2008-09 Judges’ Comments General Criticism Berkshire Living Seth Rogovoy wears many hats: musician, public-radio commentator, editor, Klezmer historian and, in his spare time, music critic. His observant, anecdotal essays reflect his diverse passions and the acute mind behind them. Los Angeles Magazine Steve Erickson's television columns are incisive, definitive and accessible. There are no dictionary Olympics, head-scratching or wasted lines, and his use of the first person is inclusive rather than oft-putting, a rarity among critics. You feel what he feels, and that's the ultimate compliment for any critic. Los Angeles Magazine Ariel Swartley’s literary criticism is notable for its elegant style, erudition, and range. Whether she is writing about detective novels, a culinary superstar or a memoir by a performance artist turned education activist, Swartley’s first-rate intelligence illuminates the subject, the context and the region. Milwaukee Magazine It’s rare for a city or regional magazine to even have an architectural critic. Tom Bamberger’s columns, which he accompanies with his own photographs, are models for what architectural criticism should be: smart, accessible, well-reported and tied to larger questions about city planning and urban culture. Texas Monthly The world of film criticism is divided into two camps: the thumbs-up, thumbs-down crew and the thinkers. Christopher Kelly of the latter group. With a sharp eye and a sharper wit, he asks of cinema not how it makes him feel but what it reveals about us as a society. Food or Dining Writing Cincinnati Magazine In her restaurant reviews, Donna Covrett follows one of the precepts of good writing: Start in the middle of the action, and readers will want more. From her first lines, you are in the restaurant with her enjoying, or not, the atmosphere and savoring the food. Her writing has an immediacy and personality that is infectious. As her companion, you have the good fortune of being with someone who knows food and has a gift for describing every morsel. Los Angeles Magazine It can’t be easy to cover a restaurant-rich town like Los Angeles year after year and still be able to write about its eateries with originality, enthusiasm and fresh language. But Patric Kuh somehow manages it with grace and style. His food knowledge is deep, his prose is wellstructured, and his reviews, while meticulous in their descriptions and assessments, are often about more than just the restaurant in question. Kuh is one of those rare critics whose pieces are worth reading even if you’re not planning on dining out in his territory. Philadelphia magazine To fully describe April White’s work, you could add chronicler and historian to her title of food writer. She doesn’t just write about food at the stage when it’s ready to be eaten but shows us where it comes from, how it’s made and what it takes to deliver it. Whether she’s writing about an urban farmer, a pretzel factory or the making of a restaurant, she engages the reader with the skills of a storyteller using great characters and a smooth narrative flow. What shines through is her appreciation for good food and the people who bring it to our plates. Rhode Island Monthly Dining writer Tracey Minkin’s dedication to her craft is admirable. This fascinating collection of articles, including a humorous account of bug tasting, a sketch of an oyster farmer and a wellreported piece on a new way of raising cows for tender steak, are engaging and informative. Minkin’s work is educational and a pleasure to read. Texas Monthly Patricia Sharpe has a job of heroic proportions: covering an immense state, geographically and culturally diverse with plenty of its own food traditions and a legendary hospitality to food styles from abroad. Her sprawling pieces on topics such as Tex-Mex food and barbecue become collector’s items, and her surveys and round-ups are unusually informative and well put together. Many magazines do food-trend pieces, but Sharpe approaches the idea with wit and clarity. ―Keeper of the Flame‖ shows what Sharpe can do when she concentrates on a single place, in this case a restaurant in a small West Texas town where virtually everything is cooked on the grill. She covers the place in a way that is lively, colorful, and appealingly straightforward— words that could be applied to her work in general. Column Boston Magazine Joe Keohane speaks to his readers as a true insider familiar with the powerful, familiar with the less-powerful, willing to skewer all of them and more than willing to skewer the conventiona l wisdom about them. Keohane has no tolerance for fakery or unfair advantage. With an eye for telling detail and a natural skeptic’s point of view, he paints a hilarious portrait of John Kerry trying to connect as a man of the people. He calls out the posers and overbearing zealots in Boston’s green movement and issues a call for candidates to run against the city’s nearly untouchable mayor – not because he doesn’t believe in environmentalism or thinks the mayor is doing a lousy job, but because, for Joe Keohane, nothing is untouchable. Los Angeles Magazine Anne Taylor Fleming's writing is irresistible like forbidden chocolates that tempt behind closed cupboard doors. She writes about the death of her stepmother, the screaming horror-film star whose strange burst of fame had slipped away, leaving her brittle and bitter. She attends her first lesbian marriage and reflects on the strengths and hardships of her own, chewing over the meaning of marrying for keeps. She ponders the difficulties and indignities of aging in beautyand-youth-obsessed Los Angeles, and she writes honestly and candidly about women in a way that inspires women - and educates men. In writing about niggling pains and small despairs, she makes us think about the broader aspects of life and the things that, in the end, are most important to everyone. Los Angeles Magazine Mark Lacter’s column explores the business stories behind the issues of the day, makes unexpected connections and brings readers out the other side with a deeper understanding. The writers’ strike becomes an opportunity to look at non-entertainment industries. The toy recall is a chance to study Mattel’s damage-control moves. And the real estate collapse is a chance to write about the boom in business for those sorting it all out. Lacter’s writing is clear, direct and dense with information, but the columns unfold with the ease of true narratives as they follow his reporting. Philadelphia Magazine Readers of Philadelphia Magazine know a lot about Sandy Higston — and her very large, football-playing, ever-hungry son; her romantically open-minded college-age daughter; her pragmatic husband; her terminally ill father; and about how Higston negotiates the perilous shoals of this familiar but challenging shoreline. They know because Higston tells them, month by month, and does so with warmth, humor, tenderness and modesty. Yankee Magazine Mel Allen loves people, how they tick, what they seek and why they are sad or joyful. But most of all, he loves — and understands — New Englanders. He tells us how a working-class man overcame depression, two divorces and the collapse of one career after another only to find fulfillment in drawing and ultimately his own, wonderful art form. He writes about an 84-yearold man who has spent almost every night of his life on the same New Hampshire ridge, making his living selling eggs by horse-drawn cart. He writes of a man who spent his life building an amazing, historically accurate model of Mystic, Conn., complete with 250 buildings, 30 ships, shipyards, factories, churches, people and animals. Allen documents the soul of New England in a way that is so sweet and compelling, it almost hurts. Reporting 5280 Magazine "Second Nature" What are little girls made of? For writer Maximillian Potter, that question took on more than nursery-rhyme significance during a three-year journey into the scientific, ethical and social quandaries that surround transgender children. Through Potter's sensitive and intimate narrating of "Lucia's" story, readers participate in a family odyssey that ultimately leads to acceptance and understanding as a little boy, in search of an authentic self, blossoms into a little girl. The ability to gain the trust of sources reflected this reporter's patience and skill. Chicago Magazine "Witness at Haditha" In war, people kill, and people die. But do they murder? When 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, Iraq, were killed by marines after an IED attack on their convoy, unraveling whether a massacre occurred required reporter Bryan Smith to backtrack through years of contradictory versions of the same event. Through the eyes of a young marine who has become a key witness, the author explores whether the truth can finally