Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN whose feature writing, in-depth columns and investigative work has appeared in cover stories for ESPN The Magazine, on espn.com and espnW, and on SportsCenter, X Games broadcasts, Good Morning America and Outside The Lines. Her assignments covering international sports have taken her around the world, from the Banzai Pipeline to the Everest region to the Sahara Desert and she’s covered the past eight Olympics, multiple Super Bowls, Grand Slams, World Cup soccer and more than 20 X Games. The first full-time feature writer covering action and adventure sports at a major sports publication, Alyssa frequently serves as an expert on panels and podcasts and as a host for conferences and live events. Last year, she reported and hosted a seven-part investigative podcast with ESPN’s 30 for 30 titled, "Heavy Medals: Inside the Karoyi Gymnastics Empire." Alyssa lives in Big Bear Lake, California, with her husband, Billy, and sausage dogs, Gonzo and Hank.
In my nearly 20 years with ESPN, I’ve worked closely with our photo editors and photographers to create images to pair with the stories I write, as well as source photos that best represent the personalities, events and sports we cover. I enjoy collaborating with photographers and the collective storytelling that unfolds when writers and photographers work together to add dimension to a piece. I love the way in which words + photography amplify one another on the page.
There are so many “unwritten rules” about action sports photography and I am captivated by images that shatter those rules while still respecting the history of the sport and the context of the action in a purposeful way. I love photos of a moment I know I’ve seen 1,000 times, but am seeing from an entirely new perspective and through fresh eyes. I’m drawn to unique composition, creativity, depth of color and photos that make me feel something powerful. An editor once told me that a great story should change the reader in some meaningful way. I believe the same to be true about a great photo.
My best advice is not to look at the images created by past winners and submit YOUR best work.