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OWAA announces co-recipients of 2014 OWAA John Madson Fellowship

Outdoor Writers Association of America is pleased to announce that Ken Keffer and member Matthew Reilly have been selected as co-recipients of the 2014 OWAA John Madson Fellowship. The fellowship is an annual grant program that funds continuing education opportunities for outdoor communicators. This year’s recipients will share the total award of more than $2,400 for reimbursable expenses related to attending educational opportunities of their choice.

ken-keffer Keffer received $1,225 to attend OWAA’s 2014 conference in McAllen, Texas.

A lifelong outdoorsman, Keffer was raised in Wyoming and is now based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has co-authored three books focused on getting kids and families outside. “The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up” received a National Outdoor Book Award Honorable Mention and is on the short list for the Green Earth Book Awards. “We Love Nature! A Keepsake Journal for Families Who Love to Explore the Outdoors” was released this spring and “The Truth About Nature” will be published in the fall. Additionally, Keffer regularly contributes to Birds & Blooms magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and has worked as a researcher, educator and naturalist all over the country including Alaska, New Mexico, Maryland and Ohio. Learn more about Keffer and his writing at http://www.destinationnature.net.

matthew-reillyReilly received $1,225 to attend OWAA’s 2015 conference which will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Reilly is an all-around outdoors man, fly-fishing addict and outdoor writer and photographer native to Fluvanna County, Virginia. At 15 years old, he won an essay contest sponsored by the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association and began writing a weekly outdoor column for a Virginia newspaper, The Daily Progress, a few months later. Since then his work has appeared in multiple outdoor magazines and earned him a position as a special contributor to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Outdoor Report. In February he was one of four national winners of the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development Essay Contest picked to travel to Washington, D.C., at the request by the Secretary of the Interior and several other national conservation leaders. Reilly is a soon-to-graduate senior and honor student at Fluvanna County High School in Virginia and will attend Emory & Henry College in the fall. His weekly columns, as well as photography updates, can be found at http://www.AdventuresAfield.blogspot.com.

OWAA’s 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 and non-members. The fellowship program is designed to honor the legacy of John Madson, one of OWAA’s most talented, respected and honored legends. Applications are evaluated by a committee of past OWAA Jade of Chiefs conservation award winners. More information about the annual fellowship program can be found online at http://owaa.org/programs/scholarships-fellowships/madson-fellowship/.

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