A Clean Sweep for Luby Publishing in IBMA Writing Awards

by Bob Johnson 0

Luby Publishing Inc. writers scored an unprecedented clean sweep in the 2019 national writing competition conducted by the International Bowling Media Association, claiming all 12 awards.

Gianmarc Manzione, Editor of Bowlers Journal International and Senior Editor of Bowling Center Management, won top honors in the Feature division.

Long-time BJI contributor and “Pro Bowling Insider” columnist Lyle Zikes took first place in the Editorial division.

And Bob Johnson, Editor of BCM and Senior Editor of BJI, claimed two first-place awards, winning in the News and Business divisions.

Manzione’s winning feature, titled “This Dad’s Life,” was the cover story for the March issue of BJI. It focused on Matt Ogle’s triumph, with Sean Rash, in the PBA Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship. But it was much more than that. It was a story of dreams deferred and work and sacrifice and heartache and, ultimately, a dream realized.

In the September issue of BJI, Zikes devoted his “Pro Bowling Insider” column to the evolution of lane conditioning, and noted that bowling enjoyed its greatest popularity in the years before “blocked lanes evolved into the fully endorsed new normal.”

Johnson’s winning News division story, titled “Our Little Bowling Family,” appeared in the December issue of BJI. It focused on a bowling center in Holmes, Pa., MacDade Bowl, which has gained a sterling reputation for providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere for special-needs individuals, especially those on the autism spectrum.

“Following the Trends Has Paid Big Dividends” is the title of Johnson’s winning story in the Business division, which was the cover story for the June issue of BCM. It profiled BPAA’s 2019 Proprietor of the Year, Mike Logan, detailing how he has used profits from his FEC attractions to help fund improvements to his bowling operation.

The awards were the 77th and 78th in Johnson’s career.

Other multiple winners were LPI President Keith Hamilton, who picked up a second-place award and two honorable mentions, and long-time contributor Dennis Bergendorf, who secured a second-place award and one honorable mention.

All four of LPI’s magazines that serve the bowling industry — BJI, BCM, Bowling Entertainment Center and Pro Shop Operator — received award recognition in the 2019 competition.

Here’s the complete rundown:

EDITORIAL DIVISION

* Winner — “If Only SCAM and SLAM were Spam,” Lyle Zikes, Bowlers Journal International (September)

* Runner-up — “Are Pro Bowlers Too Accessible?” Jef Goodger, Bowlers Journal International (November)

* Honorable Mention — “Giving Back to America’s Vets,” Keith Hamilton, Bowlers Journal International (December)

FEATURE DIVISION

* Winner — “This Dad's Life,” Gianmarc Manzione, Bowlers Journal International (March)

* Runner-up — “Landmarks and Lanes: A Bowling Tourist’s Road Trip,” Kevin Hong, Bowlers Journal International (June)

* Honorable Mention — “String Pinsetters: An idea Whose Time Has Come,” Barry Sparks, Bowling Entertainment Center (June 2019)

NEWS DIVISION

* Winner — “Our Little Bowling Family,” Bob Johnson, Bowlers Journal International (December)

* Runner-up — “Upping the Entertainment Ante,” Keith Hamilton, Bowlers Journal International (May)

* Honorable Mention — “Duke and Bowlero in Spotlight,” Keith Hamilton, Bowlers Journal International (April)

BUSINESS DIVISION

* Winner — “Following the Trends Has Paid Big Dividends,” Bob Johnson, Bowling Center Management (June)

* Runner-up — “Dynamic Projection,” Dennis Bergendorf, Bowling Entertainment Center (June)

* Honorable Mention — “The Art of Unlearning,” Dennis Bergendorf, Pro Shop Operator (Fall)

IBMA President Johnny Campos said that dozens of IBMA members submitted more than 80 articles published in bowling-related newspapers, newsletters and websites during the 2019 calendar year. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of professional journalists who were tasked with determining the honorees.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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