The Brownwood Bulletin was announced as the third place sweepstakes winner for the West Texas Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper.

Awards were announced Saturday morning at WTPA's convention, held this year in Decatur. Sweepstakes awards are determined by an accumulation of points. Entries from the 2012 calendar year are entered in the competition and newspapers compete against each other in four divisions — dailies, semi-weeklies, large weeklies and small weeklies. The Bulletin competed in the daily division.

“The Bulletin strives to provide a complete array of coverage for Brown County and the surrounding area, and the awards issued by the West Texas Press Association reflect our commitment,” Bulletin editor Derrick Stuckly said. “Congratulations are in order for the Bulletin staff as being recognized for your work by your peers is truly an honor. Still, our main priority is our local audience and providing our readers with the content they wish to read. We will continue our efforts toward producing the best product possible on a daily basis.”

Bulletin’s publisher Jerry Pye added, “We’re pleased to be recognized by our peers in the industry. It speaks well of our staff and their skills at reporting and taking eye catching photos to provide our readers with quality news coverage they can trust.”

The Bulletin received first-place honors in feature writing with “Celebrating the red, white and blush,” an article about Brennan Vineyards in Comanche and “She’s got mail,” a, article over Doris ‘Dot’ Johnson and her letters from famous leaders — both by Amanda Leija.

Second-place honors were awarded in the news writing category with Gene Deason’s “Hardly a Hero” on Vic Stacy’s account of the shooting at Peach House RV and Leija’s “lawmen from across state honor deputy,” which covered the events of the Reagan County Sheriff deputy Joshua Mitchell’s funeral. Leija also received second place in “Journalist of the Year,” which required five entries including two news stories, a feature story, column and editorial.

Four third-place awards were presented to the newspaper including: editorial writing, “Is there hope for Twinkles?” and “Before 9/11, there was Pearl Harbor,” both by Leija; column writing, “Awareness should be more than just a month,” by Leija and “Retiring editor won’t give me his stuff but he’s OK,” by Steve Nash; and sports coverage with an issue of “Fast Forward” and coverage of spring sports by Stuckly. Leija received third place in the “Photographer of the Year,” which requires entries of news, feature and sports photographs.

The West Texas Press Association is considered the largest regional association in the United States due to the large geographic area it covers. WTPA is composed of weekly, semi-weekly and small daily newspapers in the great West Texas area with Fort Davis, Fort Stockton, Hondo, Gatesville, Perryton, Vernon, Burkburnett, Decatur and Dallas being the fringe area cities.