is best

When it comes to one of the best parenting websites in the nation, Chicago area families don’t have to look far. was awarded a national Parenting Media Association Gold award Friday night during the annual PMA editorial and design awards that saw 560 entries this year.

The awards came at the conclusion of the annual conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., at which Chicago Parent staff members learned new ways to help parents find the very best resources and information.

Lead by Digital Editor Jackie McGoey and Katina Beniaris, assistant digital content manager, judges said’s “original reporting is timely and plays to the regional nature of the market. Everything from community calendar to the directory resources reflect the geographic, economic and religious diversity that is key to serving the Chicagoland area.”

In addition, judges awarded Gold to Chicago Parent’s use of social media to reach parents “in a fun and playful way” while its use of multimedia brought home a Silver award. Blogger Michelle Elfvin was deemed best blogger among magazines with 45,000+ circulation for her “engaging voice with a fluid writing style that makes the posts accessible.”

In total, Chicago Parent brought home 16 awards across all categories, including editorial, design, ancillary publications and general excellence.

“Our awards recognize the best work done in our industry,” PMA President Mary Cox says. “Our member publications engage with families throughout the United States, Canada and Australia, be it through print, websites, email, social media and events. Our collective goal is to making parenting easier – after all, it’s the most important job in the world – and even more of a fun ride.”

Other winners included:


Humor Column: Failing with Gusto – Marianne Walsh, columnist

Judges wrote: “Breezy writing reveals the humor found in decidedly unfunny situations such as parenting spats or the blame game. The personable stories serve as a reminder not to take it all too seriously. “

Ancillary overall writing: Hey Baby, Chicago Parent’s joint effort with Bump Club and Beyond

Judges wrote: This is chock full of local tips and fun features for Chicago parents. The Bucket List for Chicago babies is an entertaining feature filled with great ways to craft an adventure and be part of the city. The advice to remember feature and articles on setting up a nursery and tips on what to bring to the hospital are filled with useful information and the “mompreneurs” feature adds more of that Chicago voice that makes this publication great.

Ancillary design: Summer Going Places – Claire Innes, art director; Jacquinete Baldwin and Javier Govea, editorial designers; Thomak Kubik, photographer

Judges wrote: “Small can be powerful – it requires attention to detail in typography. Good design in small spaces demands tight organization, efficient use of space, and this book does it very well. The layout is attractive, and the pictures used well within the confines of the book. There’s a consistency to the work here that serves the reader well.”

Family fun column: Inside Voice – Keely Flynn, columnist

Judges wrote: “The writer’s voice adds expertise and personality to these themed stories about Chicagoland activities that become memorable family experiences. There’s levity to the writing that makes it a fun read as well as a useful one.”

Overall writing: Chicago Parent staff, writers and freelancers

Judges wrote: “The sheer volume of content in Chicago Parent is impressive enough, but the quality of the writing takes it to the top. Its columnists are eloquent, its reporters are thorough and its editors ensure clean copy on every page.”

Table of contents: Claire Innes, art director; Jacquinete Baldwin and Javier Govea, editorial designers


Profile: “Meet Papa Bear” – Elizabeth Diffin, senior editor

Calendar: Elizabeth Diffin, senior editor

Department design: ‘Best in Chi’ – Claire Innes, art director; Jacquinete Baldwin and Javier Govea, editorial designers

Ancillary feature writing: Chicago Special Parent, “It’s all Perspective” – Jerry Davich, freelance writer

Ancillary cover: Chicago Special Parent – Thomas Kubik, photographer


Special section: ‘Back to School’ – Claire Innes, art director; Jacquinete Baldwin and Javier Govea, editorial designers; Thomak Kubik, photographer

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