Crozet historian Phil James was honored by the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association with two awards for his column in the Crozet Gazette, Secrets of the Blue Ridge, and for his book of the same name.
James received Excellence in Craft Awards at the 2013 Mason-Dixon/Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Joint Spring Conference held March 14–17 at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton.
James was the recipient of the First Place “Bob Gooch Newspaper Column Award” for his Secrets of the Blue Ridge column titled “The Albemarle Pippin: Victoria’s Prince.” The award honors the memory of Bob Gooch, known as the Dean of Virginia Outdoor Writers, whose syndicated column “Virginia Afield” once appeared in 25 newspapers across the state. Over his 40-year career, Gooch penned nearly 2,000 magazine articles and 20 books.
Additionally, James’s book, Secrets of the Blue Ridge: Stories from Western Albemarle, was recognized with the third place Book Award, finishing behind the outstanding photography books of Ann and Rob Simpson, nationally and internationally recognized nature photographers.