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So what do People, Sports Illustrated, Better Homes and Gardens, Parade and Time have in common with The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Zoetrope, and National Geographic? Well, for starters, most of them use staples and all have pretty covers. But both above lists also represent recent magazine category award winners.

The first list had the highest national advertising revenue in recent months, while the other five each won Best National Magazine Writing Awards for 2001. The New Yorker actually walked away with five awards this year, from General Excellence to Profiles. Time placed in both "top" lists, selling $26 million worth of ads in August and copping the Best National Award for Public Interest Reporting. Curious to note is the fact that its parent company, AOL Time Warner, also had the nation's most popular Web sites, measured by total visitors (91.7 million), in the "At Work" and "At Home" categories for the same time period.Several editors scored multiple nominations in various fields in this year's NMAs. The New Yorker's David Remnick, Esquire's David Granger, and The American Scholar's Anne Fadiman dominated their fields. Fadiman was a finalist as a writer also. Does this mean these fine editors will see an ad revenue bump next month? Well, at least they'll still be publishing.

Local connections are worth noting. Jane Pratt, who edited the first ever Carolina Friends School yearbook, and is now editor-in-chief of Jane, received a General Excellence nomination, as did DoubleTake, formerly of Durham. Former Duke prof Henry Louis Gates Jr. received a nomination for General Excellence for his magazine, Transition. Remember that great Oxford American music issue a few month's back? Nominated often, it just missed the Special Interest Award this year.

Winning isn't everything. The print media world is a fickle one, and sometime awards are only as good as that little medallion sticker the publishers rush out for the next issue. The 1993 Best National Award winner for General Excellence, Lingua Franca, a darling of academia (gossip thrives in a postmodern world, too), just suspended publication. Despite General Excellence nominations in four of the last seven years, their circulation never rose above 15,000.News from local presses is more upbeat. Mental Floss, published by a roomful of former Dukies, just punched their on-the-stands numbers up to 20,000 for their recently shipped second issue. Nationally, MF sold thru 70 percent of their launch issue. Dialing ahead we may have more good news to announce. Two local magazines are starting up next month, testing the print media waters for salvation. Are you a writer, poet, photographer, graphic artist, or pop culture reviewer in need of a byline? Muzzle is Chapel Hill's newest literary magazine, now collecting submissions for their premiere issue. E-mail Casey with queries at submuzzle@hotmail.com. News From Below, a quarterly review of politics, culture and commerce published in Durham awaits your work, at newsfrombelow@earthlink.net. And a third magazine, Places ("for the new breed of traveler"), which has just launched its premiere issue, is making a home for itself in Chapel Hill. Check them out at www.PLACESmagazine.com

More by John Valentine


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