Participation Level Similar to Last Year's Contest.
One word describes the mail traffic at the AAN office as the deadline for the fourth annual Editorial Awards Contest approached: heavy.
Seventy-six of AAN’s 113 member papers submitted a total of 780 entries this year, numbers that are very similar to last year, when eighty-three papers submitted 784 entries.
In the large-paper category (circulation above 54,000), 40 of the 53 papers eligible to participate in the contest submitted entries. That contrasts favorably with the participation level in the small-paper division, where 36 of the 60 eligible papers submitted entries.
At least two papers planned to participate in the contest but failed to meet the January 31 deadline. In addition, only one of the seven Canadian papers submitted entries.
The most popular categories were Feature and News, with the former attracting 171 entries and the latter 157. The next most popular categories were Arts Feature and Column, with respective category pools of 54 and 53. The sizable disparity between News and Feature, and the remaining categories, was partly the result of this year’s new contest guidelines, which allowed each paper to submit up to three entries in the News and Feature categories.
The first round of judging in the contest is now in progress, with journalists from publications like the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Washington Post charged with the responsibility of reading all of the entries and selecting 4-8 finalists in each category of both circulation divisions. At least two judges will read every entry submitted in the contest.
In the second round, the finalist entries in each category will be reviewed by three-judge panels, who will pick the winners.
The finalists will be announced in April, and the winners will be revealed during the Editorial Awards Lunch at the annual convention.