Tony D’Souza (Cote d’Ivoire 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) widely lauded for his novels Whiteman (a New York Times Editor’s Pick) and Mule (optioned for film by Warner Bros.) has been based in Sarasota, FL, the past few years, where he is raising his two young children and is a contributing editor at Sarasota Magazine. He’s regularly been winning Florida magazine and journalism prizes, and this past Saturday in Miami, he took home three more awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. This year, he took first prizes in Public Service Reporting and Investigative Reporting, as well as a second prize in Investigative Reporting.
His long form feature stories which were recognized by the SPJ include “Going Nowhere,” a months-long investigation of the homeless and their treatment by the affluent communities of southwest Florida.
“Going Nowhere” also received the 2015 Florida Magazine Award for Best Public Service Coverage and has been featured on long form magazine websites and public radio.
Another is “The Sky is Falling,” his coverage of the five-year long tale of the residents of a 117 unit condo which had to be evacuated because of a sudden crack in the building’s foundation. The story highlighted the unexpected
costs of condo ownership in Florida, condos laws, and how property developers are indemnified from damages just seven years after construction, leaving owners on the hook for repairs, which in the case of the building he featured,
bankrupted many of them.
Tony says via email: “Florida is a great place to be a writer. It’s now the 3rd most populous state after California and Texas, decides who will be US president, and is simply a ‘sunny place full of shady people.’ There are more stories here than I can keep up with.’
Sarasota Magazine won seven awards in the 22nd annual Sunshine State Award competition. In all, 17 awards were
given in the magazine division statewide, with Sarasota Magazine receiving almost half of those.