Chicago Parent wins 11 national awards

Chicago Parent came home with 11 awards at this past weekend’s national Parenting Media Association’s annual Editorial and Design Awards. The contest received 566 entries for magazines issues and digital products across the country.


Judges particularly noted the strength of Chicago Parent’s digital efforts lead by Digital Editor Katina Beniaris. won bronze for Website General Excellence. Judges noted, “This site does a nice job of providing a resource for parents all over Chicagoland, showing a clear understanding of the breadth of the city’s neighborhoods, people and activities. No parent should be left without activity ideas after looking through the many options. The interactive calendar is especially useful.”

Chicago Parent’s social channels won gold for Best Use of Social Media. The judge wrote: “Parents scrolling through Facebook and Instagram can’t help but appreciate the video tours of museum exhibits and attractions. … Static posts use strong photography and creative captions to showcase each edition’s highlights.”

The weekly Thursday newsletter, Weekend Picks, won silver in the Best Newsletter category. Sign up to see for yourself how this great newsletter can help you plan your weekend with the kids.

Managing Editor Hillary Bird’s podcast, Masters in Parenting, brought home gold for Best Use of Multimedia. Judges called it a “gem” where no topic or question is off limits. The podcast is currently on hiatus, but past topics can be found at, iTunes and Spotify.


In print, judges awarded Chicago Parent three gold awards, three silver awards and one bronze award.


Writer Lori Orlinsky’s profile of 7-year-old LGBTQ advocate Ella McCord won for best Profile. “This profile illuminates how this new law affects one person, but is useful reading for all parents.,” the judge wrote.

Marianne Walsh’s monthly Failing with Gusto column has been popular with judges for years in the Humor Column category. Here’s what this year’s judge wrote: “In a world of uber-“woke”, hyper-competitive, by-the-book parenting, the author delivers a disarmingly brash, self-deprecating and often hilarious takedown of modern parenting and kid culture. Instead of waxing admiringly on “model parents,” she humorously interrogates cultural trends that make the work of today’s parents more slippery and headache-inducing than ever, from helping with “new math” homework to preparing the little ones for sex ed at school. The author embodies today’s real American mom: overworked, undervalued, and infinitely loving.”

A touching essay for Edward “Ned” Smith last summer, So Many Questions, won for Personal Essay. Smith, the dad of four young children diagnosed with brain cancer, was seeking help from readers to anticipate the questions his children might ask so that he could record his advice to them.


Chicago Special Parent won for Ancillary General Excellence. Judges noted its easy-to-navigate resources and relevant stories. It also won silver for Overall Writing, with particular mention of the annual publication’s strong focus on local resources and parents.

In Chicago Parent, judges also like the robust print calendar, created monthly by Bird, for its strong content in meeting readers’ needs. Bird also manages the online calendar and fun event roundups, adding events daily to help readers find the best things to do in Chicagoland.


Writer Jerry Davich’s News Feature, Ground Zero, last August about Mothers Against Senseless Killings’ efforts to fight violence through education, impressed the judges for it balance of statistics and personal anecdotes.

Professor Reuben Stern of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism oversaw the judging in the annual awards. 

“This year’s winning entries once again showcase the PMA publications’ strength in offering practical and frank advice on tough subjects, as well as extensive suggestions for off-the-radar activities that expand children’s horizons,” he said in a news release. 

“Amid a sea of questionable material online, these articles are packed with reliable information from experts and primary sources. The stories also validate and inspire parents by giving a window into the lives of others dealing with similar challenges.”

Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.

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