emerge. Portland Monthly "The $150,000 Question" In these parlous times, questions of truth and guilt often become obscured when charges of terrorism are leveled. This article, intricately reported by Ted Katauskas from as far away as Saudi Arabia, dramatically chronicles the impact of such accusations on one Portland man, a Muslim who may — or may not — have been just trying to do good by setting up an Islamic charity. Without declaring guilt or innocence, Katauskas showed how convoluted the dealings were and just how difficult it can be to pin down the facts in situations where people's allegiances are unclear. Texas Monthly "The Fire That Time" Pamela Colloff's reexamination of the deadliest law enforcement operation in U.S. history, which involved the David Koresh-led Branch Dividians and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is an exemplar of the eyewitness-retelling art form. So exceptional is the breadth and quality of Colloff's reporting that she is able to knit together the moment-by-moment, first-person accounts she collected from some two dozen witnesses in a compelling and seamless narrative without unnecessary intrusion. The result — even for readers with only the most casual interest in or connection to the story — is a riveting account that 15 years hence brings fresh, personal perspective to that tragedy in Waco, even as some of the actual events remain in dispute. Texas Monthly "The Risk Premium" What happens when American business interests overseas clash with local politics? In the case of Russell Spell, a Houston, Texas, man working for an American oil company in unstable Nigeria, the result is kidnapping and imprisonment. Reporting both from the vantage point of Spell and the larger context of business ethics versus business demands, Mimi Swartz shows in stark terms how human lives can be put at risk, treasured and then discarded, all in the name of "good business." Personality Profile 5280 Magazine “This Man Thinks You’re Fat” In Robert Sanchez's story of an obnoxious, bullying fitness icon, who was once called the Howard Stern of fitness, the writer takes us into the maniacal life of a man who takes an unusual approach to delivering his message that the overweight world needs an in-your-face wake-up call. Blending strong reporting, first-person accounts and a distinct point of view, Sanchez uses many devices to give us a three-dimensional look into this divisive character. As readers learn about confrontations that happen between the subject and others (as well as between the subject and writer), they get a glimpse into the depths one will sink to further his image and protect his brand. Los Angeles Magazine “The Don Juan of Our Time” The only seemingly better experience than playing wingman to actor-comedian David Spade is riding shotgun with J.R. Moehringer as he explores the romantic method of one of Hollywood's unlikeliest Casanovas. Spade's dating history, which reads like a Maxim top-100 list, has attracted much admiration and even more envy. But the story behind it, which is funny, poignant and lively told by Moehringer, is one that every single guy can relate to, regardless of his skill level with the ladies. What's more, it's inspired work. Los Angeles Magazine “The Talented Mr. Raywood” Not often do we get to read such a masterful display of original investigative reporting that is wonderfully organized, meaningful to the public and engagingly told as a brilliant profile of a pathological personality. Despite its considerable length, "The Talented Mr. Raywood" rewards the reader with fresh language, spot-on observations and creativity to the very end. The Washingtonian “The Ultimate G-Man” What could have become in lesser hands a hagiography of FBI director Robert Mueller — the besieged G Man in times of terrorism — thankfully became an in-depth and nuanced profile of a major public figure who has resisted many other such attempts by larger and more formidable news organizations. The author deftly navigates some cliche-filled journalism waters to bring us a fresh and very readable account of Mueller's reign. The Washingtonian “I’m Having Some Trouble” John Pekkanen's in-depth story about a teenager, who hid symptoms of a serious illness from his family, takes us on both a medical journey and an emotional one. Pekkanen's recreation of scenes are thorough and detailed; told from varying perspectives, these moments allow readers to see Bobby Silko as part teenager, part adult and part comedian. Like any good medical drama, this story uses many internal cliffhangers to keep the reader wondering when Bobby's trouble will finally end. Feature Story Cleveland Magazine “Georgianna’s Choice” With a light touch that forms an effective counterpoint to the heartbreaking story she must tell, Heide Aungst relates one mother’s decision to carry a doomed child to term. Aungst’s patiently researched story reveals the humor as well as the pathos that carry Georgianna’s family through her pregnancy to a surprising, if limited, reward. Most importantly, the story resoundingly answers an unspoken, but unavoidable, question: Why did Georgianna make this unusual and painful choice? Los Angeles Magazine “The Zankou Chicken Murders” Mark Arax took a headline-grabbing crime story, one that involved a L.A. culinary institution, and gave it real flesh. With exhaustive reporting and thoughtful writing, he's brought to life the story of a family of Lebanese immigrants who experienced the American dream, only to have it turn nightmarish. It's the kind of nuanced piece, full of internal family dynamics, that resonates. Minnesota Monthly “100 Minutes” Beth Hawkins took the best-covered news in modern Twin Cities history and spun a compelling new story by focusing on a small number of rescuers and the rescued. With scene recreation and dialogue, she connected the personal stories in a seamless, chronological narrative. Philadelphia Magazine “Wyeth’s World” With elegance and sensitivity, Matthew Teague's profile of Andrew Wyeth captured a true American artist in his autumnal years, a lion in winter in all his clashing, contradictory colors. Resonant and haunting, the article was nearly flawless and utterly unique, blessed with exceptional writing and rigorous reporting. Texas Monthly “Soldier” At once chilling and moving, this ground-level view of a Texas boy's transformation into a soldier is as remarkable as the man himself. Writer of the Year Steve Fennessy, Atlanta Magazine Steve Fennessy submitted six pieces on a range of serious and important topics: the future of the state’s largest newspaper, the wages of fashion fraud, water politics in the state capital, a renegade Georgia politician with White House ambitions, trying to monitor renegade cops and questioning fingerprints as valid evidence. Fennessy told each story clearly and compellingly, through a variety of approaches, including profiles, categorization of an issue and something akin to the inverted pyramid of newsrooms. His choice of story topics combined with his skill at using various approaches earned him a finalist ranking. Paul Kix, Boston Magazine Paul Kix published four features entered in the competition: a profile of a vigilante counterterrorist, controversial corporal punishment at a school, cutting-edge treatment techniques used by a surgeon and the uncertainty of whether the death of a wealthy man should be classified as an accident or homicide. Kix related each saga with flair, using clear, compelling language inside mostly standard story structures. His skilled use of words to explore weighty topics earned him a finalist ranking. Jason Fagone, Philadelphia Magazine With equal parts compassion, objectivity and curiosity, Jason Fagone profiles a range of fascinating personalities: a brilliant young writer who met an untimely end, a crusading, aristocratic mayor, members of a squabbling politically powerful family and a legendary radio personality. With an eye for detail, excellent reporting and a straightforward writing style, Fagone earns a finalist ranking. Matthew Teague, Philadelphia Magazine Matthew Teague displays a mastery of his subject matter and the art of storytelling. In articles on painter Andrew Wyeth and his family, Philadelphia's trade unions, Phillies' manager Charles Manuel and the crafting of what may have been the most critical speech of Barack Obama's campaign, Teague artfully and vividly relays accounts of import to readers who live in the city he calls home and beyond. His incisive reporting, in-depth research, understanding of various back stories and ability to apply each subject to a larger context helped earned him a finalist ranking. Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly In the four pieces submitted, Skip Hollandsworth demonstrates that he's determined to take his reporting as wide and deep as the big state he covers. In "The Valley of the Shadow of Death," Hollandsworth intimately probes questions surrounding one of pious Waco's most mysterious deaths. "The Killing Field" is both the story of four high school kids run amok and a look into the soul of a small, football obsessed community. "There Will Be Boone," a critical but affectionate profile, sheds new light on one of our nation's most well-known moguls and speculators, and "The Fugitive" unearths a long-forgotten crime and poses the difficult question: Does justice have an expiration date? No two of these stories are alike in their content, but all share a tenacious reporter's knack for detail and a seasoned writer's gift for storytelling. Excellence in Writing 5280 Magazine’s August Issue 5280 may not be known as a political magazine, but this issue’s DNC Survival Guide, thoughtful profile of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar and enterprising immigration piece told through two market owners in Greeley, will change all that. Local residents and the swarm of visiting politicos and journalists read in 5280 probing, provocative, helpful, and humorous pieces about Denver and its environs. Atlanta Magazine’s April Issue In an issue devoted to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Atlanta Magazine displayed a wide range of approaches and styles in writing that allowed it to go far beyond remembrances. Interweaving oral histories, feature stories and demographic snapshots, the magazine not only accurately and movingly reflected on the past of its community but also the present. The issue is a well-crafted and clearly written effort by an entire staff. Texas Monthly’s July issue This issue continues the magazine’s rich tradition of sparkling writing. The diversity of stories and writing styles made it a no-brainer for Excellence in Writing. ―True Grit‖ seamlessly weaves Elmer Kelton’s ruminations about the bastardization of the word cowboy with poignant reflections about the life and death of his father. In Don Graham’s sharp column, ―Please Go Away,‖ he takes a jab at Oprah-endorsed, American treasure Cormac McCarthy. And the compelling anti-war story, ―Soldier,‖ provides a harsh look at what has really been going on in Iraq. This issue also treats readers to laughs with Mimi Swartz’s too-true tale about taking her son to visit potential colleges and Kinky Friedman’s take on taking on Bill O’Reilly. Spread Design Boston Magazine “The Scientist and the Monster” The spread begins benignly. The photo is nice enough, comfortably covering the two-page spread, but alone it wouldn't inspire any awards. And the typography is adequate. But as the eye scans left to right, something magical happens. Without great aplomb, and with the simple technical gesture of simply cutting off the bottom of the text in the second part of the headline, the designer transforms the scene entirely and carries the viewer from what could be a photo of generic lake anywhere in America to suddenly sitting a continent away beside a glimmering Scottish loch, witnessing an event that is at the same time both real and imagined. Such a simple design gesture with such a satisfying payoff. Chicago Magazine “Playing the Fields” Kim Thorton at Chicago Magazine created a fabulous opening spread for this feature. From the period-style use of typography to the aged paper background, this layout takes you back in time. What’s interesting is that the photograph used on the spread, however, is only two years old. The negative treatment of the baseball, which was used to set off the headline and the duo-tone effect of the photo was also a nice touch. This spread shows a thoughtful and creative use of several graphic techniques. Cincinnati Magazine "The King is Dead, Long Live the King" The design of this spread is beautiful in it's simplicity. The single vinyl record is a strong but elegant symbol of the music of its era. The complex mixture of the type on the cover holds well together and also energizes the spread. And the fact that the design is monochromatic in the type was a great call. The lesson that less is more is aptly applied here. Texas Monthly “This Land is His Land” The spread is a grand theatrical production from start to finish. It's a masterpiece of blending different visual languages from flat maps to aerial topography to beautifully lit photography. Within the contained space of two normal-sized magazine pages, this spread beautifully conveys the Texas-sized personality of not just the bigger-than-life human subject of the story but also the bigger-than-life secondary character — a desolate, isolated range of west Texas mountains. Texas Monthly “Willie’s God! Willie’s God! We Love Willie!” This opening spread marries the perfect balance of outstanding typographic illustration with strong, graphic photography. The team at Texas Monthly created a beautiful spread by utilizing playful typographic treatments from the ’70s with a contemporary layout. The commission of the photographic portrait of Willie by Platon underscores the complete attention to detail. The image makes you feel like you were there. Feature Design Baltimore Magazine “On With The Story” This layout is a real stopper. The arresting photo portrait alone would make for a strong, memorable presentation. Combining that provocative, in-your-face image with colors and typography that conjure a 1960s-style first-edition dust jacket takes it up one more notch, providing the glue that holds the whole thing together. Los Angeles Magazine "Chow Fun" Inspired by the vibrant design of Asian food packaging, ―Chow Fun,‖ the Asian Food Lover's Guide to L.A. is bursting with delectable energy. Colorful and stylish food photography paired with whimsical Serge Bloch spots illustrate a variety of Asian food staples such as noodles, produce, candy and out-of-the-ordinary meats. Typography and attention to the finest details are executed at the highest level for one of the most memorable entries of this year's competition. Los Angeles Magazine “Leap Year” Like many of Los Angeles Magazine's visual solutions, Jill Greenberg's unique fashion shoot literally leaps off the page with positive energy. Intense primary colors and sexy poses combine with some unearthly expressions to give the portfolio its dynamic look. Texas Monthly "Out of Sight" With an opening spread of a dramatic, macro shot of a braille headline, Texas Monthly introduces readers into the world of visually impaired teenagers illustrated by a beautiful mix of inspiring documentary photography and charming portraits. Perhaps the most impressive typographic touch in fact isn't type at all, but the tactile braille blurbs sprinkled throughout the piece. I can't help but think the students profiled from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired would be delighted to know their story is so visually stunning. Texas Monthly “True Grit” The best picture layouts appear artless as if the photos fell from heaven perfectly sized, cropped and sequenced. Given time, powerful photos will speak, dictating how the layout should be executed. This is a page designer who was listening and employing the taste and restraint to provide these wonderful images the space to breathe, perfectly paced and simply framed, with subtle color and well-crafted, carefully chosen typography. Redesign 5280 From the cover treatment, it's hard to tell that 5280 had much of a makeover, but small changes are found throughout the publication. The updated fonts work well together and are smart, legible choices that ease reading and allow the strong departments and features to impart valuable information. Cincinnati Magazine Cincinnati Magazine went from bland to bold, from predictable to surprising. And it works. The bold typography helps differentiate editorial from advertising. It engages readers and gives them the feeling they are reading something important, something worth their time. The architecture of the entire magazine is well conceived and executed. Orange Coast The Orange Coast design evolved from a tried-and-true format with tired typography to a smashing and friendly redesigned magazine. What a difference. The typography is inspired with accessible style that still maintains credibility. The architecture helps define the personality of the publication, and the new commitment to visual storytelling is commendable. Water's Edge Those at Water's Edge benefit from a beautiful locale for engaging photographs that draw in the reader. Going to a smaller-sized publication doesn't diminish the feel of the magazine. The glossy cover, beautiful opening feature spreads and clear entry points to both departments and features make navigating the stories enjoyable. Westchester Magazine Westchester Magazine is particularly effective, as it not only spices things up visually but also