The Washington Post won two first-place awards in the 26th annual Penney-Missouri Newspaper Awards competition. The awards, which were announced yesterday, are given for excellence in features sections and feature writing.

The Style section won first place for the best features section with more than 250,000 daily circulation. Style section reporter Paul Hendrickson won the top award in the single story general reporting category for his article, "The Fields of Fear," published last May, which outlined the plight of Iowa farmers.

Other writing awards went to Elizabeth Rhodes of The Seattle Times, for series general reporting; Thomas S. Mulligan of the Providence, R.I., Sunday Journal for consumer affairs reporting; Sheryl James of the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record for fashion and clothing reporting; and Michele Lesie of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, for health and nutrition reporting.

Other first place awards for the best features sections -- in categories based on circulation and given for consistency, quality of reporting, design, graphics and general excellence -- went to The Morning Call, in Allentown, Pa. (100,000-250,000 circulation); The Ann Arbor (Mich.) News (25,000-100,000); and The Brazosport Facts in Clute, Tex., (fewer than 25,000). The winner of the weekly features section with circulation under 10,000 was the Lake Oswego (Ore.) Review, and the Pacific Sun in Mill Valley, Calif., won for the best weekly features section with a circulation of more than 10,000.

There were 1,323 entries from 48 states and Washington, D.C. This year, 27 individuals and newspapers were named as winners. Each first-place winner received $1,000.