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Magazine award nominees announced

March 23, 2009 | 12:28 pm


The American Society of Magazine Editors has announced the finalists for its 44th annual awards. The New Yorker leads the pack with 10 nominations, in the categories of general excellence, reporting, feature writing, essays, columns and commentary, reviews and criticism, fiction (twice), leisure interests and photo portfolio.

The New Yorker's dominance is not surprising; it's the most-honored magazine in the awards' history, with 187 nominations and 47 wins.

Five magazines made the finalist list for the first time: the Antioch Review, Automobile, Bidoun, Salon.com and Triple Canopy. The Antioch Review has been around for 68 years, Automobile for 23 years, Salon.com for 14 years, Bidoun for five years, and Triple Canopy for about 18 months. I'm not sure whether more congratulations are in order for the newest players or for those who've soldiered on without such recognition for a long time.

The grand-prize-type "general excellence" category is subdivided by circulation size, so a smaller magazine like the Virginia Quarterly Review (less than 100,000 circulation) isn't competing against Los Angeles magazine (100,000-250,000 circulation) or Real Simple (2,000,000-plus).

The five magazines in that top-circulation category of more than 2 million are Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Real Simple and Time. Who knew Martha Stewart was bigger than GQ and the Economist (both 500,000-1,000,000)?

Perhaps my favorite fighting weight in general excellence is 1,000,000-2,000,000. It pits Bon Appetit against Field & Stream against the New Yorker against Popular Science against Vogue. If I subscribed to all five, I could use GPS to find the best fishing hole, catch my own fish, cook up a fabulous fish dinner, wear a fantastic dress to dinner and eruditely discuss all matters of politics and culture. That is, if I weren't too busy reading magazines.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit: the Bitten Word via Flickr