Last year, Jeremy and I used our last Printout of 2014 to name our magazines of the year. It was really fun and provided a great way to look back over the year’s best publishing, but of course the results could only represent our own opinions, and we made it clear that the selection was by no means exhaustive.
But that experience got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to do something more ambitious? Wouldn’t it be brilliant to bring together a top quality group of judges and have them rigorously debate the merits of the best independent magazines? And then wouldn’t it be brilliant to present the winning publishers with real awards at a real awards ceremony?
That’s exactly what we’re aiming to do with the Stack Awards 2015. I started work in early summer assembling a killer panel of judges drawn from the world of magazines and beyond, and they’re now ready and waiting to receive the best independent magazines in the world, across the following eight categories:
Magazine of the year (Jeremy Leslie and Ruth Jamieson)
Launch of the year (Steven Gregor and Malte Brenneisen & Urs Spindler)
Cover of the year (Steven Heller and Jaap Biemans)
Best use of photography (Clare Grafik and Ben Hillwood Harris)
Best use of illustration (Thomas James and Annabelle Fernandez)
Best information design (Duncan Swain and Teal Triggs)
Best original fiction (Evie Wyld and Alex Clark)
Best original non-fiction (Shazna Nessa and Lynn Barber)
They’ve all agreed to give their time for free, which means we’re able to keep the entry fee low. It only costs £30 to enter the Stack Awards, which is important because we want to receive the best work done by independent publishers everywhere, no matter how big or small.
So if you’re an independent magazine maker and you’d like to enter one of the categories, head over to the awards page and send us your application. The closing date for entries is Friday 9 October, but remember we need to have actually received your magazines by then, so don’t leave it until last minute. There won’t be any extensions of the deadline because we need to get the magazines packaged up and sent off to the judges around the world in time for them to do their bit.
I’m really excited to see where this goes, and I know that by the time we come to the awards ceremony on 30 November we’ll have arrived at a truly exceptional selection of magazines. Join us!