Laura Rafaty, a columnist for the St. Helena Star, took first place for humor writing in both the 2012 and 2013 National Society of Newspaper Columnists award competition (newspapers with 50,000 and under circulation). She resides in the Napa Valley where she bases her law firm, Napa Valley Immigration Law. She is producing director of the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater and operates an online retail site and perfume company. A Tony-nominated theatrical producer, she co-authored the book, Straight Women, Gay Men: Absolutely Fabulous Friendships. She blogs at Up the Valley with Laura Rafaty. Read one of her winning essays here.