Stack Awards 2018: Best Original Non-Fiction

by Grace Wang in October 2018
Current affairs

For this category of the Stack Awards, we’re looking for the most exceptional interviews, reportage, and any other writing based on real events. Our judges are Rob Alderson, managing editor of WeTransfer, and Mike Dang, editor-in-chief of Longreads.

Read on to find out more about the 15 articles shortlisted in this category…

Anxy | Berkeley

Anxy magazine explores mental health and our inner worlds. In ‘This is What It’s Like When ICE Detains You’, Floricel Liborio Ramos comes to the editors after 11 months in detention, ready to dig into the story of what it means to find yourself at the sharpest point of America’s political anger. The non-fiction account she produced was intense, personal, and deeply moving.


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GIVEAWAY CLOSED We’re giving away THREE PAIRS of tickets to our Issue No. 3 release party in New York next Wednesday 10/10! You and a friend will get to meet our founder, Indhira Rojas, and talk to artists and writers who helped create The Boundaries Issue. To enter, just tag an Anxy friend in the comments below. We’ll pick winners this Friday 10/5. Best of luck! __________________________________________________ #mentalhealth #magazine #indiemagazine #printmagazine #publication #magazinedesign #mentalhealthmatters #psychology #selfawareness #selfcare #personalstories #photography #creativewriting #designinspiration #newyorkcity #nyc #weareanxy #nycevents #instagiveaway #freetickets

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Berlin Quarterly | Berlin

In ‘Sunrise in Bucharest’, William Ralston situates the clandestine birth of the now globally renowned genre of Rominimal music. The electronic sub-genre, against all odds, began under Romania’s communist dictatorship, which heavily censored both music production and performance. Any reader will walk away with a fresh understanding of recent Romanian history, as well as an appreciation for the commitment of the artists who defied Ceausescu’s policies.

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BQ7 is here! Order your copy now and get a special discount. Link in bio

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Borshch | Berlin

In conversation with techno producer Jeff Mills, writer Mariana Berezovska asked critical questions and received honest answers about stagnation and racism in the scene, stimulation of creativity, and the potential of techno to become a super genre.

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Out tomorrow in the shops and already available online! Also come celebrate with us at @paloma_bar_berlin from 6pm!

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Ecotone | North Carolina

Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s evocative essay “Monsoon and Peacock” moves from childhood visits to her grandparents’ home in India to her primary-school classroom in the United States.

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Summer lit, meet summer thunderstorm. #litmags #intherain #takingitoutside #sweetsummer #stayawhile

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Eye magazine | London

Writer Sarah Snaith profiles design director of the New York Times magazine Gail Bichler in this submission.

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#Eye96 #EyeSight Jason Ford’s commissioned illustrations for Eye 96 have inspired us to launch another ‘EyeSight’ competition on social media, for a chance to win a year’s subscription to Eye. (We last did this for Eye 85, when Richard Marston was the winner.) A few people have already taken their own versions of the cover picture, of a reader being drawn into a magazine, but this time we would like to broaden out the ‘EyeSight’ challenge. We invite you to recreate any of the pictures from ‘Anatomy of a magazine’ and post the result on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #Eye96 and #EyeSight. Be seeing you!

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Fare magazine | Glasgow

Fare is a magazine exploring the heart of a city’s culture through the intersection of its food, history, and communities. Helen Korpak’s story, ‘Arriving to Moscow’, offers an alluring glimpse into the absurdity of Soviet lifestyle, art, and nostalgia, at Helsinki bar ‘Café Moskova’.

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@stackmagazines have just posted a really nice interview with our editor, @benmervis, featuring some insight into the production of our Charleston issue, including the best dive bar burger and beer in town! Check out to read more #faremagazine #printisnotdead #indiemagazines #visitchs #chseats

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Forme | London

Forme is a new letterpress publication, typographically exploring science’s explanations of the world around us by committing ink to paper. ‘Untruth’ is the subject of the first issue, which looks at how we navigate a world riddled with misinformation and fake news. A commissioned feature from cognitive neuroscientist Neil Garrett reveals how our brains react to messages we suspect to be false and what motivates us to investigate them further, even when we know we’re being lied to.

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Forme is a new letterpress publication, typographically exploring science’s explanations of the world around us by committing ink to paper. Issue 01: Untruth available now link in bio. . . . #forme #independentpublishing #letterpress #editorialdesign #graphicdesign #printmaking #typography #typographyinspired #moveabletype #thedailytype #untruth #fakenews #alternativefacts #neuroscience

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Harvard Design Magazine | Cambridge

In ‘Rereading: Daniil Kharms, “A Man Had Left His Home One Day”’, Harvard Design Magazine asks two different thinkers — a historically relevant architect and a translator — to comment on a poem by Daniil Kharms. One annotates the piece through a storyboard while the other offers insight through literal annotation.

