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Funk and Morley receive OWAA’s 2011 John Madson Fellowships

MISSOULA, Mont. — Outdoor Writers Association of America has selected William H. Funk and Julie Ann Morley as co-recipients of OWAA’s 2011 John Madson Fellowship. The fellowship is an annual grant program that funds continuing education opportunities for OWAA members. This year’s recipients will share the total award of $2,600 for reimbursable expenses related to attending OWAA’s Goldenrod Writing Workshop.

Funk began freelancing in 2005 in the areas of conservation, wildlife and the environment. He is also a licensed attorney and deals with conservation easements. Funk is a sincere and lifelong hunter and fisherman, as well as a dedicated environmentalist looking to expand his conservation message into major print markets as well as through documentary filmmaking. He is an enthusiastic hiker, paddler and birder. Funk has spent years working for nonprofits and state and federal governments to preserve the dwindling wildlife habitat and native ecosystems in the face of ongoing land conversion. He was published by Virginia Wildlife magazine for his article on the conservation status and natural history of black bears in the state. He is also published in numerous regional and national magazines.

Morley is an outdoor enthusiast and professional writer from the great state of California. Her first novel, “Cole Creek,” is being released in May 2011, marking her transition to writing as a full-time profession. Morley has been developing the platform “personal evolution through outdoor experience” to describe the premise of her current novel in progress, “Pacheco Falls.” Her goal is to expand into writing backcountry related freelance pieces and to continue speaking about the value of experiencing the outside environment.

Both Madson Fellowship recipients have elected to attend OWAA’s Goldenrod Writing Workshop, a weeklong writing colloquium July 31-Aug. 6, 2011, at The University of Montana in Missoula. The workshop is a casual setting with hands-on learning from peer groups and veteran instructors. The curriculum includes assignments, discussions, readings and shared critiques along with time for writing and socializing with others who share a passion for communicating about the outdoors.

OWAA’s John Madson Fellowship is funded through the John Madson Fellowship Fund, an endowment that thrives primarily through OWAA member contributions and fundraising efforts. Its goal is to enhance professional communication skills for OWAA members. The fellowship program is designed to honor the legacy of John Madson, one of OWAA’s most talented, respected and honored legends.

OWAA is The Voice of the Outdoors®. The 1,200-member Outdoor Writers Association of America is the oldest and largest association of professional outdoor communicators in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by members of the Izaak Walton League of America and includes professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. OWAA’s professionals include writers, photographers, outdoors radio- and television-show hosts, book authors, videographers, lecturers and artists. The association is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For more information, contact Robin Giner, executive director, Outdoor Writers Association of America, 121 Hickory St., Ste. 1, Missoula, Mont. 59801; 406-728-7434, rginer@owaa.org; http://www.owaa.org.

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