Ruta Smith

Warren Peper, the longtime Post and Courier slice-of-life columnist, didn’t know his writing would connect so well with Charleston when he joined the paper. After 35-plus years in television reporting, he knew how to get a point across on a screen. But, as a columnist for 10 years and a P&C writer before that, he’s proven many times that he knows how to resonate with readers through words, as well. “Most of my stuff I try to keep as uplifting as possible,” he told the City Paper. Peper often uses the “stuff that’s commonly out there” for heartfelt columns about largely wholesome topics. People in town seem to connect on a human level with his columns, Peper said, such as his recent article about his parents’ struggles with memory loss in their old age. “I’m surprised, humbled and happy in the same breath,” Peper said about the Best Of win. —Heath Ellison

Runner-Up:
Brian Hicks