Grand "Canyon"

Steven Almond's story "The Canyon" has won this year's Sigma Delta Chi Award for newspaper feature reporting. One of the most prestigious competitions in journalism, the Sigma Delta Chi Awards are presented each year by the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's largest and most broad-based journalism organization, with upward of 14,000 members from the radio, television, and print media.

In competition with print media nationwide, "The Canyon" took top honors in the Feature Reporting (Newspaper/Wire Services) category.

During a full year of research, Almond spent countless hours with several families living at the James E. Scott Homes public housing project in Liberty City. The resulting story, which appeared in the August 3, 1995 issue of New Times, vividly captures the texture of daily life in that sprawling community, in particular the tribulations of women and their children.

The awards will be presented on September 20 at the Society of Professional Journalists' annual convention in Crystal City, Virginia. Other print division winners this year include writers from the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Orange County Register, and the New York Times Magazine.

Almond, a New Times staff writer from 1991 to 1995, is working toward a master's degree in creative writing at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.