The Stack Awards 2016
Still the world’s only awards scheme created exclusively for independent magazines, the latest Stack Awards were our biggest and best yet, attracting more than double the number of entries received in our inaugural year.
Entries opened in July and closed on 7 October 2016, and we received over 390 submissions from independent publishers around the world. The shortlists were announced on 17 October, and we had a successful day of judging at the Ace Hotel, looking for the most exciting and inspiring work published between October 2015 and September 2016.
Winners were announced at our ceremony on 29 November, and you can click on the categories below to see the full lists of shortlisted magazines, read more about our judges, and watch videos about our winning and commended titles.
Angharad Lewis is a writer, editor and lecturer based in London, specialising in the fields of design, culture and publishing. She is co-editor of Grafik.net and contributes to a number of international publications. Angharad has also contributed to and authored a number of books, including, most recently, So You Want To Publish a Magazine, published by Laurence King. She is a lecturer in Visual Communication, runs a publishing-themed studio and is Course Leader in BA Design for Publishing at The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University.
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator and brand strategist. She is host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters, the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the world’s first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts; the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine and President Emeritus of AIGA. She is the author of six books on design and branding.
After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. Evie’s second novel, All the Birds, Singing, won the Miles Franklin Award, the Encore Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. In 2013 she was included on Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists list, and her graphic memoir Everything Is Teeth was published in 2015.
A well-known literary journalist and broadcaster, Alex writes for the Guardian and the Observer. She is a regular on Radio 4, chairs numerous literary events and is an experienced judge of literary awards, including the 2008 Man Booker prize. She lives in London and is an Arsenal fan.
Christoph Amend is the editor-in-chief of ZEITmagazin and publisher of ZEIT’s art magazine Weltkunst. ZEITmagazine’s international issue, a bi-annual in English, was launched in 2013, and ZEITmagazin MANN, a bi-annual stand alone men’s magazine, was launched in 2016. Before joining DIE ZEIT, Amend was the editor of the Sunday supplement of Der Tagesspiegel and deputy editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung jetzt-Magazin. He also started writing a daily newsletter this Spring – to subscribe, visit zeitmagazin.de
Director of journalism at Knight Foundation, Shazna has more than 17 years of newsroom experience, with beginnings in internet technology and design. She was previously deputy managing editor at the Associated Press in New York, overseeing editorial products and innovation. She has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
Derek is a writer and illustrator, and has co-authored three titles on illustration with Jo Davies: Becoming A Successful Illustrator, Understanding Illustration and their first book, Making Great Illustration, which discussed illustrators’ process. As projects manager at the Association of Illustrators he produces Varoom illustration magazine, and campaigns for illustrators’ rights.
Cath Caldwell is Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and author of two books; Editorial Design for Lawrence King, and Winning Portfolios for Quarto. She is a former editorial art director, working at Observer London, Conde Nast Traveler in New York and at Hearst Magazines UK as Design Director for ELLE UK and ELLE Decoration.
The owner of Artwords, the London bookshop specialising in publications on the visual arts, media and culture, Ben has been involved in books and publishing since the 1990s, previously managing the Serpentine Gallery’s book sales and publications.
Siobhán Bohnacker is a Senior Photo Editor at The New Yorker, where she commissions original photography for the magazine, is responsible for the art direction of the New Yorker’s award-winning short fiction section and both writes and curates stories on photography for newyorker.com. Prior to joining The New Yorker, she worked as a Photo Editor at The New York Times Magazine, and from 2009-2012 was the in-house producer for portrait photographer, Platon. Siobhán is a graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art.
The former art director of the New York Times Book Review, Steven is the current co-chair of SVA’s MFA Design: Designer as Author and Entrepreneur programme. He is the author of over 170 books, including Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the 20th Century and 100 Classic Graphic Design Magazines (with Jason Godfrey). His most recent book is Graphic Design Rants and Raves.
The guy behind Coverjunkie.com, ‘an addiction to creative magazine covers you wanna lick’, Jaap is also art director of Volkskrant Magazine, and earlier this year he was named Art Director of the Year in the Netherlands.
Rob Alderson is managing editor of WeTransfer, where he curates the background images given to artists and designers and oversees the This Works blog. Previously he was editor-in-chief of It’s Nice That and has written for the likes of BBC.com, The Guardian, Dezeen and Creative Review.
