Judges say Chicago Parent rocks (and who are we to disagree?)

Well, we’re just back from D.C. and Chicago Parent brought home the top award — General Excellence — in the annual Parenting Publications of America competition. That makes us first among peers in regional parenting magazines from across the country.

The gold for general excellence was just one of 20 awards Chicago Parent earned for its magazine, ancillary pubs, design and for our ever-growing website.

“It is an honor we are very proud of receiving,” says Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy, our long-time editor. “We’ve made a lot of changes to the magazine this year and the website is always being improved. So it is gratifying to have that effort recognized by the PPA.”

In addition to general excellence for the monthly magazine, Chicago Parent also took top honors for our Chicago Special Parent, our twice-a-year empowerment guide for families with children with special needs. ChicagoParent.com won three top awards including the top prize for best design.

“Chicago Parent has been part of PPA for nearly all of our 25 years,” says Dan Haley, our publisher. “And we’ve brought home the top prize several times. But this year feels especially great because we are hitting our stride in all the areas we want to serve Chicago parents. The magazine is better than ever. Our special projects like Going Places and Special Parent are powerful, positive publications. And ChicagoParent.com just keeps getting better and bigger. It all makes me very proud of the people who make this happen.”


  • General excellence. “Great writing is something Chicago Parent can brag that it carries in spades,” judges from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism wrote. Whether it’s a news article, a personal essay or a tips package, the writing is tight, lively and well-edited throughout. Visuals, especially environmental portraits and photo illustrations, are creative and engaging. Overall, this was the highest-quality publication in a field full of strong entries.”
  • Ancillary general excellence, Chicago Special Parent
  • Front cover, original photo, March 2010 cover of the Boogey Monster, designed by Mark Tatara and photographed by Liz DeCarlo.
  • Short stuff/briefs, design, led by Art Director Rebecca Lomax and designers Mark Tatara and Jamie Sebold
  • Calendar of events, both for design and editorial content, edited by DeCarlo and Calendar Editor Peggy Haley, designed by Lomax, Sebold and Tatara
  • Feature writing, “When War Hits Home,” February 2010 issue, written by Web Editor Liz Hoffman, DeCarlo and O’Shaughnessy
  • Website design, led by Hoffman and Manager of Internet and Technology Graham Johnston


  • Special section, design, “Back to School,” August 2010, led by Lomax
  • Service feature, “The Gift of Criticism?” by Kelly James-Enger
  • Overall reporting
  • Ancillary cover, summer issue of Going Places, designed by Lomax and photographed by DeCarlo
  • Ancillary feature writing, Chicago Special Parent, “Danny’s Touchdown,” story by DeCarlo
  • Ancillary overall writing, Chicago Special Parent
  • Website content, led by Hoffman and Johnston


  • Overall design, led by Lomax, Tatara and Sebold
  • Short stuff/briefs, editorial, edited by DeCarlo
  • News feature, “For Rent: No Kids” by Robyn Monaghan
  • Overall writing
  • Website general excellence, led by Hoffman and Johnston

Overall, the panel of 25 judges reviewed 915 entries from 75 publications to choose the winners in each category.

Established in March 1988, PPA is a national trade association of regional parenting publications representing more than 116 parenting magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and Australia. For more information about PPA, visit www.parentingpublications.org.

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