The Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Program is an annual contest for college publication columnists underwritten by The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota on behalf of Jeanne Phillips aka Dear Abby, who is also co-chair of the Foundation.
Q: It’s very generous of you to provide a scholarship for aspiring college-age writers. What inspired you to partner with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation to create this scholarship program and contest?
A: In 2016, I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the NSNC Annual Convention. I decided at that time to fund the scholarship program and contest to encourage and support college columnists.
Q: Who is the ideal candidate to receive this scholarship?
A: The ideal candidate would be a young person who has the desire not only to succeed, but also to contribute to the betterment of the community.
Q: What is your goal for the contest?
A: My goal is to inspire and facilitate young people to consider careers in journalism.
Q: What advice can you give to young journalists and columnists?
A: You can accomplish more with an economy of words than with a deluge.
Q: Besides your mother, who were your biggest inspirations and influences as a young columnist?
A: My mother, of course. As well as her twin sister, who wrote using the pen name Ann Landers.
Q: What is your greatest challenge as a columnist today? What do you find most rewarding?
A: Keeping my column relevant to readers, who are trying to cope in this quickly changing world is a challenge. What’s most rewarding to me is knowing I’m able to make a positive difference.
Q: Share one timeless piece of advice with us.
A: It isn’t always necessary to write an opus. Many times it’s sufficient to just answer the question.