2010 AltWeekly Awards Finalists Announced

It was four long months ago that 91 alternative newsweeklies and their editorial assistants scrambled to submit nearly 1,100 entries to the 2010 AltWeekly Awards. The month was February, and Washington, DC was hit by an epic snowstorm that forced the AAN office to close for a week and led to a decision to extend the deadline for entry submissions. Since then, each of those 1000+ entries have been downloaded and evaluated by judges on their MacBooks, PC’s, and in some cases even on paper. In what was possibly a display of solidarity with the contestants, some of these judges sent in their scores in the same last minute fervor in which the entries were originally submitted.

With summer’s unofficial arrival, the judging process is now complete and the 159 finalists of the 2010 AltWeekly Awards have been established. Whether it’s Jonathan Gold’s (L.A. Weekly) mouthwatering tales of devouring birria in a small East L.A. eatery or Tim Vanderpool’s (Tucson Weekly) revolting description of the diarrhea covered walls in a local greyhound kennel, this year’s crop of finalists serves as our yearly reminder that alternative newsweeklies continue to bring it week after week: top-notch investigative reporting, in-depth coverage of the arts, and innovative design work to newsstands, corner stores and record shops across the continent.

Nashville Scene, competing in the small-circulation division, led all papers with eleven awards. In the large-circulation division, Boston Phoenix will snag ten awards and L.A. Weekly will pick up nine prizes at the awards ceremony next month.

Other big winners include Washington City Paper with eight awards; and both Santa Fe Reporter and Village Voice with six. Gambit, Houston Press, Pacific Northwest Inlander, and Style Weekly will each take home five awards. In its first year of eligibility, SEE Magazine of Edmonton, Alberta will receive honors in the cover design category.

The final rankings of the winners will be revealed at the AltWeekly Awards luncheon on July 16 in Toronto during AAN’s 33rd Annual Convention. Gustavo Arellano, staff writer for OC Weekly and author of the nationally syndicated weekly column ‘¡Ask A Mexican!’, will host the ceremony.

The entries were judged and ranked by a batch of 135-plus judges that included the likes of Ana Marie Cox (of Wonkette fame), Michelle Cottle (The New Republic), Jim DeRogatis (Chicago Sun-Times / Sound Opinions), Felix Gillette (NY Observer), David Hajdu (Columbia School of Journalism), Brant Houston (Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc.), Mollie Katzen (Moosewood Cookbook), Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos), Robert Newman (SPD), Troy Patterson (Slate), Sara Quinn (Poynter), Choire Sicha (The Awl), and Tracy Weber (ProPublica), just to name a few. The full list of judges will be posted later this month.

The finalists below are listed in alphabetical order by newspaper within each category.

Leading up to the awards ceremony, AAN will be showcasing the winning design work in our photo gallery on Facebook. Finalists in the design categories are encouraged to send JPGs of their work to Jason Zaragoza at: jason(at)aan[dot]org.

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COVER DESIGN circulation 50,000 and over

Miami New Times: Pork Pirates, He Buried Che, and In the Name of the King by Pam Shavalier

New Times Broward-Palm Beach: The Agent from Iran, To Juice and Serve, and Hackintosh by Miche Ratto

Riverfront Times: The State of Street Art in St. Louis, Munchausen She Wrote, and Cardinals by Tom Carlson

Westword: Dead Wrong, Bad Dog?, and Dude Where’s My Car? by Jay Vollmar

COVER DESIGN circulation under 50,000

Maui Time Weekly: Seven Scariest County & State Elected Officials, Sedaris & Me, and The Year That Got Old In a Hurry by Chris Skiles

Portland Mercury: Sex Issue, Queer Issue, and Enchanted Forest by Justin “Scrappers” Morrison

Santa Fe Reporter: Geronimo, If I was Trying to Kill You?, and Starstruck by Angela Moore

SEE Magazine: The Myth Is Dead, Christian Hansen and the Autistics, and Print In Peril by Byron Eggenschwiler, 3Ten Photography, and Ian Jackson

