I’m not one to brag but every once in awhile, it’s appropriate.

The editorial department of Pool & Spa News works hard to come up with informative, cutting-edge story ideas. After the concept is hammered out, we spend days interviewing sources, writing, and fine-tuning any rough spots. Next, our art department goes to work making the words come to life with bold, striking images.

Much of the time we labor in relative obscurity. Sure, the magazine gets its share of complimentary calls and e-mails. But there are instances when we spend weeks putting a feature together and have no idea how readers may have felt about it.

But now I know how at least some readers felt about three stories we published in 2005. True, these folks are outside the pool and spa industry — and thus aren’t my first priority — but it’s still nice to get the feedback.

Pool & Spa News is the proud recipient of a number of awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, a professional association for editors and writers in the business press.

ASBPE is widely known for its prestigious Awards of Excellence competition. The annual program averages more than 1,000 entries, and I’m happy to say we won in three categories this year.

Best How-to: Rebecca Robledo’s wonderful step-by-step guide to placing stacked stone was published on May 23, 2005. The title of the article was “Mixing It Up.” Many thanks go to Jeff Thiessen for sharing his expertise for this piece.

Best Feature: Rin-rin Yu’s in-depth look at Arizona’s high childhood drowning rate, and what’s being done to combat it, appeared August 8, 2005. The feature was called “Children of the Desert.”

Best Feature Article — Design: Pulliam Pools supplied the photos and graphic designer Tariq Kamal created the eye-catching layout for this story on the history of the pool industry in Texas. The piece was called “The Old West” and was part of the June 6, 2005 issue.

Please join me in congratulating these writers and this artist on their fine work.

Erika Taylor