The Association of Alternative Weeklies (AAN) — the national trade organization for papers like ours — holds an annual awards contest. They announced the 2005 finalists this morning, and Seven Days got a nod in five categories, which apparently is pretty good.
Because we're a smallish paper, we compete in the circulation under 50,000 category. We made the cut for arts reporting (Paula Routly's cover story on Rusty Dewees), political column (Judith Levine's Poly Psy), special section (the print version of Seven Nights), illustration (Jo Scott's fab cover drawing of a single dog playing online poker that illustrated my online poker story), and, oddly, website.
Yes, website. I guess I should be proud of that, since they were considering a package that includes my blog, but it's hard to feel too good about it because I recognize all the frustrations people (and I!) still have with our site. For example, I can't find the links for Paula's Rusty story, or for my own article on online poker through our new, improved Google search engine. Ugh. I should have them soon.
Also, I heard there were very few entries in the web category. I guess everyone else is too ashamed of their website to suggest it merits anyone's attention. Or maybe we really are the cream of the crop... a scary thought indeed. (Sorry, beloved 7D web team. I call 'em like I see 'em.)
And while I'm in self-flagellation mode, I'd like to point out that once again one of my stories was nominated for its visual achievement rather than its literary merit. Last year, my story on Jerome Armstrong and Vermont blogs won 1st place... for editorial layout. This year, the judges liked the illustration for my online poker story better than the story itself. Sigh.
Winners will be announced in a couple weeks, at the annual AAN Convention, held this year in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill Clinton, Wes Clark and Susan McDougal are among the speakers at this star-studded affair.
Yes, lucky me, I will be attending. I promise to post any good photos or juicy gossip I manage to collect at all the glamorous after parties I'll be attending in exotic Little Rock.
UPDATE: Here's the permalink for Paula's Rusty story.
UPDATE II: The art for the poker story is not accessible, since I can't post the PDF. I have to tinker with it, which I may have time to do later. In the meantime, you can read my online poker story, which will not win anything, but which I really enjoyed writing, regardless. In case anyone cares.