Laura Emery, field editor for Cooperative Living magazine, earned two national writing awards from the Statewide Editors Association (SEA) for cover stories featured in back-to-back issues of the publication published by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).

The SEA is part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national trade association representing more than 900 electric cooperatives.

The “Willies” Awards, named after NRECA’s mascot Willie Wiredhand, were presented at the SEA’s annual meeting in August.

In the “Best Feature Communicating a Cooperative Principle or Touchstone Energy Core Value,” she earned a Gold Award for her January 2017 cover story about the Mighty Pen Project. A broad spectrum of military veterans and family benefit from the Mighty Pen Project, a statewide program based in Richmond that teaches creative writing as a cathartic means of self-expression. In the “Best News Feature” category, Emery earned an Award of Merit for her November/December 2016 cover story about Operation Cheer, the story of a simple act of kindness during a holiday hospital stay that spawned a special spirit-of-the season project for a Southside Virginia boy, Dalton Ashworth, and his family.

Cooperative Living, the membership publication of Virginia’s consumer-owned electric cooperatives, is published 10 times annually by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

The magazine is mailed to more than 520,000 homes, farms and businesses across Virginia.

For more information, visit Both Cooperative Living magazine and the VMDAEC are longtime members of the Virginia Press Association.