Beginning in the dreary days of February, long before the awards are handed out, over one-thousand design and writing entries have to be read, evaluated and scored. Twice.
From there, the highest-scoring entries in each category advance to a second round where they are reviewed by a panel of at least three judges who determine the winners.
Their decisions aren’t finalized until May, nearly three months after the judging process begins. In short: the journalists, bloggers, university professors and artists that comprise this year’s crop of judges are the heroes — and she-roes — behind the scenes make the AltWeekly Awards happen.
The judges came from academia and the newsroom, from old media and new media, and they reviewed entries from as far away as Mexico City and Beirut. Many judges began their careers at an alt-weekly and several were fellows at the Academy for Alternative Journalism.
As if the judges didn’t have enough on their plate, we also asked them to write comments about their favorite entries. The judges’ words make clear that each of the winning pieces — regardless of whether they ultimately placed first, second, or third — earned a spot in this year’s awards because they were compelling, inspiring, and at times, disturbing pieces of work.
A selection of the judges’ remarks has been compiled here (PDF download). Most of the bios were provided directly from each judge. In the few cases where a bio was not provided, the info was compiled from various internet sources.