A year ago, Chicago Parent set out to share the stories of families living in what many call a national epidemic: the startling rise in numbers of children diagnosed with autism.
The response to the stories was overwhelming. Parents told us they wanted more, leading us to immediately begin work to launch a new magazine this summer, Chicago Special Parent, for parents of children with special needs.
Last month, at the annual Parenting Publications of America’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition, we received more confirmation that the package of stories got it right. Judges awarded Chicago Parent a gold in the news feature category among all regional parenting magazines 55,000 circulation and larger.
The gold award was one of 21 editorial, photography and design awards we collected in Little Rock, Ark., that night. Here are the others:
• Ancillary overall design: Going Places.
• Front cover illustration: Illustrator Cindy Tomczyk and Art Director Rebecca Lomax teamed up for January 2007’s cover on eating disorders.
• Best overall use of photography: Photo Editor Frank Pinc, Photographer Josh Hawkins and Senior Editor Liz DeCarlo.
• General Excellence: The judges wrote: "The magazine is full of informative and entertaining columns, stories and listings. They don’t shy from tough, controversial topics."
• Overall reporting: The judges wrote, "Compelling stories, driven by excellent interviews, personal accounts and expert sources make this magazine a must-read for Chicago-area parents. From practical advice for around the house, to ideas for daily activities, to deep examination of important social issues for parents and families, this magazine has it all."
• Column, Reviews: Fred Koch for his music reviews.
• Column, Family Matters: Susan Beacham for her Healthy Finances column.
• Personal essay: Aimee Chamernik for her essay on preparing her children for life without her as she battles Lou Gehrig’s disease.
• Cover photography: Photographer Josh Hawkins and Art Director Rebecca Lomax for the May 2007 cover, "Little Miss Perfect."
• Calendar design: Designer Bethany Vogelsberg.
• Feature layout/color: Designer Mark Tatera for his October design of "A Royal Phenomenon."
• Ancillary feature writing: Liz DeCarlo’s story on postpartum depression in the fall Chicago Baby magazine.
• Ancillary general excellence: Chicago Baby, led by Baby Editor Jennifer Gilbert.
• General feature writing: Jennifer Gilbert for her story about the struggles of children who are deaf, "Wanting to be heard."
• Special series: The War at Home by writer Jerry Davich, who wrote about the large number of Chicago schoolchildren killed last year.
• Design of Short Stuff: Designer Mark Tatara.
• Best overall use of color: Art Director Rebecca Lomax and designers Bethany Vogelsberg, Grace Park and Mark Tatara.
• Column, Child Development and Parenting Issues: Jennifer DuBose for her Parenting Isn’t for Sissies column.
• Ancillary cover: Fall Chicago Baby.
• Ancillary overall writing: Fall Chicago Baby.