EDITORIAL LAYOUT circulation 50,000 and over

Miami New Times: Pint-Size Preacher by Pam Shavalier

NOW Magazine: Earth Day Issue by Troy Beyer and Stephen Chester

Philadelphia City Paper: The Style Issue by Reseca Peskin

Sacramento News & Review: Living Homeless by David Jayne

EDITORIAL LAYOUT circulation under 50,000

Nashville Scene: The Big Fest Club by Elizabeth Jones

Pacific Northwest Inlander: Fall Arts Preview by Chris Bovey

Tucson Weekly: The Strange Saga of Geronimo’s Skull by Adam Kurtz

ILLUSTRATION circulation 50,000 and over

City Pages (Twin Cities): Fairmongering by Dan Picasso

L.A. Weekly: Between Iraq and a Hard Place by Jason Edmiston

Phoenix New Times: Good Cop, Bad Cop by Brian Stauffer

ILLUSTRATION circulation under 50,000

Nashville Scene: Afghaniscrewed by Rob Williams and Robin Eley

Nashville Scene: You Are So Nashville If by Rob Williams and John Gurney

Orlando Weekly: Fringe Free-For-All by Jeff Drew

PHOTOGRAPHY circulation 50,000 and over

City Pages (Twin Cities): Photography by Nick Vlcek

Creative Loafing (Atlanta): Photography by Joeff Davis

Washington City Paper: Photography by Darrow Montgomery

PHOTOGRAPHY circulation under 50,000

Nashville Scene: Photography by Eric England

Pacific Northwest Inlander: Photography by Young Kwak

Style Weekly: Photography by Scott Elmquist

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ARTS CRITICISM circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: The Beast in Me, Vandal-in-Chief, and Fabulous Fakes by Greg Cook

Village Voice: Why Hard Times Won’t Mean Good Times, Robert Frank’s Real America, and Let the Mild Rumpus Start! by Jim Hoberman

Willamette Week: Exploding Hearts, Triumph Of The Reel, and Gone Nuts by Aaron Mesh

ARTS CRITICISM circulation under 50,000

Independent Weekly (NC): Picasso at the Nasher, Christian Marclay’s Visions of Sound, and Digital Variations by Amy White

Nashville Scene: Madhouse (pdf), Once Upon a Time Forever (pdf), and Subpar Subway (pdf) by Jim Ridley

Orlando Weekly: Ecstatic Transformations and Summer Studies by Jessica Bryce Young

ARTS FEATURE circulation 50,000 and over

Chicago Reader: The Jackson Find by Jake Austen

L.A. Weekly: Man on Man by Gendy Alimurung

L.A. Weekly: On the Road to Burma by Randall Roberts

Phoenix New Times: Chasing Pablo by Robrt L. Pela

ARTS FEATURE circulation under 50,000

Fort Worth Weekly: Phases and Stages by Jeff Prince

Style Weekly: Art on Trial by Edwin Slipek Jr.

COLUMN circulation 50,000 and over

Creative Loafing (Tampa): ‘Poet’s Notebook’: Pacifist Poets, The Voice of the Average Guy, The Spider Web Theory by Peter Meinke

Dallas Observer: The Fall Guy, Whitewashing Reality, and Irony City by Jim Schutze

Phoenix New Times: The MCSO and the Rape Victim, City Raids Pastor’s Home, and I Won’t Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Fenske

SF Weekly: ‘Bouncer’: Tea Party Politics; Don’t Try the Pinapple Truffles; Jay Bennett Breaks a Heart by Katy St. Clair

COLUMN circulation under 50,000

Folio Weekly: Meth Penalty, Apology Excepted, Exit Strategy by Anne Schindler

Gambit Weekly: Commentary by David Winkler-Schmit

Metro Pulse: Secret History by Jack Neely

Santa Fe Reporter: Unfriendly but Hot, Labor Daze, and Better Vice by Zane Fischer

COLUMN — POLITICAL circulation 50,000 and over

Chicago Reader: October Surprise, Stimulus, Chicago-Style and Ready, Set, (Property Tax) Hike by Ben Joravsky

