13th Mencken award goes to S.C. columnist

Kathleen Parker Cleveland, who writes a weekly lifestyle column for the Orlando Sentinel, has won The Baltimore Sun's 13th annual H. L. Mencken Writing Award.

Ms. Cleveland, a free-lance journalist from Columbia, S.C., who uses the byline of Kathleen Parker, was selected as the newspaper writer whose regularly published column captures the power of Mencken's public commentary and the precision of his craft.


Ms. Cleveland's lifestyle column, "Men and Women," is distributed nationally.

Mencken was a longtime columnist for The Evening Sun.


He was known for his pungent wit and acerbic diatribes hurled at people both famous and infamous.

He is also the author of the nonfiction works "The American Language," "Prejudices: A Selection" and the trilogy, "The Days of H. L. Mencken."

A journalist for 15 years, Kathleen Cleveland has contributed to more than a dozen newspapers and magazines as a writer, editor and columnist.

She is also a past instructor of editorial writing and advanced feature writing at the University of South Carolina College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Currently, Ms. Cleveland is president of her own public relations firm and teaches a writing course at the Buckley School of Public Speaking in Camden, S.C.

Judges selected her columns from among 102 entries.

This year's judges were Michael Kinsley, a writer for The New Republic and co-host of the CNN television program "Crossfire"; Eugene L. Roberts, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Journalism and former executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer; and Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, author of "Mencken and Sara: A Life in Letters -- The Correspondence of H. L Mencken and Sara Hardt" and the editor of "Impossible H. L. Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories."

The judges praised Ms. Cleveland for "singing another note on the subject of family values [and following] the tradition of H. L. Mencken in attacking ignorance and stupidity with vividness and originality."