|EVANSTON, IL—The Society of Professional Obituary Writers honored the best writers in the field on Sunday, Oct. 15, at the biennial ObitCon conference, held Oct. 13-15 at the Chicago-area headquarters of the leading online obituary hub, Legacy.com.
Reporters and editors from all over the world submitted entries for consideration in the 2017 “Grimmys,” as SPOW’s professional achievement awards are known. After blind judging by a panel of experts, SPOW’s unique tombstone-shaped trophies were presented to winners in five categories:
This year’s ObitCon marked SPOW’s 10th anniversary as the organization representing obituary writers’ professional community. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Vanessa Gould, director of the recent movie “Obit” that goes behind the scenes of the New York Times obituary desk, headlined ObitCon’s lineup of guest speakers. Also speaking were Adam Bernstein, obituaries editor at the Washington Post; Owen Youngman, the Knight Professor of digital media strategy at Northwestern University; Susan Soper, founder of ObitKit; and Stephen Segal, senior managing editor at Legacy.com.
“There’s no more fascinating source of true life stories than the obituary pages,” Segal says. “The amazing journalists who belong to the Society of Professional Obituary Writers spend every day documenting some of the realest news there is, accurately depicting the lives of our communities’ neighbors, heroes, and loved ones.”