strengthens the existing content. The staff was able to adapt a design concept with contradictory tones. The redesign opened up the once-dense pages and created a more interesting and accessible page formula, particularly in the departments. They also added some much-needed hits of color, which allowed them to add contrast and pace the book effectively. Photo Essay 5280 Magazine “Piece by Piece” This story is brilliantly conceptualized, photographed, edited and designed. The final product proves how perseverance by a photographer can pay off greatly and produce amazing results. David Raccuglia’s passion for his subjects is obvious. The images are intimate and respectful. Examples of such intimacy are the prayer photo of Nettie Young and the cooking photo at the end. The contrast between the color portraits and the black-and-white documentary images creates a feeling of nostalgia. It truly harkens back to the Rothstein images that inspired Raccuglia. Overall, this is an inspiring package. Atlanta Magazine “The Deep End” With the juxtaposition of its nearly black-and-white backgrounds and bright and bold colors, this fashion essay becomes art while still keeping the fashion at the fore. The architectural midcentury backdrop is the perfect contrast to the soft outlines of the outfits and detached expressions of the models. It's like a period piece that has had the perfect modern spin put on it. It has the look and quality of a national-level fashion magazine, only better. Minnesota Monthly "Liquid Assets" David Bowman's images are sublime and timeless. Through a perspective of patient observance, the story sends sweet moments of summer lapping against one's senses like the water on a lake's shore. It makes the neatly placed bits of information all the more appreciated. Portland Monthly “Recovery Mission” This story brings the war home to viewers in a gripping way. We are confronted with the effects of the war on the psyche of the veterans. This is an important package. Mood lighting and shadows enhance the photographs of Arturo Franco and Ash Woolson. Additionally, the photographer has created a somber portrait of Franco without even showing his face, a very difficult task. The three non-portrait shots greatly add to the information in the story, and the design helps this entry rise to the top. Texas Monthly, "The Class of 2017" What pure and utter fun! Randal Ford's photos pop off the page, capturing the constant motion of kids being themselves without a hint of saccharine. The simple, lined paper notes add just enough to the theme of the story without getting in the way of the photos. Cover Atlanta Magazine’s July cover Combining celebrity, subject and aesthetics on one cover is a tough balancing act, but Atlanta Magazine pulled it off with its Best Places to Work issue. Featuring preening local Jack McBrayer of TV's ―30 Rock,‖ it not only piqued our interest but also made Atlanta Magazine seem like an awfully fun place to work. Boston Magazine’s December cover Boston Magazine's Top Doctors cover is a witty, arresting take on a familiar city magazine topic. It told the story, packed a punch and brought a smile. If only our nation's leaders could solve our health care crisis with as much imagination. Greenwich Magazine’s January cover From the striking white palette, which pops from the newsstand, to the cover lines turned labels, this cover is just what the doctor ordered. Memphis Magazine’s April cover This cover for the Martin Luther King issue is powerful and yet intimate. Choosing a black-andwhite photo that is slightly fuzzy conveys a real sense of history and makes King appear unfiltered. The clutter-free approach to the cover design lets the image permeate and allows the gravity of the message to soak in. With this cover, Memphis is owning the tragic assassination that occurred in the city 40 years ago and offering an unflinching eye on the legacy of the dream. Texas Monthly’s May cover There's no language on the cover, even the title logo is obscured, but words aren't needed. This stunning cover portrait of Willie Nelson and his battered guitar are easily worth the clichéd thousand words—and then some. Designer of the Year Grace Saunders, Cincinnati Magazine Extremely well-conceived and executed, Grace Saunders' work in Cincinnati is top notch, regardless of topic. Her real-estate piece is packed and packaged; her type treatment on a business profile stops you; the retro feel of an old-time independent record label is clever; and her steakhouse special, including recipes, illustrations and a lip smacking where-did-it-go rib eye shot, makes you froth. Rare is the medium as well done. Joe Kimberling, Los Angeles Magazine Los Angeles Magazine under Joe Kimberling's aegis has attained world-class design sophistication. From intriguing combinations of typography and visual imagery, Joe's Los Angeles Magazine leaps at the reader. Like the city, the magazine is alive at all hours. It's like a 24-7 print version of the whole L.A. scene. Lisa Lewis, Los Angeles Magazine Lisa Lewis brings Los Angeles Magazine a sublime energy and focus. Her typography and photo art direction reflect the city's exuberance and forward thinking approach to living. With bold strokes of striking scale and color choices, Lisa paints the city on the pages with her designs and photography. She combines the two to make a perfect collision of the urban and the urbane. Mindy Benham, Orange Coast Magazine Mindy Benham shows great variety in her designs with a lively package on the always fascinating Richard Nixon, pegged to the film release of Frost-Nixon, to a campy photo treatment on Roller Derby queens to a stunning illustration of a beloved literary mentor. Andi Beierman, Texas Monthly In these entries, design is beautifully used to enhance the stories and pull in the readers rather than to draw attention to itself. Design elements are subtle and well-crafted. In ―Natural Beauty,‖ the simple borders, subtle typography and white backgrounds enhance the still life photographs of antique roses. The design allows the text and beautiful roses to tell the story. The whimsical design for ―Your Bird Here‖ uses bird silhouettes to represent possible birds for Thanksgiving dinner. Elegant typography makes this story easy to read. Excellence in Design 5280 Magazine’s August issue 5280 takes full advantage of its region's natural beauty. Its photography soars like the mile-high city, and its strong typography echoes the heft of the Rockies. The August issue showcases design in two complex information-rich packages: a walkup to the DNC, and 10 picks for offthe-beaten-path adventures near Denver. A photo essay on the Denver Broncos and two features exploring thorny political issues complete a powerful editorial well. Atlanta Magazine’s April issue Few regional publications give as strong a sense of place and pride as Atlanta Magazine does for its hometown. This is a magazine that celebrates its community through evocative portraiture and location photography. Even the smallest front-of-book images reinforce the high photographic standards. Smart typography and ambitious design in the feature well — a terrific Martin Luther King, Jr., retrospective — honors the past while tying his legacy directly to today. Cincinnati Magazine’s November issue Cincinnati swung for the fences in its redesign, and the payoff is noticeable. The new nameplate hits the mark with a modern, cosmopolitan tone. The bright front-of-book uses a mix of traditional and non-traditional story structures to give readers an engaging pace. The feature well showcases vibrant photography and creative design. Events and dining reviews are cleanly organized. Los Angeles Magazine’s November issue Los Angeles Magazine knows how to use dramatic imagery and typography to hook readers' attention. Gripping stories of deception and scandal have equally gripping graphics, and the November cover story, ―The Asian Food Lovers' Guide to LA,‖ is a gorgeously photographed and mouth-watering package with lively typography that takes its cues from the brash design of Asian packaged foods. Eight pages of lush fashion shot in Chinatown contrast with a starkly graphic feature on the destructive Santa Ana winds. Texas Monthly’s May issue From cover to cover, Texas Monthly exhibits sophisticated concepts designed with stunning execution. The May issue includes a wonderfully illustrated piece on abstinence education, a beautiful portfolio of vibrant Texas roses and a haunting photographic tour through the Texas State Cemetery. In an era where magazines are often crowded with unsightly cover lines, Texas Monthly's blurb-free, Platon-photographed portrait of Texas icon Willie Nelson is simply divine. It begs to occupy the most prominent spot on readers' coffee tables for months. Reader Service Atlanta Magazine “Best Places to Work” In a time when the headlines are all about the skyrocketing unemployment rate, it’s easy to forget that some people not only have jobs but also actually like them. Atlanta Magazine’s feature does a phenomenal job of exploring which companies in the city are the best places to work and, perhaps even more important, what exactly makes them so outstanding. It’s also great that the piece addresses the question of why many of the city’s big companies didn’t make the list. Cincinnati Magazine “Sweating Equity” Don’t panic! That’s the message from the editors of Cincinnati Magazine in their look at a daunting real estate market. Luckily, Cincinnati does what every service magazine should do: provide its readers with enough tools and information to keep their head above water. Whereas most token home-buying guides rely on a Best Places to Live lists, Cincinnati goes beyond. ―Thirteen Real Estate Questions-Answered‖ asks the useful questions and answers them in a clear, memorable way. For the data-obsessed, the ―Guide to Home Sale Prices‖ is a dream and ―Five Houses That Sold—Fast!