Awards Contest Entry Forms Available

The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies is calling for entries in the 2004 Alternative Newsweekly Awards contest, which recognizes superior journalism and graphic design appearing in AAN’s 123 member papers in the United States and Canada.

Entries will be judged in 17 categories, each divided into two classes based on circulation.

The 2004 contest features a new category, Format Buster, a wild-card category of Religion Coverage and the first-ever cash award to be given in any category. The Connye Miller Award for Media Reporting, which includes a $300 prize, will go to the first-place Media Reporting winner in the under-50,000 circulation division. Matt Spaur, who co-founded The Local Planet Weekly in Spokane, Wash., with his wife Connye, endowed the award in her memory. She died of a rare illness last June.

AAN Editorial Committee Chair Patty Calhoun says the Format Buster category was proposed by Metro Times News Editor Curt Guyette in response to all the fun, creative ways in which AAN papers present news and features. “We decided, ‘Let’s celebrate that,’” she says. Examples of the kinds of features that the category was designed to honor might include a board game describing the Patriot Act or a restaurant-review column consisting of comments written on a replicated menu. “It’s like pornography. You’ll know it when you see it if it’s a Format Buster,” Calhoun says.

Entries in the wild-card category, Religion Coverage, should consist of a story or series reporting on religious organizations or individuals, spirituality or matters of faith. The wild-card category is chosen at random each year from suggestions made by the Editorial Committee.

This is the ninth competition since the contest was launched in 1996. Its goal is to promote editorial excellence by honoring well-written, incisively reported and original work that effectively challenges established orthodoxies.

All submissions must be received in the AAN office by Jan. 30, 2004.

Entry forms were mailed to all AAN editors and publishers on Dec. 4. For a PDF version of the form, which contains a complete description of the contest rules and categories, click here.

Correction to entry form: Please ignore the first sentence in the category, “Column — Political Commentary.” Entries in that category should indeed be about politics.

The awards will be presented at the 2004 Alternative Newsweekly Awards luncheon at the AAN Annual Convention to be held in San Antonio, Texas, June 24-27.