visakhapatnam, India, for nine weeks volunteering with a missions organization where she discovered her true passion for writing -- telling the stories of hidden heroes. She began penning the stories of those she met on her own and has continued to seek out stories of individuals with living faith testimonies. After college, she began as a Staff Writer at Richmond magazine covering topics from foster care and faith to brain surgery and cutting-edge medical technology. Currently, Starin manages The Town Courier, a monthly newspaper in Urbana, MD, covering a range of local news, as well as writing freelance articles and doing freelance photography work.

Starin's article, "Forged Through Fire: A Story of Forgiveness," tells the story of Darryl Lafratte, Sr., a Maryland resident who was a cocaine addict for 35 years and found himself the victim of a heinous crime -- having the entire front of his body torched with fire. Through his recovery, Lafratte's life was transformed as he was brought a point faith and the ability to see his scars as bringing his second chance at life one of purpose. He now spends his time ministering to juvenile delinquents. Starin met Lafratte through a freelance assignment with the Frederick Gorilla and spent many hours in Lafratte's home, interviewing his colleagues and local pastor. She considers the opportunity to give words to Lafratte's incredible testimony a privilege.

As winner of the Amy Writing Awards $10,000 first prize, Bethany Starin joins a growing list of authors who for 28 years have shown how a compelling presentation of biblical truth applied to the serious issues of life earns a legitimate place in mainstream print journalism.

The Amy Foundation will present the $10,000 first prize to Bethany at the 2013 annual Michigan Prayer Breakfast, Wednesday, May 8, in Lansing. This first prize presentation will be the Amy Foundation’s celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Amy Writing Awards.

The Amy Writing Awards program encourages writers to apply biblical principles to contemporary issues. Articles considered for awards must appear in mainstream print or online news publications and include at least one Bible quotation. The 2012 winning entries were selected from over 600 submissions published in the mainstream media (print and online) last year.

Other 2012 award winners are:


“A man’s life can be changed with forgiveness” by J. Mark Fox (Burlington Times-News;  Burlington, NC) $5,000 Second Prize


“Learning to forgive in a war” by Norris Burkes (Florida Today;  Melbourne, FL) $4,000 Third Prize


“Attitude of honoring our parents promotes a sense of well-being for us” by Delvyn C. Case (Portland Press Herald;  Portland, ME) $3,000 Fourth Prize


“J. C. Penney and the Golden Rule” by John A. Murray (The Washington Examiner) $2,000 Fifth Prize


“Tebowing in spotlight” by Jack Cavanaugh (U-T San Diego;  San Diego, CA) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“Devastating immorality justifies harsh penalties” by Pierre Eade (Bucks County Courier Times;  Levittown, PA) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“'Why didn’t someone do something?’ haunting” by Shane Idleman (Antelope Valley Press;  Lancaster, CA) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“Redeemed:  The Scott Reynolds Story” by Jon Kleinknecht (Galion Inquirer;  Galion, OH) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“What children see, hear really does make difference” by Carolyn R. Scheidies (Kearney Hub;  Kearney, NE) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“We can give thanks despite tough times” by Dayle Shockley (Beaumont Enterprise;  Beaumont, TX) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“What if I don’t feel love for my spouse?” by Steve Cornell (The Morning Call;  Allentown, PA) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“A letter to August” by Billy Watkins (The Clarion-Ledger;  Jackson, MS) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“Shining the spotlight on Christ” by Kim Wier (The Daily Sentinel;  Nacogdoches, TX) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit


“Life is so much more than a moment in time” by Michael Helms (The Paper;  Hoschton, GA) $1,000 Award of Outstanding Merit

Beginning in 2013, The Amy Foundation is pleased to partner with World News Group.  Please visit www.worldmag.com/amyawards for more information.  World News Group will take over the administration of the awards while the Amy Foundation will continue to award the prize money.

Copies of past winning entries are available upon request or can be reviewed on our website (www.amyfound.org). Entries for the 2013 Amy Awards competition should be submitted to www.worldmag.com/amyawards

The Amy Foundation believes the historic value system of Western Civilization springs from the Judeo-Christian ethic and must be preserved to ensure a strong America.

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