SF Weekly: Bumping Frights, Domestic Spouses, On Thin Ice by Matt Smith

Village Voice: The Mayor’s Press Pass, Senate Coup Plotters Hidden Agenda, Gillibrand Learned How to Defend Tobacco by Tom Robbins

COLUMN — POLITICAL circulation under 50,000

Nashville Scene: Chaos at the Capitol (pdf), Solo Ingles Derrotado (pdf), and Bone of Convention (pdf) by Jeff Woods

Seven Days: Intern Nation, Discouraged Workers and Chronic Insanity by Judith Levine

Tucson Weekly: You Should Support Health-Care Reform, Price Tags, and Arizonans Are Getting What We’re Paying For by Renee Downing

FEATURE STORY circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: A Weed Grows in Boston by Valerie Vande Panne

SF Weekly: Exporting the Dead by Lauren Smiley

Westword: The Giveaway by Alan Prendergast

FEATURE STORY circulation under 50,000

Fort Worth Weekly: Renaissance on the Rails by Peter Gorman

Santa Cruz Weekly: Life and Death on the Pajaro River Levee by Jessica Lussenhop

Santa Fe Reporter: My Oh Mayan! by Corey Pein

FOOD WRITING circulation 50,000 and over

City Pages (Twin Cities): Superhero Me, The Urban Survivalist, and Slaughterhouse Live by Rachel Hutton

L.A. Weekly: Floria del Rio Will Get Your Goat, Hare Roday, Wild-Boar Sopes Tomorrow, and So Sorry, So Good by Jonathan Gold

Seattle Weekly: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of German Butterballs, Drawing Room Comedy, and Healing from a Hot Pot by Jonathan Kauffman

Washington City Paper: Young & Hungry: How Not to Hire a Chef, Dear Zagat, and Banh Mi–in D.C.? by Tim Carman

FOOD WRITING circulation under 50,000

The Coast: A Fire in the Bear’s Den, Tears for Beers, and Offally Good by Andy Murdoch

Creative Loafing (Sarasota): Hog Wild by Brian Ries

Gambit: Clove at First Bite (pdf), Alligator Wrestling (pdf), and Dramatic Results (pdf) by Ian McNulty

Nashville Scene: Back to the Table, The Cocktail’s Hour, Ch-Ch-Changing Appetites by Carrington Fox

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING circulation 50,000 and over

Austin Chronicle: Believing the Children by Jordan Smith

Boston Phoenix: Soldiers Committing Suicide and Stress Test by Jason Notte

Houston Press: A Quiet Hell by Chris Vogel

Long Island Press: Messed Up by Christopher Twarowski

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING circulation under 50,000

Gambit: Jindal’s List by Jeremy Alford

Jackson Free Press: Jackson Public Schools by Ward Schaefer

Nashville Scene: Unsafe in Their Beds and Tell No One by Brantley Hargrove

Texas Observer: Burn Patterns by Dave Mann

MEDIA REPORTING / CRITICISM circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: ‘Don’t Quote Me’ by Adam Reilly

New Times Broward-Palm Beach: The Rise and Fall of South Florida’s Daily Newspapers by Lisa Rab

Washington City Paper: Happy World, Alliance for Progress and Dan Froomkin by Erik Wemple

MEDIA REPORTING / CRITICISM circulation under 50,000

Metro Pulse: Care to Comment? by Frank Carlson

Seven Days: High Noon for the Burlington Free Press by Cathy Resmer

Style Weekly: Final Delivery by Scott Bass, Chris Dovi, Rich Griset, Laura Robertson and Greg Weatherford

MUSIC REPORTING / CRITICISM circulation 50,000 and over

L.A. Weekly: The Day the Music Died, Katy Perry Unpeeled, and Bon Iver at Hollywood Forever Cemetery by Randall Roberts

SF Weekly: A Long Strange Trip, Just Tweet It, and DJ Beto by Jennifer Maerz

Village Voice: Go See Phish at Least Once, On Michael Jackson’s This Is It, and On 50 Cent’s Self-Help Book by Rob Harvilla