‖ delivers actionable takeaways. Put together, it’s an impressive look at a very unimpressive housing market. Hell, it’s almost good enough to make you forget how bad things are out there. Almost. Portland Monthly “Buy Here Now” It’s almost impossible to read anything these days without coming across something about the real estate market. The value of ―Buy Here Now‖ is that rather than chronicle the downfall of the market — an interesting story, but not exactly helpful to the prospective buyer — it gives readers tools to help them handle the situation. Better yet, the information is delivered in a clear, easy-to digest way, demystifying what can otherwise be a complicated subject. Seattle Metropolitan “Where to Live Now” Everyone’s hurting these days, whether from vanishing jobs, rising living costs or decreasing pay. And so it can be a feat to convince readers they will enjoy thumbing through a package on one of the hottest of piping-hot issues: the real estate market. Seattle Metropolitan’s ―Where to Live Now‖ sets the bar high and then leaps right over it. With each neighborhood profiled comes easily digestible history, advice and projections to help readers make the most of what has quickly become a buyer’s market. And by combining clean and direct prose with sharp choices on the best places to live in the Seattle area, the editors have put together a collection that does what every good service package must: deliver thorough, actionable advice that will prepare readers to better navigate their world. The Washingtonian "64 Ways To Do Good" From concept to execution, this cover story in the December issue was inspired and noteworthy. In this special time of a call to service, "64 Ways To Do Good" touches absolutely everyone — rich, poor, professionals, nonprofessionals, those with lots of time, those with little time, young and old. There is box after box labeled "simple acts," and in category after category, there's a subhead, "How to help." Wonderful service journalism! Leisure/Lifestyle Interests Atlanta Magazine “How To ...” Clever, clever, clever. This package includes varied information on lifestyle subjects from Atlanta experts such as authors, athletes, a psychologist, CEO, magician and Rubik’s Cube champion. With several quirky categories per page, this feature include tight and bright writing with bulleted information and lots of take-away value. It rounds out with a longer piece on ―How to Live Longer,‖ which is a Q & A with Sanja Gupta. Chicago Magazine “Our Lake” This feature has breadth that matches the Great Lake Chicago rests against. Punchy service pieces are highlighted by graphics and timelines that span the subjects of sailing, fishing, fitness, beaches and even bird watching. But the anchors to this package include the ―snapshot‖ essays that offer first-person accounts of life on the lake by notable authors. These description-packed articles offer an intimate glimpse of Lake Michigan and its shores. Indianapolis Monthly “Chain Reaction” Midwestern cities are bland. Their people are predictable. They don't like surprises, unless it's a stray onion ring at the bottom of a serving of fries. You've heard the stereotypes, and so have the editors of Indianapolis Monthly. They responded with, "Yeah!" in "Chain Reaction." Indianapolis, we discover, is home to more chain restaurants per capita than virtually any place else in the country. Rather than decry this, Indianapolis Monthly did what city and regional magazines should do — they celebrated their town's unique embrace of the commonplace with an interesting and useful piece on the best these restaurants have to offer. Portland Monthly “The Art of Eating Cheaply” Zowie. What a bang-up design. The sophisticated look and content give the project’s ―25 Meals for Under $25‖ haute cuisine impact. The entry includes detailed small bites of individual restaurants. The full-page blueprints on the how and why of certain entrees provide zestful originality. One CAN teach an ordinary topic new tricks. Texas Monthly “BBQ08” Texas Monthly sets a high standard even on a subject that it often pursues. Yes, the entry is comprehensive, offers in-depth information and has an eat-it-up layout, but the writing is what makes the project lively and totally readable even for those who are thousands of miles from a Lone Star barbecue pit. The tone resonates with a true Southern accent: Phrases, observations and rhythm take us on a pickup truck ride through a region that rates BBQ Heaven only slightly second to the Pearly Gates. Civic Journalism 5280 Magazine “The Politics of Killing” "The Politics of Killing" is described as "muckraking advocacy journalism." Exactly. The muck that is raked by Patrick Doyle and Natasha Gardner concealed the context of a case that led to a death sentence for a teenage killer who may not himself deserve to die. The advocacy is for understanding, which may lead to justice. Philadelphia Magazine “The Judge Makers” "The Judge Makers" takes readers inside the political sausage factory where Philadelphia's judges are really chosen. Robert Huber's explanatory journalism could well be required reading in political science classes because it shows how politics can pervert justice without a single law being broken. When advocates for the press speak of its role in maintaining an informed citizenry, this is the kind of work they have in mind. Texas Monthly “The Exonerated” "The Exonerated" is a heart-breaking and spine-tingling account of more than three dozen defendants who were wrongly convicted in Texas. The public is well-served by Michael Hall's detailed stories of men who endured many years of incarceration for crimes they did not commit. These profiles of courage and perseverance and the exposure of the wrongs likely will contribute to the push for reform of the criminal justice system. Texas Monthly “The Last Drop” "The Last Drop" is a compelling, if apocalyptic, portrayal of what may well be the future of water supplies in Texas. S.W. Gwynne details the harsh realities facing Texans in the face of an exploding urban population and its seemingly unquenchable thirst. The article is an exemplary piece of civic journalism, providing a genuine blueprint for policy makers, legislators and the public as they confront their future needs. The Washingtonian “Getting the Lead Out” "Getting the Lead Out" is really chapter three of a continuing crusade by the magazine and medical writer John Pekkanen. In this chapter, we see that, finally, the pressure of publicity and civic concern is leading to action that will reduce the lead content in Washington's low-income housing and, in turn, may reduce the mental impairment that contributes to violence by poisoned children. Special Issues Atlanta Magazine’s April issue On the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination, this special issue from Atlanta Magazine gives readers a poignant look back at that pivotal moment in the city's history. But even more impressive was how the issue examined King's legacy. With features on poverty, desegregation and a delightful, insightful interview with Joseph Lowery, who was in the center of it all then and remains in the center of it all now, the editors and writers managed to succeed at something quite difficult: to honestly and critically assess the state of King's dream and the state of their city. An inspiring and inspired take on a topic that's probably not easy to cover in an original way after 40 years. Boston Magazine’s August issue Boston Magazine’s ―The Best of Boston 2008‖ promised much on the cover, and it delivered inside. Each ―Best of‖ section was a thoughtful presentation of the subject with sidebars and art that were inviting to readers and established momentum to the