VillageSoup newspapers received 27 awards during the annual Maine Press Association Fall Conference, held Oct. 15 and 16 in Northport.

VillageSoup newspapers include the Herald-Gazette in Rockland, Republican Journal in Belfast, Capital Weekly in Augusta and the Bar Harbor Times.

More than 200 people gathered at Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center for the fall conference and awards banquet the evening of Oct. 16. VillageSoup falls into the weekly 2 division of newspapers.

At the Herald-Gazette, Stephen Betts was awarded first place for a health article titled “Domestic Violence: Does punishment fit the crime?” and first place for an opinion column, “We need a breather from polluted airwaves.” Shlomit Auciello and Kim Lincoln won second place for an investigative article, “Violence sends waves across Penobscot Bay.” Daniel Dunkle won first place for Best Staff Blog for his blog “Down in Front.” Dagney Ernest received a first-place award for her arts and lifestyle feature, “The final frontier of Fandom.” Ernest also won second place in the critic’s award category for her review, “The Wonderful ‘Wizard of Oz.'”  Freelance writer Joshua Lambert took second place for a feature story “Farming on Finntown Road.”

VillageSoup sports won first place for best sports section. Ken Waltz won first place for the sports photo “Canoe Race,” and second place in the same category for “The Throw.” Waltz also took first place for his sports column, “Soup Views.” Holly Vanorse won second place in the same category for her column, “On the Pit Box.”

At the Republican Journal, Kim Lincoln won first place for a sports feature “A golden, whirlwind week for Wescotts,” and Tanya Mitchell took second place for a news story, “Judge orders Cummings’ sentence fully suspended.” Ethan Andrews received second-place honors for an arts and lifestyle feature, “Sing to me sweetly.” Andrews, along with Christine Dunkle and Trina Johnson, won second place for a graphic, “Overdraft policies.” The paper won third place for its editorial section.

At the Capital Weekly, columnist Eric Green won first place for local column and editorial cartoonist Darryl Smith won first place for a cartoon, “Labor Day past and present.” The paper won second place for a feature headline, “At Hair World, waxing never wanes.” Page designer Alicia Tuttle won second place for specialty page design with “Life is good at Sparrow Farm.” The paper also won second place for its editorial page and second for the Web site.

The Bar Harbor Times won first place for its editorial page. Amy DeMerchant won first place for a local ad, “Side Street Cafe.” Cathy McDonald and Michelle Panars took second place for a campaign or ad series, “Red Sky Restaurant.” Laurie Schrieber won third place for a feature story, “A fisherman’s life, a family’s loss.” Erika Shriner took second place for an opinion column, “Endless Summer.”

Bar Harbor Times Editor Holly S. Edwards was elected to a two-year term on the Maine Press Association board of directors.

At the annual conference, Meg Haskell of the Bangor Daily News was honored as Journalist of the Year and the Freedom of Information award went to the York County Coast Star for its series “Managers, police hold top salaries” and to the Sun Journal for “911 where are you?”

Matthew Stone of the Kennebec Journal was honored with the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award. The Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Bangor Daily News and Sunday Telegram were honored as Newspapers of the Year in their circulation categories.