MUSIC REPORTING / CRITICISM circulation under 50,000

Memphis Flyer: Bush Music: A Mix, Dream’s Life, and Two Testaments by Chris Herrington

Pacific Northwest Inlander: Backtrack, Past Lives, and The Revivalist by Leah Sottile

San Antonio Current: ‘Kamikaze’: El Moz, Die Reggaeton Die, and The incredible Shrinking Grammy by Enrique Lopetegui

NEWS STORY — LONG FORM circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: Sarah Palin, Inc. by David S. Bernstein

Houston Press: Getting Off by Mike Giglio

The Pitch: Exit Strategy by Carolyn Szczepanski

Seattle Weekly: Lethally Blonde by Rick Anderson

NEWS STORY — LONG FORM circulation under 50,000

Boulder Weekly: Until Proven Guilty by Pamela White

LEO Weekly: A History of Violence by Sarah Kelley

Santa Fe Reporter: The House Thornburg Lost, Try, Try Again, and Thornburglars by Corey Pein

Style Weekly: Richmond’s War on Culture: Show Stoppers, Curdled Culture, and Mayor Vows to Protect First Fridays by Chris Dovi

NEWS STORY — SHORT FORM circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: Local Activists Crusade to Cut Circumcisions, Hacking Pact, and Tapped Out by Chris Faraone

L.A. Weekly: The Valley’s Galaxy of Goo, Wrinkles at Runkle Canyon, and Brentwood’s Toxic Grave by Michael Collins

Washington City Paper: The Barry Archives, Harriette Walters, and Fire Brass by Mike DeBonis

NEWS STORY — SHORT FORM circulation under 50,000

Gambit: The Wrong Man, Cleaning the Big House, and Late Aid by David Winkler-Schmit

LEO Weekly: Watching Over Witnesses, Kentucky History X, and The Corn That Grew From Concrete by Phillip M. Bailey

Pacific Northwest Inlander: Regime Change, Fighting Fire, and The Association by Nicholas Deshais

Tucson Weekly: Kennel No. 1, Ordinance Ignored, and Greyhound Runaround by Tim Vanderpool

PUBLIC SERVICE circulation 50,000 and over

Chicago Reader: Ten Pieces on Why it Would be a Disaster for Chicago to Host the 2016 Olympics by Ben Joravsky

Houston Press: Wild Rides by Paul Knight

L.A. Weekly: Los Angeles on $300,000 a Year by Patrick Range McDonald, Tibby Rothman, Daniel Heimpl and Jill Stewart

PUBLIC SERVICE circulation under 50,000

Fort Worth Weekly: Smell Test by Dan McGraw, Peter Gorman and Jeff Prince

Jackson Free Press: Two Lakes by Adam Lynch, Ward Schaefer, Todd Stauffer and Donna Ladd

Metro Pulse: TVA Ash Spill by Charles Maldonado and Frank Carlson

SPECIAL TOPIC — HEALTH REPORTING circulation 50,000 and over

City Pages (Twin Cities): Saving Juju by Erin Carlyle

Miami New Times: Piece of Mind by Natalie O’Neill

Phoenix New Times: The Lost Kids: Saving Alex, Losing Erica, and Suicidal Tendencies by Amy Silverman

SPECIAL TOPIC — HEALTH REPORTING circulation under 50,000

Colorado Springs Independent: Still Screwed by Anthony Lane

Missoula Independent: Power Broker by Matthew Frank

Pacific Northwest Inlander: Misdiagnosed by Nicholas Deshais

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BLOG (GROUP OR STAFF) circulation 50,000 and over

L.A. Weekly: Squid Ink by Amy Scattergood

OC Weekly: Navel Gazing by OC Weekly Staff

Village Voice: Runnin’ Scared by Village Voice Staff

Washington City Paper: City Desk by Washington City Paper Staff

BLOG (GROUP OR STAFF) circulation under 50,000

Nashville Scene: Pith in the Wind by Nashville Scene Staff

Portland Mercury: Blogtown, PDX by Portland Mercury Staff

Santa Fe Reporter: SFReeper.com by Santa Fe Reporter Staff

BLOG (INDIVIDUAL) circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: Talking Politics by David S. Bernstein