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Presenting "Into the Woods," the 45th issue of the Harvard Design Magazine. #HDM45 takes up the #woods as a natural and a cultural habitat, a physical resource, a site of extraction and of myth—and as an opportunity to examine the current moment in society and in design. More at #linkinprofile. — Contributions by noted critics and theorists including Milica Topalovic, Lawrence Buell, T. J. Demos, the GSD's Rosetta Elkin, Jack Halberstam, and Maria Tatar; practitioners Dogma, Alexander Brodsky, Dilip Da Cunha, Eelco Hooftman, and Paulo Tavares; as well as artists Tang Chang, Maria Thereza Alves, Janet Cardiff, and Bas Princen; anthropologists Anna Tsing and Eduardo Kohn; and philosopher Giorgio Agamben. #gsdpublications

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Nataal | London

‘Versage’ is the fruit of writer Allyn Gaestel’s long obsession with counterfeit fashion production between Nigeria and China. It’s easy to laugh at fake designer fashion but through Allyn’s eyes it’s equal parts empowering and saddening, speaking volumes about how globalisation affects and connects us all.

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Stacks of Nataal’s debut print magazine have been spotted on London’s most iconic newsstands. Issue 1, Future Gaze features exclusive stories with Edun (@edun), Young Fathers (@young_fathers) and Baloji (@baloji) and can be found in Wardour News, Artwords (@artwordsbookshop ), Mag Culture (@magculture) and the LNCC (@thelncc). #Nataalmedia #Nataalmagazine #independentmagazines #print #magazine #publishing #futuregaze #outnow

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Put A Egg On It | New York

Linda Sparrowe writes about her life as a student in America in the 1960s in ‘Resisting’. By taking us into her life as an active participant in a burgeoning anti-war movement, we see her teenage male friends who were terrified and all consumed with avoiding the draft, looking at what they ate and didn’t eat and how all of this affected them for the rest of their lives.

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What’s this!? Our 10th Anniversary issue just shipped to the printer! The fattest, juiciest issue ever. Out JUNE 21st!!! Subscribe before then to lock in our old cover price for as long as you subscribe! Link in our bio. Always free shipping in the U.S!!! @orawise on the cover shot by the cheeky @noahfecksisawesome #foodporn #foodmagazine #zine #putaneggonit #eggpals

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Racquet | New York

Ben Rothenberg’s ‘Loser’s Lunch’ bridges the worlds of intense sports fanship and literary non-fiction writing, while adding a layer of old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting.

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Introducing our new issue, Racquet No. 7, our homage to municipal tennis. Cover by @montagueprojects Available using the link in our bio. #graphicdesign #modernistdesign #modernism #tennis

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Rugby | London

As the name suggests, Rugby is dedicated to the sport with the funny-shaped ball. It’s particularly interested in uncovering the sport’s untold stories, in long-form articles that weave history with identity to transcend the sport.

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What's missing from your Sunday brunch table? Get Rugby journal issue 3 at

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Scamp | London

‘Where is Majela?’ by Oskar Oprey tries to track down the retired Youtube sensation, Majela ZeZe Diamond, aka The Queen of Vagina. Scamp’s ambition is to create a sort of cross between Viz and Vanity Fair, packed with glossy, in-depth, serious piss-taking.

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Congrats to Scamp's art director Jam @teleopath_ who has graduated from LCC. Catch his degree show this week and grab a Scamp.

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The Nib | New York

In this submitted story, Ted Closson shares a moving memoir about losing a newborn child. It is beautifully illustrated and powerfully told.

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We’re proud to unveil the cover of the Death issue by illustrator Oliver Hibert! Swipe over to see some of the cool stuff that’ll be included in the issue, and subscribe to our magazine – link in our bio!

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Weapons of Reason | London

In ‘Dirty Meats’, Maryn McKenna looks at how steak is contributing to the collapse of modern medicine, and why a child’s love for chicken nuggets might mean they will never take an effective course of antibiotics in their lifetime.

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It's here! The Food issue of Weapons of Reason is back from the printers and looking amazing! Filled with brilliant illustration, data-viz and journalism, it's on sale now and you can buy your own copy from @weaponsofreason is an award-winning #independentmagazine published by @humanafterallstudio in #London. #illustration #editorialillustration #editorialdesign #magazinedesign #graphicdesign #indiemags #print #food

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