very end. Preceding the ―Best of‖ sections were creative stories with strong photo treatments. This issue was complete and offered fresh, innovative and insightful treatment of the usual ―Best of‖ fare. Philadelphia Magazine’s December issue The 100th Anniversary Issue of Philadelphia Magazine is an exhaustive, well-balanced presentation of the history of the City of Brotherly Love. All at once fun, insightful and heartfelt, this issue goes to great lengths to both entertain and inform its readership. From the writing to the design and everything in between, this is an exceptional issue. Portland Monthly’s October issue The fact that Portland Monthly is just five years old is nothing short of a revelation considering the overall quality of the publication. The Green Issue is an ambitious undertaking, and it is accomplished with both style and confidence. There is no weakness in the execution of the Green Issue, and it's clear that such a talented staff will be producing many more exceptional special issues in the years to come. Texas Monthly’s February issue In a year that was all about looking ahead, this 35th anniversary special issue from Texas Monthly was especially timely and compelling. Although a rather daunting theme (comprising nothing less than everything that has yet come to pass!), "the future" was covered smartly and strategically with a mix of features on subjects such as the dwindling water supply, the future of oil, the obesity crisis and the movers, shakers and stars who will shape the coming years. The future focus was threaded nicely throughout from smaller front-of-book items to the feature well, truly making it a special issue. Ancillary Publications 1 (fewer than 35,000 circulation) Berkshire Living for BBQ: Berkshire Business Quarterly Berkshire Business Quarterly reports on the local business scene with passion, flair and an approachable folksiness that evokes the region itself. Readers can count on a mix of stories about philanthropists and entrepreneurs, companies large and small and various others who are finding creative ways to make a living in this special corner of the world. The reporting is solid and thorough, the photography engaging and the service information extensive and actionable. Although it takes as its subject a relatively small geographic area, BBQ seems determined to think big. Cincinnati Magazine for Cincinnati Wedding In a creative approach to a traditional subject, Cincinnati Wedding turns the ceremony green with ideas for eco-friendly receptions, featuring local food and a lovely photo layout of dresses and gowns modeled in natural settings. The magazine has a nice mix of trends and service with an interesting insider’s account of the wedding of a prominent restaurateur’s daughter kicking off its "Just Married" section. D Magazine for D CEO With its diverse range of articles, covering the business of everything from insurance and real estate to fashion and fast food, D CEO draws readers in and keeps their attention throughout. Provocative photography complements thoroughly reported and smartly written features, and service information appeals to readers’ aesthetic and practical sides alike. From its front-of-book ―Prospectus/Ticker‖ section and opinionated columns to its compelling well pieces and the products, personalities and restaurants showcased in its back-of-book ―Indulgences,‖ the magazine finds ever new angles from which to come at its subject. It is never formulaic, and it’s always fun to read. Indianapolis Monthly for Home This home magazine showcases a sophisticated look from the cover through the departments and feature well. The clean layout allows the content to stand out and highlight the bold photography. Great attention is paid to display type with clever titles such as "Shelf Help" (suggestions for coffee-table books) and "Flights of Fancy" (bird motifs in products) that draw readers in. The writing is both serviceable and descriptive. Martha’s Vineyard Magazine for Home & Garden A beautifully photographed and visually stunning magazine, Home & Garden brims with an interesting mix of stories. We visit formal gardens and highly personal ones, traditional homes and modern modular ones, and we see artists inspired by Vineyard nature and lore. The reporting, writing, art direction and editing all combine to make for a polished, inviting publication. Ancillary Publications 2 (more than 35,000 circulation) Boston Magazine for New England Travels Often when you read a magazine’s travel issue, it feels like one advertisement after another and bland reviews with little true local flavor or opinion. Not so with New England Travels. Here, amid lush photographs and detailed edit, the reader is immersed in the beauty, history and hardiness that is New England. The magazine reaches far beyond the typical tourist destinations to invite its audience to experience the true charm of the Northeast. You can’t help after reading New England Travels, to eagerly plan your first—or next—trip. And fortunately, you now have the perfect guide. Boston Magazine for Weddings This issue calls itself ―The Must-Have Guide For New England Brides,‖ and that is no exaggeration. Hands-on service combined with attractive, helpful design made this issue a model for what a special publication should be. Unlike some other publications, Weddings had a clear, well-constructed architecture — ―The Planner,‖ ―The Experts‖ and ―The Venues‖ sections let readers easily find the essential information they need. Humor is well-represented, too (something all prospective brides and grooms need), in photographs such as The Lighting Guru’s mass of electricity and in articles liked ―Wediquette.‖ The funny last page called ―One Last Shot‖ is a fantastic photo ender that readers will undoubtedly pass around. Los Angeles Magazine for Design LA With its smaller sizing and high-quality paper stock, Design LA immediately establishes itself as more than a read-and-toss newsstand publication. In your hands, it feels as much a book as a magazine, a coffee table staple. The inside follows a chapter-like formatting, allowing the reader to approach interior design room by room. By mixing elegant, inspirational photography and practical achieve-this-look tips and information, Design LA succeeds at reaching a broad audience, from industry pros to everyday dreamers. Philadelphia Magazine for Home Too often, shelter magazines regurgitate the same tired "must haves." Philadelphia Home breaks the pattern by adding thoughtful, well-written essays to crisp layouts and lush photography of local homes. From a bright how-to on stocking the perfect gift closet to a son's reminiscence on growing up with a DIY mom, Philadelphia Home freshens the genre with a mix of posh and practical, with a strong emphasis on local designers. The Washingtonian for Bride & Groom From its romantic cover image to the comprehensive 47-page ―The Guide‖ directory, Washingtonian Bride & Groom offers exceptional service in a handsome wrapper. The magazine provides useful ideas via a smart, clear architecture, making it simple for prospective brides and grooms to find what they need quickly. Photography is remarkably inventive from the delightfully silly ―Candycakes‖ pictures of wedding cakes made with jellybeans and cotton candy to the wedding dress feature, ―Shades of White,‖ that seems straight out of Vogue. Community Service Project Berkshire Living “The Rest of the Story” Berkshire Living has created a series of public forums called ―The Rest of Story.