The Outdoor Writers Association of America has announced Chris Batin is a 2016 Excellence in Craft, four-time, first-place winner in its national awards competition, including best outdoor column in the United States.
“I’m proud of my association as a writer and editor for Coast magazine,” Batin said. “It shows that a small Alaska-based magazine has the vision to allow me to crank out creative magazine features and outdoor literature that can beat out the exceptional work and talents of top journalists working at the largest newspapers and magazines in the country. It’s truly the case of David vs. Goliath that this regional, free monthly magazine can go head-to-head and win out against established national media with multi-million-dollar budgets.”
In the OWAA national competition, out of 707 total entries, 64 individual winners received 123 awards, plaques and prize money totaling $13,678. The average winner pocketed $214. Because of his unprecedented four, first-place sweeps in the highly competitive magazine category, Batin received $886. All entries must have been published in a printed magazine or on a website (e-zine).
Batin won first place for “Best Column” in the United States for columns that appeared in Coast magazine. Criteria for all entrants required submitting three columns on any outdoor recreation, nature or conservation topic, and submitted from newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs across the United States or Canada. Batin’s columns included a story on the importance of investing in family time via the outdoors, a conservation essay on the importance of Alaska salmon, and an introspective piece on intergenerational fishing. He competed against veteran journalists who submitted entries from the San Francisco Chronicle, Sawyer County Record, and other major newspapers and magazines across the country.
In the magazine division, Family Participation/Youth Outdoor Education Category, sponsored by Realtree, Batin won first place for “Through the Ages,” that appeared in Coast magazine, which described a 92-year-old grandfather who takes his 14-year-old grandson on his first Alaska fishing trip.
In the magazine category awards, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, Batin won first place for “Praise the Salmon” that appeared in Coast magazine, an essay on why he holds Alaska salmon in such high reverence among sportfish. He also received first place in the Gear/Technical Category for “DEET: The Four Letter Word,” which appeared in Coast magazine, and was a humor/technical story on how to effectively use insect repellent. In the magazine humor category, he received a third-place award for “Cold Case” that appeared in Coast magazine.
In an earlier, separate competition sponsored by the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association (NOWA) at their annual spring convention at Diamond Lake, Oregon, Batin also received seven additional regional writing and photography awards and prize money in six competitive categories in NOWA’s 2016 Excellence in Craft awards.
The NOWA awards were as follows:
First Place – Article in Website, E-zine, or Blog (“Photographing Alaska’s Northern Lights”)
First Place – Photography in Website, E-zine, or Blog (“Adventuring Alaska’s Stikine Wilderness”)
First Place – Travel, Camping, Recreation Article (“Kayaking Among the Alaska Icebergs”)
First Place – Fishing Article (“Through the Ages, Grandfather and Grandson Adventuring Alaska”)
Second Place – Managing Our World (“The Alaska Family Who Fishes Together, Stays Together”)
Third Place – Humor on Any Outdoor Subject (“Racing from the Rain, Alaska”)
Third Place – Article on Website, E-zine, or Blog (“The Bear Necessities: Surviving in Bruin Country”)
“It’s an honor to be recognized with these awards by the talented professionals in the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association,” Batin said. “These articles showcase Alaska as I know it best; from firsthand experience with its residents, in-depth interviews with its visitors and conveying the wonder of its many natural resources in a cutting-edge style that appeals to today’s reader. It is humbling to win against such talented writers and some of the largest and best publications in the Pacific Northwest.”
Batin’s entries were chosen from articles and columns that he writes each month for Alaska Coast magazine, an outdoor-recreation magazine based in Anchorage. Batin serves as the magazine’s Fishing Editor and Editor at Large. He is also an award-winning contributing writer for Outdoor Life magazine, is the longtime Alaska Editor for TravelAge West magazine, and is editor-in-chief and publisher of Alaska Angler Publications.
An Alaska outdoor photojournalist for over 41 years, he has been featured on the covers of 14 national magazine covers, is the author of nine books, and is the recipient of over 120 writing and photography awards for his Alaska coverage that has appeared in regional and national publications.
He is the 2013 recipient of the Enos Bradner award, given by NOWA for a lifetime of professional excellence and achievement. Veteran outdoor writer Doug Kelly listed him in Chapter 25 as one of “Alaska’s Greatest Outdoor Legends” in an award-winning book by the same name recently published by the University of Alaska Press. Batin also wrote the foreword for the book and served as a consultant.