In its March 2011 eColumnist newsletter, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) had this to say:
Mitchell, Valenta Among Finalists for Benchley Award
Two NSNC members, Rose Valenta of Chalfont, Pa., and Eileen Mitchell of Palatine, Ill., made the list of the top ten semi-finalists in the 2010 Robert Benchley Society Humor Writing Competition.
Valenta's entry, "How Government Plans to Achieve Potty Parity", and Mitchell's "The Sex Life of the Spineless Jellyfish" didn't make it to the finish line, but being in the top ten is quite an achievement.
The 2010 winner, announced unusually late this time around, was Mike Tuck of Eden Prairie, Minn., author of "Story Time with the Children."
This national contest seeks to find writing that best reflects the humor and style of Benchley, an American humorist of the 1900's best known for his work as a newspaper columnist and film actor. He was a member of the famous Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and actors who met regularly at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.
The Society has announced that Washington-based humorist Mark Russell has agreed to be the final celebrity judge in the 2011 competition. More information may be found at www.robertbenchley.org/competition.
Mitchell, who is the "Film Hound" blogger at the Seattle Post, also is a contributing writer to a scholarly film book published by McFarland coming out this spring. The title is In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater: 3000 Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of Riffing.
Valenta participated in an Authors On Tour Facebook Party on February 25 when writers were invited to "Pump Up Your Book." The author of "Sitting On Cold Porcelain" also promoted her book in an interview on BlogTalkRadio. She also reports that the syndicated service "Senior Wire" has picked up another one of her columns under "Aging Gracefully."