2017 AAN Awards Winners Announced

The winners for the 2017 AAN Awards have been selected. The winners were chosen as the most outstanding from a field of 817 entries submitted by 67 alternative publications across the U.S. and Canada.

The AAN Awards recognize the best in alternative journalism and are a unique chance for alt-weeklies to compete directly against the work of their peers in cities across the continent. Judging was conducted by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

An Awards ceremony was held July 29, 2017 at the 9:30 Club of Washington DC as a part of the Annual Convention. The ceremony was hosted by Washington City Paper and sponsored by NECANN. Winners received commemorative plaques compliments of PopMount, and enjoyed presentation entertainment by comedian Haywood Turnipseed, Jr.



FEATURE STORY circulation under 45,000

Winner receives $250 funded by Isthmus founder Vince O’Hern.

1st PLACE: Santa Barbara Independent: The Kidnap Scam by Keith Hamm

2nd PLACE: Missoula Independent: Shortchanged by Kate Whittle

3rd PLACE: Missoula Independent: Words within the Walls by Erika Fredrickson

HONORABLE MENTION: East Bay Express: Art Gallery Grifter by Sarah Burke


FEATURE STORY circulation 45,000 & over

Winner receives $250 funded by Isthmus founder Vince O’Hern.

1st PLACE: Dallas Observer: Body Hackers and Bioengineers Are Trying to Make DFW a Hub of Implantable Electronics by Joe Pappalardo

2nd PLACE: Houston Press: Sorry for Life?: Ashley Ervin Didn’t Kill Anyone, But She Drove Home the Boys Who Did by Meagan Flynn

3rd PLACE: Houston Press: Kush City: Houston has Become a Major Hub for the Latest Drug of Choice by Leif Reigstad

HONORABLE MENTION: Nashville Scene: Anton Kanevsky Jumped to His Death From a 31-Story Downtown Building. Why? by Amanda Haggard



Winner receives $500 funded by Monterey County Weekly founder & CEO Bradley Zeve.

1st PLACE: Seven Days: Seven Days Fights Subpoenas (IIIIII) by Paul Heintz, Terri Hallenbeck

2nd PLACE: North Coast Journal: Police Videos (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Thadeus Greenson

3rd PLACE: Sacramento News & Review: Series on K.J.’s Shadow Government (IIIIIIIVVVI) by Nick Miller


INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING circulation under 45,000

Winner receives $250 funded by New Times co-founder Michael Lacey.

1st PLACE: The Pitch: Prison Broke (IIIIII) by Karen Dillon

2nd PLACE: Santa Fe Reporter: Puff of Smoke by Jeff Proctor, New Mexico In Depth

3rd PLACE: Santa Barbara Independent: Joel Alcox is Resurrected (III) by Tyler Hayden

HONORABLE MENTION: North Coast Journal: The Case of the Missing $5 Million by Linda Stansberry


INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING circulation 45,000 & over

Winner receives $250 funded by New Times co-founder Michael Lacey.

1st PLACE: Chicago Reader: No-show cops and dysfunctional courts keep Cook County Jail inmates waiting years for a trial by Spencer Woodman, Robin Amer, Esther Kaplan

2nd PLACE: The Village Voice: Hell on Wheels: Port Authority’s Broken Promise Is Choking Newark’s Kids (IIIIII) by Max Rivlin-Nadler

3rd PLACE: Houston Press: As Regulation Lags, Texas Flats Boat Casualties Mount by Dianna Wray

HONORABLE MENTION: Houston Press: Officials Can’t Remember the Last Time HPD Saw an Unjustified Shooting. Here’s Why. by Michael Barajas, Craig Malisow


LGBT COVERAGE circulation under 45,000

Winner receives $250 funded by Colorado Springs Independent former CEO Fran Zankowski.

1st PLACE: YES! Weekly: Out in the South by Steve Mitchell, Deonna Kelli Sayed, Jeff Sykes

2nd PLACE: Orlando Weekly: Pulse In Memoriam: Remembering the Orlando 49 (IIIIIIIVV) by Monivette Cordeiro

3rd PLACE: INDY Week: The 30 Years That Brought Us HB 2 by Barry Yeoman

HONORABLE MENTION: Creative Loafing Tampa: Profiles in Pride (IIIIIIIV) by David Warner


LGBT COVERAGE circulation 45,000 & over

Winner receives $250 funded by Colorado Springs Independent former CEO Fran Zankowski.

