The 2006 AltWeekly Awards received 1554 entries, a 17 percent increase over last year’s total of 1325. The entry total has increased by 39 percent since the online registration system was launched only two years ago.
The newest category, Web site, received only 11 entries, while the Wild Card category, Drugs Reporting, received 46 entries.
Some parts of the process did not go smoothly — a number of papers discovered Monday morning that they could no longer print entry forms — but there were no major breakdowns. The changes made to the contest site since last year’s awards were overwhelmingly well-received. Although a few late-night calls came in on Friday, in general the deadline day passed without crisis.
The 1554 entries were submitted by 99 AAN member papers and 13 individual cartoonists. (There were 43 total entries in the Cartoon category, 30 of which were submitted by member papers.) Both of AAN’s newest members, Style Weekly and Las Vegas Weekly, threw their hats into the ring. And special recognition goes to Sonia Clark from Creative Loafing in Atlanta, who completed all of her entries on time despite being in the middle of moving to a new office.
If the AAN staff is not buried alive by the onslaught of paper and FedEx boxes, we will next begin the massive task of sorting entries and distributing them to the preliminary round judges. Finalists will be announced on aan.org in May.