Andrew Losowsky was the co-curator of the Colophon magazine festival, and the editor/co-editor of several books including We Love Magazines, We Make Magazines, Visual Storytelling and Fully Booked: Ink on Paper. A former John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, he is currently Project Lead on The Coral Project for Mozilla, creating open-source tools to build better communities around journalism.
Malte and Urs
Malte Brenneisen and Urs Spindler are two of the founders of the editorial and design studio “Die Brueder”. Their love of publications produced outside the mainstream led them to create indiemags.de, an archive of independent magazines, and Indiecon, an annual festival for independent magazines. They also publish gentle rain, a ‘glocal’ city magazine about Hamburg.
The London-based freelance art director and editorial designer has worked at The Guardian and Observer newspapers, WIRED, Esquire, Newsweek, and Mr Porter. Steven is also the editor of Gym Class, a bi-annual printed magazine about magazines and the people who make them.
An educator, historian and writer, Professor Teal Triggs is associate dean in the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art. She also teaches on MA programmes within the school and has extensive experience in supervising visual communication, design criticism and information experience design.
Casey Caplowe is co-founder and chief creative officer of GOOD. Since GOOD began in 2006, Casey has helped to build and shape the look, feel, and voice of the brand and all its creations. Under Casey’s direction, GOOD’s products have been widely recognised and acclaimed, including several National Magazine Award nominations and various Webbys. Prior to GOOD, Casey worked on two concurrent startup apparel ventures; Sport Science and Outdoor People. He is a graduate of Brown University.
Jeremy Leslie leads the magCulture studio, dividing his time between designing, consulting and writing. He’s a passionate advocate for editorial design, has written several books about the subject, and the magCulture online Journal is a key source of news and opinion. He organises the annual ModMag conferences in London and New York and runs the magCulture shop, home of the monthly magCulture Meets evenings.
Gail Bichler is the design director of The New York Times Magazine. Her work is in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago and has been recognised by D&AD, the Art Director’s Club (ADC), the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA), The Type Directors Club (TDC), and American Illustration. In 2016 the Society of Publication Designers (SPD) named The New York Times Magazine their Magazine of the Year.
The judging process
The judges had a little over a month to read, live with and fully ingest the magazines, and delivered their verdicts at the judging day in London on Thursday 17 November.
Shortlisted publishers were invited to meet the judges at a party to mark the end of the judging process, and all shortlisted magazines were placed on display to the public in our pop-up lending library at Somerset House on Saturday 26 November.
And finally, the winners and commendations were announced at our awards ceremony at The Book Club in London on Tuesday 29 November.
What do you define as an independent magazine?
We’re working to the definition suggested at Indiecon 2014: “The chiefs are the makers – the people who take care of the financial decisions are responsible for the magazine’s content or design”. If you’d like to check whether your magazine qualifies under this definition, please drop us a line.
Does my magazine have to be in English?
The awards will be judged in English because it’s the common language of the judges. Non-English magazines are welcome, except for in the Best Original Fiction and Best Original Non-Fiction categories, which must be written in English. But even in our other categories, please bear in mind that the judges will probably have limited understanding of non-English text.
Why do you need three copies of my magazine?
Each category has three judges – two expert judges and a Stack judge. All shortlisted magazines will be sent to the judges, so we need three copies of all magazines submitted.
Can I enter the awards on behalf of somebody else’s magazine?
No – the Stack Awards are intended as a celebration of the best independent magazines, and we want to work directly with those magazine makers. If you’re a writer, photographer or illustrator and you want to have your work considered, you’ll need to persuade the people who published your work to enter it for you.
How many magazines will be shortlisted?
The Cover of the year category will be shortlisted to a maximum of 20 magazines, which will be sent on to the judges. All other categories will be shortlisted to a maximum of 15 magazines, which will be sent on to the judges.
When will the shortlists be announced?
The shortlists will be announced on the Stack site on Monday 17 October.
How many magazines will win?
Each category will have one winner, and up to two commendations.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 29 November at The Book Club in London.
How do I buy tickets to the awards ceremony?
All shortlisted magazines will be offered the opportunity to buy tickets once the shortlists have been announced on Monday 17 October. Any remaining tickets will go on general sale via the Stack site on Monday 07 November.
What will happen to the magazines afterwards?
All magazines left over at the end of the process will be sold and the proceeds donated to charity. Last year our Magazines For Good sale raised over £1,400 for L’Auberge des Migrants in Calais.