1st PLACE: Metro Times: The Throwaways by Allie Gross, Iain Maitland

2nd PLACE: Washington City Paper: A Gay Old Time by Andrew Giambrone

3rd PLACE: Isthmus: Young and homeless: LGBTQ+ youth are at greatest risk by Jenny Peek

HONORABLE MENTION: Miami New Times: Decades After Andy Sweet’s Murder, His Iconic South Beach Photos Are Resurrected by Jessica Weiss


RACE REPORTING circulation under 45,000

Winner will receive $250 funded by Charleston City Paper co-owner and AAN President Blair Barna.

1st PLACE: C-Ville Weekly: Searching for solutions by Jordy Yager

2nd PLACE: Jackson Free Press: Jumping the Line: Caught in the Crossfire of Ridgeland’s Demographic Struggles (III) by Sierra Mannie

3rd PLACE: Gambit: Black Lives Matter and Confederate statues in Louisiana (IIIIII) by Alex Woodward

HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Days: Finding Her Voice: Hate Crime Victim Fatuma Bulle Advocates for Refugee Women and Families; Cover Girls sidebar by Kymelya Sari


RACE REPORTING circulation 45,000 & over

Winner will receive $250 funded by Charleston City Paper co-owner and AAN President Blair Barna.

1st PLACE: Pittsburgh City Paper: The Story of Martin Esquivel Hernandez (IIIIIIIVVVI) by Ryan Deto

2nd PLACE: Houston Press: HISD’s College Success Program Uncovered Inequities and Is Changing the Status Quo by Margaret Downing

3rd PLACE: Chicago Reader: The Goldberg variation: High-rise public housing that works by Maya Dukmasova, Robin Amer

HONORABLE MENTION: Willamette Week: Shakedown by Leah Sottile


FILM CRITICISM circulation under 45,000

Winner will receive $250 funded by Southcomm in honor of Nashville Scene’s late Editor Jim Ridley

1st PLACE: Orlando Weekly: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Thaddeus McCollum

2nd PLACE: CITY Newspaper: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Adam Lubitow

3rd PLACE: Seven Days: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Margot Harrison

HONORABLE MENTION: The Pitch: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Scott Wilson


FILM CRITICISM circulation 45,000 & over

Winner will receive $250 funded by Southcomm in honor of Nashville Scene’s late Editor Jim Ridley

1st PLACE: Chicago Reader: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by J.R. Jones

2nd PLACE: Baltimore City Paper: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Adam Katzman

3rd PLACE: The Village Voice: Film Criticism (IIIIII) by Melissa Anderson

HONORABLE MENTION: Salt Lake City Weekly: Film Criticism (I; II; III) by Scott Renshaw




ARTS CRITICISM circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Charleston City Paper: All the City’s a Stage (IIIIIIIVV) by Maura Hogan

2nd PLACE: Creative Loafing Tampa: The Underpants at Jobsite: Better without themThe Realistic Joneses at Tampa Rep: Weirdly wonderfulThe Great Gatsby: Human, all too human by Mark Leib

3rd PLACE: Eugene Weekly: It’s Not Funny Anymore–In Tickled, journalist David Farrier exposes the wealth, power and abuse behind a bizarre Internet fetish by Rick Levin

HONORABLE MENTION: Orlando Weekly: The word made flesh: Text-based art in the age of InstagramSweet dreams are made of this: Will Cotton’s candy-coated girlsThe sublimity of the known: Gary Metz renders the vernacular transcendent by Jessica Bryce Young


ARTS CRITICISM circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Washington City Paper: Art BlancheThe Man Behind the CurtainRip It Up and Start Again by Kriston Capps

2nd PLACE: Houston Press: Theater Columns (IIIIII) by D.L. Groover

3rd PLACE: Washington City Paper: Just Like Heaven: Angels in America at Round House Theatre, ReviewedHand to God Manages to Be Sympathetic, Godless, and Hilariously FunnyThe Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The Taming of the Shrew Is a Drag by Chris Klimek

