Candace Y.A. Montague is an online and print freelance journalist in Washington, DC. She has written articles about topics including HIV/AIDS advocacy, the effects of homicide, opioids, cancer, re-entering citizens, Black maternal mortality crisis, mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, transgender health, diversity and equity in science and hospital closings.
In 2019, Candace, a native Washingtonian, received the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists for her article about the hidden costs and emotional toll on parents who have lost children to homicide in DC. In 2020, she was the recipient of an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for featured single story. She was a finalist for the 2021 Dateline Award for Excellence in Local Journalism in the Washington DC Pro Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists competition.
Where is your work featured/what organizations are you affiliated with?
My work has been featured in the Washington Post, The Washington City Paper, The DC Line, Center for Health Journalism at University of Southern California Annenberg, and The Physiologist Magazine. I get around. Lol!
I am the newly appointed Executive Secretary of the Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ).
Where did you go to school?
I am a proud alumna of The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Go HBCU!! I also graduated from Trinity University in Washington, DC with a Master’s in Community Health Promotion and Education.
How many years have you been in journalism/related field?
I have been working in this field for 13 years.
What are you doing now? (i.e. any projects you’re working on; partnerships; advancements; or noteworthy stories)
Besides balancing work, family life and my addiction to social media (lol) I am working on a couple of pieces surrounding the Black maternal health crisis, obstetric violence and the birth justice movement for a local and national publication. In addition, I am working on a grant application to receive funding that will support my first investigative story about emergency shelters in DC. I’m open to working with editors on a lot of topics to be honest.
What pushes you to keep doing the work?
Reading other people’s work keeps me going. I feel inspired by a lot of the work I read, especially investigative work. Following the work of razor-sharp Black journos keeps me engaged as well. When I see their work, I feel like I can do it too. I also get motivated by community discussions, journalists’ workshops, podcasts and master classes. I am an eternal student of journalism so there is always a lot to learn. Lastly, rejection can be a motivator. Getting a ‘no’ response makes re-evaluate my pitches. If I still feel like it’s worth another try, back to the drawing board I go.
You can contact Candace on her website, www.freelancecandace.com, on Twitter @urbanbushwoman9 and on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/writeoncm.