‖ These events are connected to feature stories appearing in the magazine. Not only are these forums intriguing to Berkshire residents, they also follow-up stories reported in the magazine, thus reinforcing the editorial impact of Berkshire Living. ―The Rest of the Story‖ forums also serve to enhance the cultural and arts scene in the Berkshires. These are high-profile events with well-known participants, and they deal with issues of interest to the sophisticated residents of the region. There are clear benefits to both the magazine and its readers through the forum series. Chicago Magazine “Chicagoans of the Year” Although honoring outstanding local citizens is de rigueur for most city and regional magazines, ―Chicagoans of the Year‖ is particularly compelling because of the amazing work the honorees are doing for the community, with almost all of them also having either a national stage for their work or outcomes of their work, that should be models for others to follow in other cities, especially with the publicity this program can generate for the honorees. Chicago Magazine “The Green Awards” The magazine's environmental awards program is unique and innovative in a number of ways. Both readers and local environmental groups submitted nominees, and winners touch both Chicago and the nation with their initiatives, many of them inspired in unusual ways. A 13minute documentary for the magazine's Web site and the Midwest's largest Green festival, plus the awards event, gave the magazine a lot of multimedia reach and news coverage for the program. MPLS. St. Paul Magazine “Social Datebook” MPLS. St. Paul Magazine has created the ―Social Datebook,‖ a printed supplement to the magazine that is a guide to more than 300 charity events in the Twin Cities area. This guide is likely to be saved by interested readers and will continue to positively reflect on the magazine throughout the year. The Datebook also provides recognition incentives for donors and organizations to sponsor charity events, which helps causes in the area while bringing attention to the events themselves. This datebook benefits the Twin Cities and is of strong value to the magazine. Rhode Island Monthly “Best of Rhode Island Party” At this year’s ―Best of Rhode Island‖ event, the magazine partnered with host venue Providence Performing Arts to form ArtReach, a nonprofit organization that was the recipient of funds raised at the event. ArtReach was formed by the magazine in 2005 to help students explore the connection between visual and performing arts. Since its inception, ArtReach has awarded grants of more than $55,000 to 31 teachers in the Providence area. This year’s event attracted more than 900 guests and raised nearly $24,000, a record. No doubt a significant amount of goodwill for the magazine was generated by this signature event which has become a major source of funding for schools facing statewide budget cuts in the area of arts education. Excellence Online Boston Magazine Boston Magazine serves its readers valuable content that’s easy to find thanks to a sophisticated drop-down navigation system. Photo galleries are a popular feature, inviting users to dig in and spend additional time on the site. Chicago Magazine Chicago Magazine has a great home page presence. The headlines, photos and navigation bars are designed to capture the user’s interest and make us want to investigate more. Blogs are featured up front and are up to date. MPLS. St. Paul Magazine MPLS. St. Paul Magazine’s Web site fires on all cylinders. The magazine shows humor and dedication to an online audience by providing fresh and interesting multimedia features. The site’s bloggers are on top of trends both regionally and nationally. Texas Monthly Multimedia is popping out of many corners from the Texas Monthly Web site, including a Twitter stream from the food staff, editor and staff iMiX picks for iTunes and video blogs with political commentary. The site is top notch. Yankee Magazine Yankee Magazine scores big on the service meter by employing whiz bang tools. Interactive maps, podcasts and webcam photos provide data to help users in their everyday lives. Blog Column Boston Magazine “The Hill and the Hall” This fast-paced and knowing blog column takes the reader inside the rollicking world of Boston politics. Paul McMorrow, who clearly knows his way around the halls of power, treats his topic like a running soap opera. There’s a lineup of nicknamed pols, stories behind the stories and an often hilarious tally of who’s up, who’s down and why. The writing is entertaining and, as with some of the best blog columns, it pulls the curtain back on the real show – from payoffs to sex scandals. Chicago Magazine “Deal Estate” ―Deal Estate‖ taps into the stories behind the for-sale sign in the Chicago area. Dennis Rodkin offers perspectives of developments and homes that you wouldn't find any other way. Posts include a house lost after a scandal, a neighborhood lost from a failing economy and unseen history behind a sale. Memphis Magazine “Ask Vance” "Ask Vance" weds old-fashioned storytelling to new-fangled blogging. The writer digs up tales from the history of Memphis — dusty, tragic, but oddly compelling — and relates them in a simple, straightforward style that seems to suit sepia-toned memories. You get the feeling this guy spends a lot of time hanging around graveyards. The Washingtonian “Kliman Online” "Kliman Online" dishes out heaping servings of inside information on the D.C. restaurant scene. The unique, interactive dialogue between the writer and contributors makes it feel like we're watching a live performance rather than reading a blog. Black napkins, kids menus, bison bone marrow, fried corn cakes — Kliman gives us plenty of fat to chew. Heck, he even makes short work of a heckler who writes in a rant on tipping. Delicious! Westchester Magazine “Eater” Eater won us over with its big personality, breezy conversational tone and wonderful insider detail — the kind that makes the reader feel like an in-the-know foodie. Julia Sexton gave us a terrific behind-the-scenes look at restaurant kitchens and their complicated relationship with health codes. After The New York Times sneered at the chain restaurant offerings in her neck of the woods, the ―cheesed off‖ blogger cleverly suggested local alternatives to Outback, Chili’s and others. And she served up a detailed, name-dropping review of a new restaurant. Thoroughly satisfying and fun. E-Newsletter 5280 Magazine “Table Talk” Concise, catchy writing is a hallmark of this e-newsletter, one with a name that immediately identifies the mile-high location. The writers say a lot with a familiar, friendly spunkiness and in a short of amount of space. The links at the bottom of the page and the bold face links within the articles are useful features for the user. The stories are connected to news in the national media as well as past issues of the magazine, giving this publication a broader, big-picture feel. Chicago Magazine “Dish” There is a vibrancy to this e-newsletter, a result of different copy treatments. The question-andanswer section, quotes, gossip and other articles all work to lure and keep readers coming back to the site. The features are creative and appeal to people interested in a variety of topics. Cleveland Magazine “On the Town” The layout of this e-newsletter is easy to skim and allows users to find their favorite part quite easily. The teasers at the top are a clever link back to the story. The feature on food was especially compelling. MPLS. St. Paul Magazine “Swag” This e-newsletter feels polished, undoubtedly a reflection of the cosmopolitan attitude of this northern city. The design is good, allowing users to find what they want, and there is a concierge approach to copy, which makes it feel like a friend is giving the user the scoop and inside information. The interactive polls are also a great way to involve readers. Rhode Island Monthly “The Dish” Outstanding features of this e-newsletter included a variety of content, a unique but doable athome recipe, appealing photos and a culinary calendar. The overall design is attractive and easy to follow. The links back to the site add value for the publication and its endorsers. Multimedia Chicago Magazine Chicago Magazine has a strong handle on bringing text stories to life in a combination of still photos, audio, text and video. Scene-Stealers allows people to hear the actors and see a short history of their careers. The Singles 2008 videos brought the men and women to life and provided a nice behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot. Front Burner: Graham Elliot Bowles is classic multimedia, a nice video that brings out the charming personality of Chef Bowles, some background text and, of course, the recipe. Cleveland Magazine Cleveland Magazine’s multimedia entries went beyond the ordinary in covering events. Their audio slideshow on the choosing of the Cavaliers’ Scream Team were a nice marriage of audio and photos that let us raise the curtain on the messy process of assembling a dance team. The audio piece that accompanied their story about being car free for a month brought the story to life in a way that writing alone could not have. MPLS. St. Paul Magazine If there were an award for ―most creative weirdness in covering the RNC,‖ MPLS. St. Paul Magazine would win it. David Anderson’s report on the RNC Media Party at the national convention was a hilarious send up of the journalists and other media types behind the convention and the random dancing and ennui that can break out when you least expect it. Their video on the opening of an American Girl store was alternately touching and terrifying, and Andrew Zimmerman’s best restaurant tour was a great service piece. Texas Monthly The online multimedia provides interesting behind-the-scenes content that goes well beyond what could be presented in the print magazine. "The Long Goodbye" presents a video interview with prison inmate Charles Dean Hood that enables the audience to experience the central character rather than just read about him. The "Dance Lessons" slideshow gives viewers an interesting