Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obituary Writers Awards: It's Deadline Eve

The deadline for submitting entries for the 2010 Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) Awards for obituary writing and obit writers is Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010: Tomorrow.

For details, go the the SPOW website's Awards page at

If you want to submit an entry for an obit writing award or nominate someone for a Lifetime Achievement or other special award, but cannot accomplish this by tomorrow's deadine, please contact Cailin Brown, contest coordinator, at to ask for an extension.

Good luck, everyone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Obits, Philadelphia Style": Society of Professional Obituary Writers Convention News

“Obits, Philadelphia Style” is the theme of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) 2010 Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., April 22-24, 2010.

Jim Nicholson, the retired award-winning Daily News reporter who became a rock star among obit writers by writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people, will be the keynote speaker.

Irv Randolph, managing editor of The Philadelphia Tribune, will speak about his paper’s history as America’s oldest and the Greater Philadelphia region’s largest newspaper serving the African-American community.

The convention’s roundtable on diversity will focus on handling obituaries for African Americans.

Obituary writers and other local journalists from Philadelphia will discuss their news outfit’s policies regarding obituaries. They will share their favorite obits and anecdotes about their experiences on the death beat, as well as offer practical tips on obit writing.

Departing slightly from the theme, Tom Schecker and Barry Nelson, authors of "Mr. Ed: Dead: And Other Obituaries of the Most Famous People Who Never Lived," will discuss the use of obituaries as a satiric device.

The event will start with a kickoff dinner on Thursday, April 22, at a site to be determined.

Professional development sessions will be held during the day on Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, at The Philadelphia Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia.

Presentation of the 2010 SPOW Awards for obituary writing will be made at a Friday awards luncheon.

Program updates will be posted at

To register for the convention and/or pay SPOW membership dues, visit

Regarding removed comments

You may have noticed that a lot of comments have been removed by the blog administrator lately and wondered about the reasons for our taking such actions.

All of these comments have been advertising ploys that make no sense and seemed aimed at getting readers to visit unrelated websites - mostly to buy drugs. Some comments are written in characters that appear to be in an indiscernible foreign language.

If you come across any comments I've missed, please let us know. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Deadline for obituary awards approaches

The, ahem, deadline for submitting entries for the 2010 Society of Professional Obituary Writers Awards and nominations for Lifetime Achievement and other special honors for obituary writing is Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010.

The crystal tombstone-shaped awards will be presented on April 23, 2010, during an awards luncheon at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

For details, visit