Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American and Poetry win Magazine Awards
Three literary magazines were underdog winners of the National Magazine Awards for Digital Media, called Ellies. The awards were presented at a luncheon Wednesday in New York.
Oxford American, published by the University of Central Arkansas, won the Ellie for video for its series "SoLost," which explores spots known and unknown throughout the South. The video above features Memphis-born, Mississippi-raised photographer William Eggleston -- not talking about his work but playing the piano as a soundtrack to his photographs. In a few shots he looks at the camera, smoking.
The Virginia Quarterly Review won the Ellie for multimedia package for "Assignment Afghanistan," a combination of photo, video and written journalism by Elliott Woods. Woods was one of the journalists who vehemently defended Virginia Quarterly Review Editor Ted Genoways when he came under fire in 2010 after the suicide of the magazine's managing editor. After an audit by the University of Virginia, which publishes the magazine, the Review resumed regular publication and Genoways continued as editor. This award is the first significant recognition the magazine has receieved since; during Genoways' tenure, it has been nominated for more than a dozen National Magazine Awards.
Poetry Magazine won the Ellie for its podcast, a free monthly audio production that features poets reading their poems, along with some conversation between editors Christian Wiman and Don Share.
It's interesting that these tradititional literary magazines are taking major awards in the rich media categories. Other finalists included the larger, and larger-budgeted, National Geographic, New York Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Fast Company, the New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly.
The day's leading winner, by a slim margin, was Epicurious, which won two awards, for general excellence for service and lifestyle publications and for interactive tool. Other Digital Ellie winners included Slate for general excellence for news and opinion publications, LIFE.com for photography, and Tablet magazine for blogging. Esquire's iPad app won the Mobile Edition Award. Other award winners were Fast Company for online department, Foreign Policy for news reporting, and the New York Times Magazine for design.
-- Carolyn Kellogg