Cleveland Scene: ’64 and Counting by Vince Grzegorek

Miami New Times: Riptide by Kyle Munzenrieder

Washington City Paper: The Sexist by Amanda Hess

BLOG (INDIVIDUAL) circulation under 50,000

Memphis Flyer: Intermission Impossible by Chris Davis

North Bay Bohemian: City Sound Inertia by Gabe Meline


The Critical Line by Steve Greenberg (Ventura County Reporter)

Failure by Karl Stevens (Boston Phoenix)

Idiot Box by Matt Bors (Boston Phoenix)

Slowpoke by Jen Sorensen

INNOVATION / FORMAT BUSTER circulation 50,000 and over

Las Vegas CityLife: Wasting Away in West Las Vegas by Amy Kingsley, Maureen Adamo, and Justin Yurkanin

NOW Magazine: Black History Quiz by Enzo DiMatteo, Troy Beyer, and Stephen Chester

Washington City Paper: How the District’s Children Die by Jason Cherkis

Willamette Week: Give Guide by Richard Meeker

INNOVATION / FORMAT BUSTER circulation under 50,000

Independent Weekly (NC): Bowerbirds and Megafaun Tour America Together and Tell the Tales by Maria Bilinski Shain, Shayne O’Neill, Nathan Golub, Grayson Currin, and Bryan Reed

San Antonio Current: Artist in Residence by Wendi Kimura, David Vega, Cruz Ortiz, and Kelly O’Connor

Santa Fe Reporter: Where’s the Money? by Corey Pein, Larry Kohr and Julia Goldberg

MULTIMEDIA circulation 50,000 and over

Boston Phoenix: Independents Day by Daniel Brockman, Michael Brodeur, Lance Gould, Matt Parish, and Ryan Stewart

Houston Press: Not So Clear Cut: Main Article, Video, Follow-Up Blog Entry, and Photo Slideshow by Robb Walsh

Washington City Paper: D.C.’s Biggest Party in Pictures by Darrow Montgomery, Ted Scheinman and Erik Wemple

MULTIMEDIA circulation under 50,000

Independent Weekly (NC): Bones are Beautiful by D.L. Anderson

Mountain Xpress: We are Burton Street: The Neighborhood’s Stand Against D.O.T. by Mountain Xpress Staff & Contributors

Santa Cruz Weekly: The Aztecas of South Santa Cruz County: Main Article and Videos by Jessica Lussenhop

Style Weekly: VirginiaTalks.com: Virginia Gubernatorial Debate and Behind the Debate by Jason Roop

MUSIC BLOG circulation 50,000 and over

Houston Press: Rocks Off by Houston Press Staff

L.A. Weekly: West Coast Sound by LA Weekly Staff

Riverfront Times: A to Z by Riverfront Times Staff

Village Voice: Sound of the City by Village Voice Staff

MUSIC BLOG circulation under 50,000

Colorado Springs Independent: Indy Blog by Bill Forman

Portland Mercury: End Hits by Ezra Ace Caraeff and Ned Lannanman

Nashville Scene: NashvilleCream.com by Nashville Scene Staff

SPECIAL SECTION circulation 50,000 and over

OC Weekly: Best of OC 2009 by OC Weekly Staff

Philadelphia City Paper: City Paper Choice: The Big Vision Issue by Philadelphia City Paper Staff

Village Voice: Best of NYC 2009 by Village Voice Staff

Willamette Week: Restaurant Guide by Ben Waterhouse

SPECIAL SECTION circulation under 50,000

Gambit: CUE by Kara Nelson

Nashville Scene: Best of Nashville 2009 by Nashville Scene Staff

North Bay Bohemian: Best of the North Bay 2009 by North Bay Bohemian Staff

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