Bay State Parent magazine won 20 awards at the national Parenting Publications of America (PPA) Conference this past weekend in Nashville, Tenn.
Thus far this year, the magazine has won 28 awards. In fact, Bay State Parent has won 74 awards since changing our name to Bay State Parent from Today's Parent three years ago. We truly are Massachusetts' Premier Magazine for Families.
As always I am thrilled that we were honored by our peers, but what is most important is how loved we are by our readers, who passionately call, e-mail, and write to me often. Thanks so much for your input.
I'm most proud of our first place awards for overall reporting and investigative reporting, since I come from a newspaper background. The judges wrote: "From special reports to annual guides, The Bay State Parent offers superior coverage of its community along with a wide mix of timely articles. It represents the best kind of work a medium-size monthly can offer."
We swept the special section category with gold, silver, and bronze awards (Last year, we took gold and silver in the same category.) We must be doing something right with our guides & special reports!
Our March 2006 & November 2006 covers took first and second place respectively.
We compete in the medium circulation division - 30,001 to 50,000.
Below is a rundown of our 20 awards & what the judges had to say (I'd apologize for the length of this blog entry, but I'm NOT sorry we did so well.)
I'm very proud to be editor of Bay State Parent and extremely proud of our entire staff and all the freelance writers & photographers (including Portrait Simple Studios, who won three awards for us) of the work they do to produce a high-quality publication month in and month out!
Front Cover: Newsprint with Original Photo:
Gold: March 2006 issue - Puddle Jumpers (Photographer: Portrait Simple Studios)(www.portraitsimple.com)
Judges comments: Terrific color coordination makes this cover pop. Cute subject and popsicle colors blend perfectly. And the type works well without obscuring the image.
Silver: November 2006 - 4th Annual Adoption Guide (Photographer: Steven King)
Judges: This endearing portrait doesn’t need any adornment to draw readers into the cover. The subtle lighting and colors focus attention on the subject.
Silver: Camp illustration by Steve Haske
Judges: Haske visually tells the story of camp burnout with a creative illustration that has camp activities weighing on a young camper’s brain. The expression of the camper emphasizes the idea of the story and helps entice the reader.
Original Interior Photography
Silver: Puddle Jumpers - March 2006 (Photographers: Portrait Simple & Nancy MacDonald)
Judges: The photographer, designer and editors invested space, wit, style and, most importantly, a sense of fun, all of which are on display by both the young models and the generous layout. In this world, rain equals joy, not gloom. A great example of taking a standard fashion assignment and turning it on its head.
Gold: Rebuilding Families after 9/11 - September 2006 (Photographer: Portrait Simple Studios)
Judges: These pictures speak volumes of a mother’s ability to pull together and move forward a family that faced unbearable tragedy. Those faces and the joy they now share overshadow the horror described in the accompanying story. Instead, the pictures and full story offer inspiration to all.
Feature Layout - Black & White
Silver: Designed by Paula Monette Ethier - Coping With the Baby Blues.
Judges: This layout works thanks to its simplicity and grace. The designer very artfully conveys the content with a portrait and only minimal display type, but what a portrait it is. The entire story is conveyed through emotion, and the type works just enough to help make the connection.
Best Special Section - Design
Silver: Designer Paula Monette Ethier - Baby Guide - March 2006
Judges: The strength of this section lies in the photography. Stock images are played well – they illustrate the point, they're not just there to break up the grey. The cutouts on the fashion spread give the pages a real 3-D feel, and the generous use of images with the feature on the Pampers model really drive home why this one little girl was selected. Overall, a great example of how to make the most of your photography.
Bronze: Submitted was June & October 2006 covers written by editor Susan Scully Petroni
Judges: Bay State Parent cover-line writers manage to fill lots of information in a little space. These lines also promote stories that we see every year in a refreshing way.
Family Matters Column
Bronze: Family Health columns written by doctors Robert Lindeman & Mark Vining
Judges: Informative, yet entertaining. A strong voice throughout helps carry the reader through the piece.
