COVENTRY, England -- Three TownNews.com customers received Golden Dozen awards for editorial writing Saturday from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Robert B. Trapp, managing editor of the Rio Grande SUN in Espanola, N.M.; Kelly Clemmer, editor-in-chief of The Star in Wainwright, Alberta; and Paul MacNeill, publisher of the Eastern Graphic of Montague, Prince Edward Island, were among the honorees at the ISWNE Awards Banquet, held at the University of Warwick.

The Rio Grande SUN and The Star have TownNews websites. All three papers are SWAT customers.

Trapp's editorial supported a mother's right to address a school board after a teacher allegedly manhandled her son. Clemmer's editorial discussed the thoughtless shooting of a horse in a farm yard. MacNeill's editorial blasted the provincial government's decision "to sweep $500 million of public spending ... behind a cloud of secrecy."

The Golden Quill Award - the best of the 12 honored editorials - went to Peter Weinschenk, editor of The Record-Review in Abbotsford, Wis. Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust in London, England, judged the contest.

The Eugene Cervi Award for lifetime achievement went to Jack Sigvaldason, publisher of the Yellowknifer and six other newspapers in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Gary Sosniecki, a TownNews regional sales manager, attended the conference on his vacation. As a weekly publisher, Sosniecki won the Golden Quill Award twice and, with his wife, Helen, won the 2003 Cervi Award. Sosniecki serves on the ISWNE board.

You can read this year's winning editorials at http://www.iswne.org/grpdfs/summer11.pdf.

Among the speakers at the five-day conference was Geraldine Allinson, president of England's Newspaper Society, who said local papers "cannot be replicated by any other medium."

Read more about Allinson's remarks at

http://www.newspapersoc.org.uk/07/jul/11/ns-president-local-papers-provide-a-voice-for-people-who-need-to-be-heard.

ISWNE members attended the conference from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland and Australia.

Next year's ISWNE conference will be in Bellingham, Wash. For more information, go to http://www.iswne.org.