inside glimpse into what the photographer experienced while gathering the strong visuals. Yankee Magazine This entry includes several well-done slideshows. In particular, the piece featuring reader- submitted photos of fall foliage provides an interesting example of reader engagement. Other examples, such as the nutcracker slideshow, offer a wide range of interesting visuals and welldone audio narration. General Excellence 1 Berkshire Living Berkshire Living does what it sets out to do. Its aim is to capture and celebrate the region in this handsome magazine. Each issue must be a delight to the senses of the people who live, or wish they lived, in the Berkshires. Well-written, beautifully designed and with gorgeous visuals, this is one of the finest examples of what city and regional magazines should be. Inside Columbia Inside Columbia bills itself as the "definitive guide to living, working and having fun in midMissouri." It does so with a lineup of feel-good stories, like the one on comfort foods, and stories that don't pull punches such as the feature on the AIDs risk for children. Although no magazine can be all for everyone, Inside Columbia does more than its best to capture the spirit and flavor of its community. Madison Magazine With a classic and well-executed city mag mix of reader service, lifestyle coverage and storytelling, Madison Magazine features excellent writing, an ambitious range of interests and thoughtful packaging of cover topics. John Roach's back-of-book column sets a smart tone, stories on policing and domestic violence announce a commitment to important issues and even a potentially tired theme — all things green — gets a lively, people-driven makeover. Martha’s Vineyard Magazine Martha's Vineyard succeeds at its mission to capture the character of the island while focusing on issues for locals and visitors alike. Each issue offers an eclectic mix of features, a bit of history and good service information. Stories are as varied as the problem of obtaining guest workers, the strange case of the toughest crewman aboard a whaling ship who turned out to be a woman and how and where to net blue crabs. The rich, natural beauty of the island is celebrated in the magazine with stunning photography as with the great ponds essay, and every issue offers a surprise or two like the history of nude bathing on the island. Martha's Vineyard deserves to be honored among the best. Memphis Magazine The city of Memphis has much to be proud of: It’s the birthplace of rock and roll, the home of the blues and one of the best places in America to eat barbecue. You can add to that list of accomplishments Memphis Magazine, a publication that covers the city’s personalities, politics and culture with style and authority. Memphis is not afraid to tackle tough subjects: The April 2008 special issue commemorating the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination is a case in point. But there’s plenty of fun in the magazine, too. In the column ―Ask Vance,‖ the magazine’s resident trivia expert answers readers’ questions about Memphis history. The yearly ―Hot List‖ puts a new spin on the classic Best of the City article. And knowledgeable coverage of the local music scene provides insight into the city’s unique cultural life in a way only the best city magazines can achieve. General Excellence 2 Hour Detroit The staff of this big magazine does an extraordinary job of telling the stories of Detroit. With words, pictures, illustrations and design, the narratives are fresh and innovative. It is a hard job to be trendy and accessible, but Hour Detroit each month manages to grab readers with important issues of the day as well as whimsical profiles, service pieces and essays. Indianapolis Monthly Indianapolis Monthly does substance with style and finesse. More than the sum of its many parts, readers get to see big-picture issues meld with focused service pieces and startling columns. This is all done with great respect for visual storytelling, content-driven photography and effective writing. Every page of Marin Magazine lives up to its subtitle, ―Extraordinary Living.‖ Marin exudes sophisticated style in its clean design, lush photography, engaging story selection, well-crafted writing and inviting standing elements. But don’t be fooled by its smooth look and feel, Marin also offers substance and insight. It conveys not just a clear sense of place but of people and issues as well. Portland Monthly A high-energy design and a bewitching content mix work together to create a powerful package for Portland Monthly. The broad range of stories includes solid service articles with plenty of take home and clever pieces that delight and surprise the reader. It is the kind of magazine that keeps readers coming back for more. Seattle Metropolitan According to its mission statement, Seattle Metropolitan is dedicated to bringing fresh design and an original approach to compelling stories in one of the nation's most desirable and - OK, sure - caffeinated places to live. The magazine achieves this through a mix of the timely and the timeless. Covers range from current Top Docs and Best Restaurants to a special issue on the City of Music. Columns and departments are characteristically offbeat and on message. Seattle Metropolitan is a joy to behold, a delight to read. Handsomely designed with exquisite visuals and meticulous typography, the magazine is informative, entertaining and insightful. It taps into the pulse of a city, and its byways for a growing readership of both newcomers and longtime residents with a sense of discovery for all. General Excellence 3 5280 Magazine Want to know the top schools in Denver? The coziest mountain cabin escapes? The inside story behind the unlikely ascent of Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar? The impact of exploding real estate prices in Colorado's mountain towns? Whether it's classic service journalism or the most compelling narrative stories, 5280 Magazine captures the spirit and soul of the mile-high city. With a clean, contemporary design and a confident voice, the magazine is a near perfect guide to the best in arts, entertaining and dining while consistently delivering in-depth compelling journalism. For residents and visitors alike, 5280 is required reading. Atlanta Magazine Editor Rebecca Burns and her team at Atlanta Magazine have shown a standard of quality that deems recognition. With expert editorial packaging and skillful design, Atlanta has given its audience a magazine that is both exhilarating and graphically nuanced. Strong content b-3 and content-driven design is what every magazine should strive to achieve. Atlanta Magazine has shown that they’ve not only achieved it but have also excelled so readers become enraptured in every turn of the page. Texas Monthly Texas is a huge state with hugely varied audiences. Yet, somehow, Texas Monthly manages to appeal to those varied readers year after year and to readers outside the state as well. The story selection, in-depth reporting, superb writing and effective design combine to impress. The covers of the three issues submitted from 2008 suggest the excellence: An inside examination of the University of Texas college sports program, an oral history of singer Willie Nelson and a survey of 40 small-town cafes serving delicious food. Philadelphia Magazine Philadelphia Magazine is recognized for its superlative relevance and resonance in 2008 for the lucky and literate citizens of the ―City of Brotherly Love.‖ Well-written regional editorial content is packaged with a distinctive eye toward clean and efficient graphic design, innovative uses of photography and typography and illustration that never detracts but serves to enhance what is all too often the well-worn dictates of a major metropolitan magazine. Of note within the pages of the three issues submitted for consideration: the bittersweet feature on artists Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, the compelling profile of police commissioner Charles Ramsey and the clever and engaging centennial celebration of the magazine itself. Well-deserved. Los Angeles Magazine One of the most fabled cities in the world is smartly captured and chronicled by Los Angeles Magazine: scandal and mayhem, scammers and heroes, food, fun and conspicuous consumption, it's all to be found and savored in these pages. The riveting exposés and fascinating behind-thescenes stories make for entertaining reading, and the lush, brash graphics keep the visual excitement right along with the content. Los Angeles Magazine has a fresh, we-just-invented-this look with juicy typography and dynamic photography. The pacing is varied, so it's always surprising; service pieces, investigative reporting, profiles, criticism and photo essays are woven together into an irresistible package.