Dwayne Yancey of The Roanoke Times captured a national editorial writing award Monday.

The veteran editorial page editor won the Carmage Walls Commentary Prize for editorial writing at newspapers with circulations of less than 50,000. The honor was announced in Chicago, site of the first joint meeting of the Southern Newspaper Publishers and Inland Press associations.

Judges recognized Yancey for his body of editorials about the state of schools and the economic challenges in Southwest Virginia, plus a variety of other topics on public policy issues in the commonwealth.

“Very well written and researched,” one judge wrote. “It drew me in right away.”

“He illustrated the condition of the schools very well,” wrote another. “He painted a very clear picture of decay.”

Comparing Yancey’s editorials to competing entries, a judge wrote: “Anything else here is a distant second.”

Yancey’s entry was judged the best of a dozen from newspapers across the southeast.

The prize was named for Carmage Walls, who advocated “strong, courageous and positive editorial page leadership” during his seven-decade career as a journalist and publisher, according to the SNPA’s website.

Yancey, a James Madison University graduate, joined The Roanoke Times in 1982 and has worked as a political reporter and editor in various roles over his long career with the newspaper. He was named to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 2018.

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