Stack Awards 2019: Editor of the Year

by Kitty Drake in November 2019
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Editor of the Year is the award for a clear and original vision. The writing across every magazine in this category is superb, but the prize will go to the publication with that certain, almost indefinable magic. Our judges are Adam Moss, legendary ex-editor of New York magazine, and Ekow Eshun, the chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group and the former director of the ICA. What they’re looking for is a magazine that feels unique, and cohesive, and whole.

Scroll down to see the full shortlist.

Above Sea Level | London

Avoiding traditional wine journo pitfalls — pretension and incomprehensible terminology — Above Sea Level focuses on the people and places behind wines.

Buffalo Zine | London

The theme for the ninth issue of the satirical fashion title is imitation. There are nine alternative covers, each one ripping off a different fashion great. All devastating, our personal favourite is the pastiche of 032c (09Bz), which depicts a strange, trench-coated man apparently levitating a model.


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Fare | London

A food-focused travel magazine, Fare’s fifth issue spotlights Glasgow. It’s a significant moment for editor Ben Mervis: “this is the city that I feel made me”. Challenging the typical fried foods cliche, Fare eats its way through a vibrant, community-based culture.

Fiddler’s Green | Berkeley, CA

Named after the legendary afterlife, Fiddler’s Green is a magazine of “practical magic”. Editor Clint Marsh has taken his childhood anxieties and concerns and translated them into whimsical philosophies for present-day life.


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Flaneur | Berlin

Made on location in Taipei, this issue of Flaneur tells the stories of a place that finds itself at a crossroads: Kangding Road / Wanda Road. The magazine begins in Ghost Month, when ghosts are believed to come from the lower realm to visit the living. Weaving together folklore, reportage and conversations overheard in bars, the beauty of this magazine is its attention to the minutiae of a place, and the people who make it.


Kajet | Bucharest

Kajet is a journal of Eastern European encounters. Themed “On Struggle”, issue three is a rich and sometimes difficult look at the way Eastern Europe is demonised by the West. Struggle is conceptualised as a wonderful thing, too: a way of dismantling oppression and refiguring the world.


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Kennedy | Athens

Kennedy’s tenth issue is an ode to its editor’s home: Greece. Sun soaked and painfully nostalgic, the wonderful things inside this magazine include a yacht called “Guilty” and a photo series inspired by the once glorious, now abandoned, Xenia hotels.



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MacGuffin | Amsterdam

Every issue of MacGuffin is themed around just one object. This time its trousers; not so much a garment as “a mirror of power and desire”. Uniting Shia LaBeouf, Umberto Eco and the Marlboro man, one fascinating idea that underpins all the content here is that what we wear to cover the space between our butt cracks and our ankles profoundly affects how we feel and behave.


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Mal | London

Mal, short for “malcontent”, is a journal of sexuality and erotics. Issue 4 is themed ‘Real Girls’ and includes new work by Chris Kraus, Luke Brown and Natasha Stagg. ‘Beyond Criticism’, a short story about complicity and #MeToo, is shortlisted for Best Original Fiction.

Nataal | London

Enormous and uber-glossy, Nataal celebrates global African creativity. Highlights in issue 2 include interviews with Neneh Cherry and Little Simz. There’s also a short, elegant essay by Adjoa Armah about the significance of being well-dressed in Ghana.



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Port | London

A biannual style magazine, Port’s twenty-fourth issue features Samuel L Jackson, speaking to award-winning short-fiction writer ZZ Packer, about race and building characters. Port prides itself on the quality of its features; the commentary section is guest edited by Sylvia Whitman, of Shakespeare & Co in Paris, and has new writing from Jeanette Winterson and Deborah Levy.


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Rugby | London

This Rugby World Cup year, editor Alex Mead chose not to cover tactics and review matches, but to investigate the rugby diaspora instead. This seventh issue features survivors of the Rwandan genocide, match culture on an Israeli kibbutz, and a mud-drenched 11-year-old fan.


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The Nib | Portland, OR

Created by Pulitzer prize-finalist Matt Bors, The Nib uses comics to tell non-fiction stories about the world. The Empire issue features comics on the colonial roots of cheese pimiento, Amazon, and a fantasy timeline of Nib-world-domination, where the magazine buys the “failing New York Times”, and tricks a senile Rupert Murdoch into signing over 21st Century Fox.



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Tinted Window London

In an act of obsessive love, Tinted Window dedicated their entire debut issue to esoteric French artist Hervé Guibert. Credited with playing a considerable role in changing French public attitudes to AIDS, from the time of his diagnosis in 1988, Guibert set out to record his life and dissect it.


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Weapons of Reason London

The AI issue of Weapons of Reason took a subject often presented in sensationalist or Sci-fi terms and offered something new and illuminating. It showed AI isn’t about killer robots in a distant future, it’s about balancing personal freedoms and human rights with technological advancement in the present day.


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Winners will be announced on November 14 at the Stack Awards ceremony at Somerset House. Tickets are available now.

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