HONORABLE MENTION: Houston Press: Theater Criticism (IIIIII) by Jessica Goldman


ARTS FEATURE circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: CITY Newspaper: Carvin Eison opens the lens to the community by Rebecca Rafferty

2nd PLACE: YES! Weekly: What Does and Artist Look Like? by John Adamian

3rd PLACE: The Memphis Flyer: Operation Broken Silence by Chris McCoy

HONORABLE MENTION: Folio Weekly: Hardcore Focus by Daniel Brown


ARTS FEATURE circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Chicago Reader: At Profiles Theatre the drama—and abuse—is real by Aimee Levitt, Christopher Piatt, Robin Amer, Jake Malooley, Paul John Higgins

2nd PLACE: The Inlander: Never Gonna Give You Up by Dan Nailen

3rd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: From Hollywood to Silicon Beach, L.A. Creatives Are Plotting Virtual Reality’s Boom by Liz Ohanesian

HONORABLE MENTION: Phoenix New Times: Can The Eagles’ “Take It Easy” Save Winslow, Arizona? by Sativa Peterson


BEAT REPORTING circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Seven Days: Cops and Courts (IIIIIIIVV) by Mark Davis

2nd PLACE: East Bay Express: Bad Landlords (IIIIIIIVV) by Darwin BondGraham

3rd PLACE: Boulder Weekly: Sports Beat (IIIIIIIVV) by Emma Murray

HONORABLE MENTION: San Antonio Current: Immigration (IIIIIIIVV) by Michael Barajas


BEAT REPORTING circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Willamette Week: Housing Stories (IIIIIIIVV) by Rachel Monahan

2nd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: L.A. County Has Had More Than 1,300 Police Shootings Since 2000. Why Has No Officer Been Charged? (IIIIIIIVV) by Jason McGahan

3rd PLACE: The Inlander: Criminal Justice Beat (IIIIIIIVV) by Mitch Ryals

HONORABLE MENTION: Pittsburgh City Paper: Sports Coverage (IIIIIIIVV) by Charlie Deitch


COLUMN circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Coachella Valley Independent: Know Your Neighbors (IIIIII) by Anita Rufus

2nd PLACE: Planet Jackson Hole: Dispatch From Chios: We are the Same by Natosha Hoduski

3rd PLACE: Cincinnati CityBeat: Columns on Media and Streetcars (IIIIII) by Danny Cross


COLUMN circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Dallas Observer: Column (IIIIII) by Jim Schutze

2nd PLACE: Nashville Scene: Vodka Yonic (IIIIII) by Nancy Floyd, Megan Seling, Elizabeth Jones

3rd PLACE: Pittsburgh City Paper: Pittsburgh Left (IIIIII) by Charlie Deitch


COLUMN (POLITICAL) circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Jackson Free Press: Editor’s Notes (IIIIII) by Donna Ladd

2nd PLACE: Riverfront Times: Columns (IIIIII) by Sarah Fenske

3rd PLACE: Creative Loafing Tampa: Poet’s Notebook (IIIIII) by Peter Meinke

HONORABLE MENTION: The Pitch: Columns (IIIIII) by Barbara Shelly


COLUMN (POLITICAL) circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Dallas Observer: Columns (IIIIII) by Jim Schutze

2nd PLACE: Austin Chronicle: Point Austin (IIIIII) by Michael King

3rd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: Columns (IIIIII) by Henry Rollins


FOOD WRITING circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: East Bay Express: Food Writing (IIIIII) by Luke Tsai

2nd PLACE: Charleston City Paper: Eat (IIIIII) by Kinsey Gidick

3rd PLACE: Cleveland Scene: Food Writing (IIIIII) by Douglas Trattner

HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Days: Food Writing (IIIIII) by Hannah Palmer Egan


FOOD WRITING circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Willamette Week: “I Ate the Whole Thing,” “Closing Time,” and “Ramen Stories” by Matthew Korfhage

2nd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: Food Writing (IIIIII) by Besha Rodell

3rd PLACE: Sacramento News & Review: Sushi, American Style by Janelle Bitker

HONORABLE MENTION: Washington City Paper: Young and Hungry (IIIIII) by Laura Hayes


LONG-FORM NEWS STORY circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: East Bay Express: Caltrans Trashing Homeless Encampments (III) by Darwin BondGraham

