American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Announces 44th Annual National Magazine Awards Finalists

March 18, 2009

The New Yorker, GQ, New York, Esquire and National Geographic Capture Most Ellie Nominations. Magazine Industry Celebrates Finalists on April 30 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2009)Sid Holt, Chief Executive of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), today announced the finalists for the 44th annual National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry’s highest honor.  Named after the Alexander Calder stabile Elephant, the Ellies celebrate the talented writers, photographers, designers and editors whose dedication and creativity drive the success of magazines.  Twenty-six winners will be announced at a gala event on April 30, at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall.

“In the midst of a global economic recession, magazines continue to be an unparalleled source of information and inspiration,” said Holt.  “This year more than 350 magazines submitted 1,707 entries, reflecting the continuing vitality of our medium. The nominees represent a consistent standard of excellence, and include some of the largest and best-known publications in the nation as well as newcomers that have already earned passionate readerships.”

Two hundred seventy-five senior editors, art directors, photo editors, industry veterans and journalism educators voted on the 2009 finalists, which represent the full spectrum of magazine journalism from politics and business to food and fashion, from health and fitness to fiction and the arts.  Among the emerging themes and statistics from the 2009 nominees:

  • The New Yorker leads the list of finalists with a total of 10 nominations, including  General Excellence, Reporting and Feature Writing.  The New Yorker is the most honored magazine in the history of the awards, having received 187 nominations and 47 Ellies
  • GQ was nominated for eight awards, including two nominations for Reporting. Eight is the most number of nominations GQ has ever received in any single year
  • Twenty-fourother titles received multiple nominations: New York (6), Esquire (5), National Geographic (5), Backpacker (4), Bon Appétit (4), The New York Times Magazine, (4) Wired (4), The Atlantic (3), Harper’s Magazine (3), Mother Jones (3), Newsweek (3), Runner’s World (3), Time (3), W (3), The American Scholar (2), Business Week (2), Fast Company (2), Field & Stream (2), Gourmet (2),  Health (2), The Nation (2), Texas Monthly (2). Vanity Fair (2), The Virginia Quarterly Review (2)
  • Food-related magazines, stories and websites captured 12 nominations across nine categories, including General Excellence, Single-topic Issue and Photography
  • Health, fitness and active-sports magazines, including Backpacker, Bicycling, Runner’s World, Health, and Prevention, received 14 nominations
  • First-time finalists include The Antioch Review, Automobile, Bidoun,, and Triple Canopy

The awards honor print and online magazines that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative editorial techniques, journalistic enterprise, and imaginative design. Established in 1966 (when a single award was presented to Look magazine), the National Magazine Awards is the preeminent program in the magazine industry honoring editorial excellence. ASME presents the awards program in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Zinio is the sponsor of the 2009 National Magazine Awards.

The Categories and Finalists Are:

GENERAL EXCELLENCE:  Recognizes overall excellence in magazines in six circulation categories.  The award honors the effectiveness with which writing, reporting, editing and design work together to command readers attention and fulfill the magazine’s unique editorial mission.

Circulation under 100,000

The American Scholar;  Aperture;  Bidoun;  Print;  The Virginia Quarterly Review

Circulation 100,000 - 250,000

Foreign Policy;  Los Angeles Magazine;  Mother Jones;  Paste;  Time Out New York

Circulation 250,000 - 500,000

The Atlantic;  Backpacker;  New York;  Texas Monthly;  W

Circulation 500,000 1,000,000

The Economist;  Fast Company;  GQ;  Runner’s World;  Wired

Circulation 1,000,000 2,000,000

Bon Appétit;  Field & Stream;  The New Yorker;  Popular Science;  Vogue

Circulation over 2,000,000

Martha Stewart Living;  National Geographic;  Reader’s Digest;  Real Simple;  Time

SINGLE-TOPIC ISSUE:  This category recognizes magazines that have devoted an issue to an in-depth examination of one topic.  The award honors the ambition, comprehensiveness and imagination with which a magazine treats its subject.

Atlanta Magazine;  IEEE Spectrum;  New York;  Newsweek;  Saveur

MAGAZINE SECTION:  This category recognizes the excellence of a regular, cohesive section of a magazine, either front- or back-of-book, and composed of a variety of elements, both text and visual.  The award honors the section’s voice, originality, and unified design and packaging.