Family Fun Column
Gold: Day Trip Destination columns written by Stacy Juba and Susan Spencer
Judges: Each of the writers excels at combining a good topic, lots of "how to do it" info and a conversational style. Great anecdotes and structure easily lead the reader through the adventure – and, indeed, these pieces do capture that sense of excitement.
Silver: Pondering Parenting columns by Kerri Augusto
Judges: These columns aren't just funny and well written, they contain parenting advice from a licensed clinical psychologist. The combination is appealing and make for good value to readers.
Silver: Camping with six children on Cape Cod written by James Lang and Matt Robert
Judges: The title becomes even more intriguing when the opening paragraph reveals that this adventure is fathers and kids only. The combination of humanity and utility makes this feature both enjoyable and helpful.
Silver: "Rebuilding Families After 9/11" written by Kate M. Jackson
Judges: Excellent attention to detail and good use of quotes make this profile of two 9/11 widows worthy of note. The story is a good read, from the scene-setting lead to the conclusion that revisits it. A focus on how these women have moved forward make this story relevant to all readers, not just those who lost someone on 9/11.
Gold: Special Report: Protecting Our Children (October 2006) written by Sarah MacDonald, Marguerite Paolino & Susan Scully Petroni
Judges: This package of articles offers an exhaustive look at troubles with sex offenders and online predators. The stories are filled with rich detail about local incidents that will no doubt strike a nerve with readers.
Silver: Embracing Your Child's Culture written by Rosemary Cafasso
Judges: This article about celebrating an adopted child's cultural heritage presented a topic not often seen, and it did so in an interesting and informative way. The writer made good use of regional experts but also found a local family to use as an example for the recommendations offered by the experts. An 8-point sidebar of how-to’s gave specific recommendations.
Gold: Rebuilding Families After 9/11 written by Kate M. Jackson
Judges: A story of surviving a horrible tragedy that doesn't stoop to being maudlin. Instead this is a tale of widows reaching out to other widows of terrorism in Afghanistan. It's an absorbing read with a window of hope.
**Gold: 4th Annual Adoption Guide - Nov. 2006
Judges: This comprehensive guide for adoption does not shy away from the tough issues. You'll find not only local stories about traditional parents but also stories about single people wanting to adopt and others about same-sex couples. A courageous undertaking.
Writers were: Marguerite Paolino, Amy Rodgers-Dryfoos, Peter Gibbs, Carrie Wattu, Barbara Ford, Sarah MacDonald, & Susan Scully Petroni
**Silver: Special Report: Protecting Our Children - Oct. 2006
Judges: In this Internet age, what parent isn't worried about online predators? Strong reporting and writing about local communities help this section stand out. Excellent.
Writers were: Sarah MacDonald, Marguerite Paolino, & Susan Scully Petroni
**Bronze: 7th Annual Day Trips & Weekend Getaway Guide - July 2006
Judges: Family vacations for Massachusetts folks don't have to break the bank when they can take fun and adventurous day trips and one-night sleepovers. This guide tells you where to go and what to see if you're on a budget. It's full of great information.
Writers were: James Lang, Matt Robert, Sarah MacDonald, Carrie Wattu, Amy Benoit, & Susan Scully Petroni
Gold: Judges: From special reports to annual guides, The Bay State Parent offers superior coverage of its community along with a wide mix of timely articles. It represents the best kind of work a medium-size monthly can offer.
Writers for the submitted issues of August, October & November 2006 included: Carrie Wattu, Kerri Augusto, Amy Benoit, Elizabeth Eidlitz, Peter Gibbs, Heidi Hynes, Robert Lindeman, Sue Lovejoy, Sarah MacDonald, Marguerite Paolino, Amy Rodgers-Dryfoos, Roderick Robinson, Robyn Silverman, Susan Spencer, Debbie Swanson, Donna White, Joanna Zarkadas & Susan Scully Petroni
Parenting Publications of America (PPA) gave out more than 350 Editorial and Design Competition awards to 80 parenting publications. PPA's Editorial and Design Awards Competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design achieved by publishers, editors, writers and designers at member publications. Prof. Daryl Moen of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism coordinated the annual contest. A panel of judges reviewed 1,184 entries this year (up from last year) to choose the winners in each category. All judges have had significant professional experience.