This year the Austin Chronicle gift guide features an item close to our hearts: Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2005. Reviewer Nora Ankrum writes, "This is the gift for the writer or journalist on your shopping list, to be kept on the reference shelf next to the OED and the Chicago Manual and the most recent Best American Magazine Writing, but you won't find it at a bookstore, so order it online, soon." And no, the Austin Chronicle does not have a winning entry included in the book, although it has received AltWeekly Award recognition in earlier years.

Continue ReadingChronicle Gift Guide Recommends AAN’s AltWeekly Contest Book

An abnormally high number of children in Sierra Vista, Ariz., were getting leukemia, but government agencies had repeatedly declined to investigate the cause of the cancer cluster. Freelance writer Renee Downing stepped into the breach. In her article for Tucson Weekly, "Cancer Wars," she discusses two scientists' research exploring a possible environmental link as well as the politics surrounding the identification of a cancer cluster. This is the sixth in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingRenee Downing: Getting a Handle on a Scientific Mystery

When an interview extends over 10 days -- as it did for Melissa Maerz when she went on tour with Minnesota band Friends Like These -- it was important to set up the rules from the start. Whatever wasn't immediately declared off the record was on the record. The resulting account, published in City Pages, was unsparing in its portrayal of the band's disappointments as well as its hopes, offering a dose of on-the-road realism. This is the fourth in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingMelissa Maerz: Doing It on the Road

This year AAN put out no ordinary awards book. Among the honored first-place entries is a Pulitzer Prize-winning story by Willamette Week's Nigel Jaquiss. "Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2005" offers a wide selection of riveting reading, produced by some seasoned writers and others just beginning to make their mark. The bookstore-quality volume is designed to reach a wider audience than ever.

Continue ReadingAltWeekly Awards Book Released