AltWeekly Awards Contest Site Opens

The online registration system first implemented for the 2005 AltWeekly Awards contest is back — with some improvements. Working with the Web developer, Omni Solutions Group, AAN Editorial Director Ruth Hammond has incorporated changes to remove glitches that caused some frustration last year. You may enter the contest site at

This year, we added a category for Web Site, and the Wild Card category will be Drugs Reporting. The contest deadline has been moved up to Jan. 20, 2006.

To reduce the number of entries with errors, we made contest rules more explicit, and the contest Web site will restrict newsweeklies from exceeding a particular category’s limit on number of entries per paper. In addition, we added more information to the instructions for preparing PDFs.

Each paper will have only one username and password to access the contest site to submit entries. The submitters from last year have already been sent an e-mail invitation to participate in a a survey confirming their usernames and passwords. If you are the person designated to submit entries for your newspaper but you did not receive the survey invitation, contact Amy Gill at

In the writing and reporting categories, entrants may upload PDFs instead of sending tearsheets to the AAN office. However, PDFs are never required — you always have the option of sending paper, as long as you register online. Entry fees will be totaled automatically online, and papers can pay by credit card online or send a check to the AAN office.

This will be the 11th year for the AltWeekly Awards contest, which seeks to promote excellence in journalism and graphic design among alternative newsweeklies. The first-place award winners are collected in the book Best AltWeekly Writing and Design.

Amy Gill, AAN’s news editor, will be administering the contest this year. You may contact her with questions or comments at or (202) 289-8484. In addition, Ruth Hammond, familiar to many of you from last year’s contest and, will still be available to help you until Dec. 23, 2005.

Remember, even if you are paying by check and sending tear sheets, you must still fill out the entry form online by Jan. 20, 2006.

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