The Society of Professional Obituary Writers Honors Excellence In Obituary Writing

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The Society of Professional Obituary Writers gave awards, known as Grimmys, to the best obit writers in the world.

The Society of Professional Obituary Writers gathered in Evanston, Ill., over the weekend for ObitCon, and honored the best writers in the field at the Grimmys award ceremony.

Reporters and editors from all over the world submitted entries to the Grimmys contest, which honors excellence in obituary writing. The 2017 winners are:

Best short form obit - Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times for his obituary of Cookie the cockatoo

Best long form obit - Tom Hawthorn of The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada), for his obituary of Al Howie, an eccentric ultramarathoner who ran across Canada

Best obit of an ordinary Joe/Jane - Maureen O'Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times, for her obituary of Phyllis Larson, the Turkey Talk-Line expert who rescued holiday meals

Obituary writer of the year - Linnea Crowther of Legacy.com

Lifetime achievement in obituary writing - Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times

Each winner received a trophy shaped like a tombstone that included the society's unique Memento Mori logo, which was designed by Mairead Rosati.

ObitCon also featured discussions about obits and obituary writing, guest speakers from Legacy.com, The Washington Post and Northwestern University, and a screening of the documentary, "Obit," followed by a discussion of the film with director Vanessa Gould.

About the organization:
The Society of Professional Obituary Writers is an organization created for folks who write about the dead for a living. Since 2007, the society has provided professional training and resources to help writers develop reporting, interviewing, writing and new media skills for creating outstanding obituaries.

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