Barnes wins award for online book


Clifton Barnes


From Contributed Reports

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Rocky Mount native Clifton Barnes, who worked for the Rocky Mount Telegram in the 1980s, has won a national award for an online book he wrote.

An e-book telling the history of the Order of the Bell Tower at the University of North Carolina won an Award of Excellence from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2018 Awards for Publication Excellence competition.

Barnes, a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism and political science graduate who now lives in Cary, was one of only seven people across the nation to win Awards of Excellence in the Best Electronic Publications category.

The e-book goes through the history of the Morehead-Patterson Memorial Bell Tower, which opened in 1931, and the student-alumni group that started 50 years later.

A panel of judges, who said they had a challenging time selecting winners because of the exceptional quality of entries, appreciated the author’s attention to detail and his commitment to preserving history.

“It’s important and rewarding to look back at the way things were and how iconic symbols like the Bell Tower started,” Barnes said. “Students and alumni preserve traditions through the Order of the Bell Tower. This book honors them and the traditions.”

This was the first time Barnes has won an award for an e-book, but he has now won a writing award in the APEX national competition nine years in a row, including four awards for his website CapitalSportsNC.com. That site features articles from all the top media outlets and sports team in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area along with his own original sports commentary.

Barnes served as director of communications for the N.C. Bar Association for 15 years and before that was a newspaper writer and editor.

Today he is a freelance writer, editor and Web developer who owns several websites, including one that chronicles each UNC basketball game.

Also in 2018, Barnes put together a highway marker dedication ceremony that honored Rocky Mount native Kay Kyser, the popular comedic bandleader from the 1930s-40s. Barnes is also credited with the idea for the town of Cary's Hometown Spirit Award, given each year since 2009 to honor those who promote small-town Southern values.

Along with his wife Andrea, he raises their 12-year-old son Will Griffin. Barnes is the son of W.C. and Lorraine Barnes, formerly of Rocky Mount, who now live in Atlantic Beach. Many of his relatives still live in Rocky Mount and Tarboro.