2nd PLACE: C-Ville Weekly: Casualties in the war on drugs by Lisa Provence

3rd PLACE: Arkansas Times: Arkansan of the Year: The newly insured by Benjamin Hardy

HONORABLE MENTION: INDY Week: The Snitch by John Tucker


LONG-FORM NEWS STORY circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Houston Press: Get a Ticket While Being Poor in Houston? Here’s How You Might Wind Up in Jail by Michael Barajas

2nd PLACE: Sacramento News & Review: Homeless – and in hiding by Raheem F. Hosseini

3rd PLACE: Willamette Week: Bundyland by John Sepulvado

HONORABLE MENTION: The Inlander: Nothing But the Truth? by Mitch Ryals


MUSIC WRITING circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: INDY Week: Music Writing (IIIIIIIVV) by Allison Hussey


MUSIC WRITING circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: L.A. Weekly: Music Writing (IIIIII) by Matt Wake

2nd PLACE: Miami New Times: DJ Khaled’s Journey of Success Started Long Before Snapchat by Ryan Pfeffer

3rd PLACE: Chicago Reader: Music Writing (IIIIII) by Leor Galil

HONORABLE MENTION: Westword: Is This the Most Hated Band in Colorado? by Chris Walker


PUBLIC SERVICE circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Jackson Free Press: A Hunger to Live: Interrupting Violence in Jackson, Miss. (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Donna Ladd, Arielle Dreher, Imani Khayyam, Tim Summers Jr., Sierra Mannie, Maya Miller, Marzavier Harrington, Kristin Brenemen

2nd PLACE: Colorado Springs Independent: Troubles in the Colorado Springs Police Department (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIX) by Pam Zubeck

3rd PLACE: Flagpole Magazine: Crisis at Cedar Shoals High School (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Blake Aued, Rebecca McCarthy

HONORABLE MENTION: The Portland Mercury: Stained Glass: Exposing Portland’s Toxic Art Glass Factories (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Daniel Forbes, Dirk VanderHart


PUBLIC SERVICE circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Willamette Week: Resist by Rachel Monahan, Nigel Jaquiss, Beth Slovic, Piper McDaniel, Sophia June, Aaron Mesh

2nd PLACE: Miami New Times: Kids Drown in Cruise Ship Pools With No Lifeguards on Duty by Jessica Lipscomb

3rd PLACE: The Village Voice: The Scam Albany Won’t Fix: Meet the Energy Companies Swindling Thousands of New Yorkers, and the State Watchdog Letting It Happen (III) by Jon Campbell




COVER DESIGN circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Good Times Santa Cruz: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Tabi Zarrinnaal

2nd PLACE: Cincinnati CityBeat: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Jennifer Hoffman

3rd PLACE: Seven Days: Cover Designs (IIIIII) byDiane Sullivan, Brooke Bousquet, Kym Balthazar, Jeff Drew

HONORABLE MENTION: INDY Week: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Shan Stumpf, Skillet Gilmore


COVER DESIGN circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Phoenix New Times: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Tom Carlson

2nd PLACE: Dallas Observer: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Sarah Schumacher

3rd PLACE: NOW Magazine: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Michelle Wong, Troy Beyer, Stephen Chester, Tanja Tiziana

HONORABLE MENTION: Nashville Scene: Cover Designs (IIIIII) by Elizabeth Jones, Heather Lose


EDITORIAL LAYOUT circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: City Newspaper: Black Teachers Matter by Ryan Williamson, Justyn Iannucci, Mark Chamberlin

2nd PLACE: Colorado Springs Independent: The things they carry by Dustin Glatz

3rd PLACE: Santa Fe Reporter: Bringing Chaco Home by Anson Stevens-Bollen

HONORABLE MENTION: City Newspaper: Rochester 10 by Ryan Williamson


EDITORIAL LAYOUT circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: The Inlander: Scandals Section by Derek Harrison

2nd PLACE: Nashville Scene: Pick Your Poison by Elizabeth Jones

3rd PLACE: Las Vegas Weekly: Is It Over Yet? by Corlene Byrd


ILLUSTRATION circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Orlando Weekly: Heavy is the Head by Samantha Shumaker

