Participation Swells in Editorial Contest

Small-paper entries increase 74%.

Participation in AAN’s annual editorial competition is up 33 percent in the single biggest increase in submissions since the contest was launched in 1996.

Ninety-one AAN papers submitted 1,011 entries, up from 763 entries last year. The increase is due largely to expanded participation among small-circulation papers (54,000 and less), which collectively submitted 74 percent more entries this year. AAN reduced the entry fee for small papers from $25 to $10.

Of the 66 papers eligible in the small-circulation bracket, 48 participated.

The addition this year of two popular categories — Cover Design and Editorial Layout — also contributed to the surge in entries. Cover Design is a new category and Editorial Layout was reinstated after a one-year hiatus; between the two, 88 entries were submitted. Although two categories were added, the total number of potential entries per paper rose only from 19 to 20 since the cartoon category was eliminated. (AAN is sponsoring a separate contest for cartoonists this year.)

Participation in the large-paper division also increased, by a total of 51 entries. However, the number of large papers that submitted entries fell, from 50 to 43. Three papers — Memphis Flyer, Nashville Scene and NUVO Newsweekly — moved to the small-paper bracket after cutting their circulation in 2000, which contributed to the reduction in the number of large papers as well as the increase in small-paper entries.

The entries have been mailed to first-round judges, who will select their top choices and send the survivors on for a second round of competition. During this second phase, the finalists will be appraised by three-judge panels, which will conclude their deliberations by mid-June. The award winners will be announced shortly thereafter, and the order of finish will be presented at the annual convention this July in New Orleans.

In the new cartoon contest, 37 entries were submitted, including the work of many of the most widely-syndicated AAN cartoonists, who were excluded from participating last year when the entries had to be submitted by an “originating paper.” The winners of the cartoon contest also will be announced in New Orleans.

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