Winner: Tammy Swift

Location: Fargo, ND, USA

How does it feel to have reader’s select you?

“Naturally, it feels incredible. You tell yourself that awards don’t matter, but – especially for the fragile ego of a writer – they kind of do. And they especially mean a lot if the recognition comes from readers. It’s reassuring to find out that someone besides your mom likes what you do. Although I’m still not convinced my mom didn’t vote for me 400 times,” said columnist Tammy Swift.

Which type of columns are your favorites?

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“Some columns happen organically. Like something bizarre, hilarious or touching happens, and you just narrate a story. They almost write themselves – and almost always turn out better than the ones you agonized over,” Swift said. “I probably enjoy writing about my family best. I give thanks that they have a good sense of humor about it.”

What’s your go-to cure for writer’s block?

“It varies,” Swift said. “I might go online to see what’s trending, call one of my sisters for an idea or dip into my column ideas file. I rarely get writer’s block once I get started; it’s the initial idea that is the true challenge. Any journalist will tell you, a lot of it happens because it must. Few things work for curing writer’s block like desperation and cold, sheer terror.”

Congrats to the runners-up!

Second Place: Jim Shaw

Third Place: Mike McFeely

Read more Local Arts & Entertainment "Best of..." results here!!!!