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Outdoor Writer of the Year

ONF Joseph H. Edwards Outdoor Writer of the Year

The contest and award honors a writer whose published work exemplifies and captures Edwards' passion for the outdoors – from its majestic scenery to its abundant and varied wildlife and virtually all sports afield.


Download Rules & Contest Info


with a plaque and recognition during the OPA Convention

Made possible by a donation from Stephens Media, LLC
and the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.


  • Entries must be written by a staff member, stringer or part-time writer at an OPA business member newspaper and articles must include writer’s byline. 
  • Writers must submit three to six articles published between JAN. 1, 2019, & DEC. 31, 2019. Articles may be news stories, features, columns or sports stories that promote the outdoors (i.e., hunting, fishing, shooting, environmental conservation, wildlife management, etc.).
  • UPLOAD full-page tearsheets at http://betternewspapercontest/OPA. Indicate the articles/columns to be judged by typing the headlines in the Headline field.
  • DEADLINE: All entries must be uploaded by Monday, February 3, 2020.
  • THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE to enter this contest.



Joseph Edwards in wilderness looking over a riverThe Joseph H. Edwards Outdoor Writer of the Year Award was established to honor Joe Edwards, former publisher of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.

Joseph H. Edwards, who was publisher of the Examiner-Enterprise from 1993 until his death on Nov. 11, 2006, had an unbridled passion for newspapers and the great outdoors. He started his newspaper career with Donrey Media, predecessor of Stephens Media Group, at the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, Nev. In 1984, he was promoted to publisher of the Fort Bragg (Calif.) Advocate-News and Mendocino (Calif.) Beacon. In 1989, he was named publisher of the Ukiah (Calif.) Daily Journal.

Edwards returned to his home state of Oklahoma in 1993 to accept the position of publisher at the Examiner-Enterprise and division manager for Donrey, overseeing newspapers in Claremore, Pawhuska, Blackwell, Henryetta and Okmulgee.

When Edwards wasn’t at the newspaper, he could be found hunting and exploring the wilderness areas of Western United States and Canada. He went on annual big game hunts for deer, elk, mountain goat and bear in such diverse places as Montana, Wyoming, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Edwards chronicled in the Examiner-Enterprise many of his outdoor adventures in places ranging from the high desert of Nevada’s White Mountains to the rugged Canadian Rockies.

He also had a long association with the U.S. military. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard until his retirement in June 2002 with the rank of staff sergeant. Prior to his newspaper career, Edwards led a rugged life including stints as a rodeo bull rider, boxer, miner and truck driver.