Communications Contest (History)

History compiled by Pat Richardson, Historian

Establishing a communications contest was an early order of business. Charter member Chris McClain was appointed the first contest director. McClain brought the same high level of energy to the contest as she did to her writing career. While working full time as chief communications for Alaska Communications System, she found time to research, write, and sell a number of freelance articles. Her articles were published in religious, fraternal, outdoor, and technical magazines; newspaper Sunday supplements; and trade journals.

In 1971, Eleanor “Lily” Maus created the design for the contest award certificates. She was a drafter and architecture student from Europe. She worked as an artist for ITT/Arctic Services in Anchorage at the time. Her design was a Tlingit Indian border with “press” totem figures featuring a ballpoint pen, a typewriter, and a camera. Alaska Press Women’s motto, “Top of the World Writers,” was centered between the totems, with the Alaska flag and a globe of the World. APW printed the certificates in blue ink on white parchment paper.

In 1989, Gwen Edwards of Mystrom Advertising donated time to update the logo. Salmon and aqua blue colors were added to the artwork.