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Alum Wins Feature Writing Prize

Adam Messinger ('20) has won a New York Press Association award for his article "Kurt, Courtney and the Monks," which was published in the Ithaca Times on August 31, 2020. Adam took first place in the feature story category of the 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, division 7. The awards were announced at the NYPA Virtual Spring Conference in April. This year almost 2,500 entries were submitted by more than 150 newspapers based in New York State.

While a Writing major at IC, Adam held internships at the Hangar Theatre and Tompkins Weekly. After he graduated, Professor Barbarba Adams, Director of the Internship Program in Writing and Publishing, introduced him to the editor of the Ithaca Times, and he began writing features for the newspaper. Adams also introduced him to local writer Amy Dickinson's 2013 Esquire article about Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, and their connection to Ithaca. Adam revisited this connection in his feature, interviewing Dickinson, among other locals, about their memories of and reflections on Love's short love affair with the city.

"This is a fascinating feature" on a subject "that undoubtedly had been little-known," the judges remarked. "The reporter does a terrific job of tying it to the local area. The outstanding details chronicled, even decades after they occurred, right down to the purple lipstick on the cigarette butt, made for a fascinating read. And talking with the only other author of Courtney Love's story in Ithaca actually made the story even more compelling....This story really separated itself in a very competitive category."

Adam, who was selected by his Writing peers to give the toast at the class of 2020's senior celebration, now lives in Los Angeles, doing freelance writing and research for true crime podcasts. He expressed thanks to Adams for helping him place his work at the Ithaca Times.

Read the full press release here.