2005 Alternative Newsweekly Awards Contest Site Is Launched

Alternative newsweekly editors and cartoonists competing for the 2005 Alternative Newsweekly awards won’t need to go through the same dull routines they did last year. There will be no more long stints at the photocopier, preparing contest entries. For the first time this year, all submissions must be entered online. To reach the contest Web site, which launched Dec. 7, click here.

To reduce entrants’ workload, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies hired the Maryland-based Omni Solutions Group to prepare its contest Web site. The site is tailored to the needs of AAN members and to the editorial contest’s specific set of rules. In most categories, entrants won’t need to touch paper at all. They will type the information about their entries into online entry forms. And instead of making desperate calls to Fed Ex the night before the Friday, Feb. 4, 2005, deadline, they can simply upload PDFs of the articles they’re entering to the contest Web site.

Those who prefer can mail or deliver their entries to the AAN office in Washington, D.C., by the deadline. Only in five design-oriented categories — Special Section, Cover Design, Editorial Layout, Illustration and Photography — are members required to mail in tear sheets.

The contest rules are available on the Omni contest site and by clicking here.

This year’s contest is distinguished by a few other changes:

  • The 2005 contest’s Wild Card category is Education. Entries must include a single story or series of stories reporting on educational issues.
  • A new category, Special Section, has been introduced. This is for Best of, Holiday Gift Guide and other special issues.
  • The cartoon contest will be held simultaneously with the main competition instead of following it, with the same deadline of Feb. 4, 2005. Cartoonists will also enter at the online site; they can either enter their work themselves, or a representative from a paper that publishes them can enter on their behalf.

Other changes are described in an earlier story in AAN News.

Each AAN-member paper can obtain a single username and password by registering at the contest site. Entrants follow five steps to complete each entry. The site will help members keep track of how many entries they’ve completed. It will prevent them from entering any category more than the permitted number of times, calculate the total cost of entry fees and generate entry forms for mailed-in submissions.

Judges will also work online in evaluating entries. Questions and comments about the site should be addressed to AAN Assistant Editor Ryan Learmouth at web@aan.org.

Ruth Hammond is editor of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

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