Best Life;  Golf Digest;  Newsweek;  O, The Oprah Magazine;  Wired

REPORTING:  This category recognizes excellence in reporting.  It honors the enterprise, exclusive reporting and intelligent analysis that a magazine exhibits in covering an event, a situation or a problem of contemporary interest and significance.

Fast Company;  GQ (2 nominations);  The New York Times Magazine;  The New Yorker

PUBLIC INTEREST:  This category recognizes journalism that sheds new light on an issue of public importance and has the potential to affect national or local debate or policy.

Bicycling;  BusinessWeek;  Mother Jones;  Newsweek;  Vanity Fair

FEATURE WRITING:  This category recognizes excellence in feature writing.  The award honors the stylishness, flair and originality with which the author treats his or her subject.

The Atlantic;  Esquire;  GQ;  Harper’s Magazine;  The New Yorker

PROFILE WRITING:  This category recognizes excellence in profile writing.  The award honors the vividness and perceptiveness with which the writer brings his or her subject to life.

Esquire;  GQ;  The New York Times Magazine;  Rolling Stone;  Vanity Fair

ESSAYS:  This category recognizes excellence in essay writing on topics ranging from the personal to the political.  Whatever the subject, the award honors the author’s eloquence, perspective, fresh thinking and unique voice.

The Antioch Review;  Backpacker;  Glamour;  Harper’s Magazine;  The New Yorker

COLUMNS and COMMENTARY:  This category recognizes excellence in short-form political, social, economic or humorous commentary.  The award honors the eloquence, force of argument and succinctness with which the writer presents his or her views.

Automobile;  The Nation;  The New Republic;  The New Yorker;  Sports Illustrated

REVIEWS and CRITICISM:  This category recognizes excellence in criticism of art, books, movies, television, theater, music, dance, food, dining, fashion, products and the like.  The award honors the knowledge, persuasiveness and original voice that the critic brings to his or her reviews.

The Atlantic;  The Nation;  New York (2 nominations);  The New Yorker

FICTION:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine fiction writing.  The award honors the quality of a publication’s literary selections.

The American Scholar;  The New Yorker (2 nominations);  The Paris Review;  The Virginia Quarterly Review

PERSONAL SERVICE:  This category recognizes excellence in service journalism.  The advice or instruction presented should help readers improve the quality of their personal lives in areas that are core to their personal well-being.

Esquire;  Family Circle;  Health;  More;  Prevention

LEISURE INTERESTS:  This category recognizes excellent service journalism about leisure-time pursuits.  The practical advice or instruction presented should help readers enjoy hobbies or other recreational interests.

Esquire (2 nominations);  Field & Stream;  The New Yorker;  Texas Monthly

DESIGN:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine design.  The award honors the effectiveness of overall design, artwork, graphics and typography in enhancing a magazines unique mission and personality.

Bon Appétit;  Good;  GQ;  New York;  Wired

PHOTOGRAPHY:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine photography.  The award honors the effectiveness of photography, photojournalism and photo illustration in enhancing a magazines unique mission and personality.

Bon Appétit;  GQ;  National Geographic;  T, The New York Times Style Magazine;  W

PHOTOJOURNALISM: This category recognizes the informative photographic documentation of an event or subject in real-time.

Harper’s Magazine;  National Geographic;  The New York Times Magazine (2 nominations);  Time

PHOTO PORTFOLIO: This category honors creative photography and photo illustration (including portraiture or specially produced layouts on fashion, food, decorating, travel, design, the arts, etc.).

Bon Appétit;  GQ;  Gourmet;  The New Yorker;  W

GENERAL EXCELLENCE ONLINE:  This category recognizes  excellence in magazine websites, as well as online-only magazines that publish original content. The award honors sites that convey a distinct editorial identity and create a unique magazine environment on the Web.

1,000,000 and above average monthly unique visitors;;  National Geographic Magazine Online (; New York Magazine Online (;

Less than 1,000,000 average monthly unique visitors;;;;  Triple Canopy (

PERSONAL SERVICE ONLINE:  This category recognizes excellent service journalism on the Web. The practical advice or instruction presented should help readers  improve the quality of their personal lives or enjoy recreational pursuits. The category honors a site’s effective use of multimedia technology to deliver information that users can act on.;;;;

INTERACTIVE FEATURE:  This category recognizes an outstanding feature or section of a website that uses multimedia technology, tools, community platforms or other interactive formats to deliver or share content such as news, information and entertainment, rather than practical instruction or advice.

AARP The Magazine Online (;;  National Geographic Magazine Online (;;