2nd PLACE: Cleveland Scene: Cavs Championship Illustration by Oliver Barrett

3rd PLACE: Seven Days: Wellness Issue Challenge by Sean Metcalf

HONORABLE MENTION: Gambit: The State of Women Part Two


ILLUSTRATION circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Isthmus: Six Stories of Adventure by Carolyn Fath, Michael Hirshon

2nd PLACE: Phoenix New Times: Into The Woods by Vlad Alvarez

3rd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: Best of LA (IIIIIIIVVVI) by Scott Anderson

HONORABLE MENTION: The Inlander: Scholastic Fantastic (IIIIIIIVV) by Jeff Drew


PHOTOGRAPHY circulation under 45,000

1st PLACE: Style Weekly: Protest 2016 (IIIIIIIVVVI; VII; VIIIIXX) by Scott Elmquist

2nd PLACE: Orlando Weekly: Pulse Photographs by Monivette Cordeiro

3rd PLACE: INDY Week: Photography (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Alex Boerner and Ben McKeown

HONORABLE MENTION: Eugene Weekly: 2016 In Music (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Todd Cooper


PHOTOGRAPHY circulation 45,000 & over

1st PLACE: Houston Press: A Real Life Look at Kush Use in Houston (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIII) by Leif Reigstad

2nd PLACE: Dallas Observer: ‘The Gut’ and the Glory: A Story in Photos by Danny Fulgencio

3rd PLACE: L.A. Weekly: People 2016 (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by Danny Liao

HONORABLE MENTION: Baltimore City Paper: Photography (IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX) by J.M. Giordano




1st PLACE: Creative Loafing Tampa: Self Publishing Notebook (IIIIII) by Jon Kile



1st PLACE: Seven Days: Stuck in Vermont 460: River of Light Harvest Moon Winooski Paddle by Eva Sollberger

2nd PLACE: Chicago Reader: People Issue video profiles (III) by Scrappers Film Group, Danielle A. Scruggs, Paul John Higgins

3rd PLACE: YES! Weekly: Coen Crisp changes more than pronouns (III) by Deonna Kelli Sayed

HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Days: Stuck Inside a Vermonter’s Colon by Eva Sollberger, Diane Sullivan, Bryan Parmelee



1st PLACE: Creative Loafing Tampa: CL at the RNC/DNC (IIIIIIIVV) by Kate Bradshaw, David Warner, Michael Howard, Joeff Davis

2nd PLACE: Pittsburgh City Paper: Politicrap (IIIIIIIVV) by Rebecca Addison, Ryan Deto

3rd PLACE: Orlando Weekly: Bloggytown (IIIIIIIVV) by Colin Wolf, Monivete Cordeiro

HONORABLE MENTION: Houston Press: News Staff Blog (IIIIIIIVV) by Meagan Flynn, Leif Reigstad




1st PLACE: INDY Week: Peripheral Visions (IIIIIIIVV) by V.C. Rogers

2nd PLACE: San Luis Obispo New Times: Cartoons (IIIIIIIVV) by Russel Hodin

3rd PLACE: NUVO: Gadfly (IIIIIIIVV) by Wayne Bertsch

HONORABLE MENTION: Mountain Xpress: Cartoons (IIIIIIIVV) by Brent Brown



1st PLACE: NUVO: Pocket Guide to Protesting (III) by NUVO Staff

2nd PLACE: Pittsburgh City Paper: Brain Feaster Sunday by Em DeMarco

3rd PLACE: Seven Days: Feel The Bern Adult Coloring Contest (IIIIII) by Marc Nadel, Bryan Parmelee, Pamela Polston, Cathy Resmer

HONORABLE MENTION: Willamette Week: Slurptown by Matthew Korfhage, Adrienne So, Martin Cizmar, Zach Middleton, Nick Zukin, Michael C. Zusman, Ken Gordon



1st PLACE: Willamette Week: Going Coastal by Martin Cizmar, Staff

2nd PLACE: Seven Days: What’s Good: The Seven Days Field Guide to Burlington by Carolyn Fox, Dan Bolles, Diane Sullivan, Cathy Resmer, Paula Routly, Don Eggert

3rd PLACE: Cleveland Scene: A Very Special RNC Coloring Book; Because If They Can Act Like Children, So Can You by Staff

HONORABLE MENTION: L.A. Weekly: People Issue by Staff