Eighty papers participate
Eighty AAN member papers, 11 fewer than last year, submitted 968 entries in the 2002 Alternative Newsweekly Awards contest.
The total number of entries is down by 43 (4 percent) from 2001’s 1,011, indicating that each paper submitted about one more entry on average.
“The submissions look very strong this year, and the total number of entries is encouraging despite both economic conditions and important breaking news,” says Lyda Phillips, AAN director of communications, who is administering the contest. “Two judges have already returned their picks, so we’re off to a great start.”
Between 2000 and 2001 participation in the contest jumped nearly 33 percent, mostly due to a sharp rise in participation among small circulation papers (below 54,000) after entry fees were reduced from $25 per entry to $10.
This year 39 small circulation papers submitted 410 entries, and 41 large circulation papers submitted 558. Thus, larger papers submitted about three more entries on average (13.6) than smaller papers (10.5). A total of 15 categories were available, with up to three entries per paper allowed in arts criticism, feature, news feature and news story categories for a maximum of 23 entries per paper.
Three of AAN’s newest members lost no time entering the contest: Local Planet Weekly, Pasadena Weekly and Canada’s The Georgia Straight.
While nearly all categories showed declines in total numbers of entries from last year, this year’s wild-card category, Health Care, drew 46 entries, three more than last year’s Sports. The newly created News Story category (less than 1,500 words) attracted 77 entries (each paper was allowed to submit up to three stories).
The News Feature category, the traditional long-form alternative newsweekly piece, had the largest number of entries, 92 from large papers and 76 from small papers, for a total of 168, down from last year’s 180.
Editorial entries have been sent to first-round judges, who will send their top choices into the final round, where three-judge panels will select the winners. Graphic entries have also been sent to three-judge panels, who will make the final choices.
Award winners will be notified in mid-May, and the order of finish will be announced at the Alternative Newsweekly Awards luncheon May 30 at the AAN Convention in Madison, Wis.
The deadline for entries in the second annual AAN Cartoon contest is Feb. 28. Winners in the cartoon contest also will be announced at the May 30 awards luncheon.