Chicago Parent a winner at Parent Media Awards


Stephanie Beischer’s illustration for the August 2011 Chicago Parent story on gender identity. Click to open a larger version of the image.

From its website to design, to stories and columns, Chicago Parent is a winner. The judges told us so. The magazine earned 21 finalist awards – in eight cases first place, as well as gold and silver – Saturday night as the Parenting Media Association wrapped up its annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“It is gratifying that the judges really got what Chicago Parent is all about – recognizing in their comments our voice as a trusted friend for parents and a credible source of information that focuses on real people and real issues in our communities,” Editor Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy says. “Our staff, from advertising sales representatives, to our editors and freelance writers, to our designers and the people who deliver our magazines, is dedicated to being the best resource for parents. We are thankful the judges recognize that effort.”

The digital awards were especially significant this year, O’Shaughnessy says.‘s success with readers can literally be measured by the number of people visiting the site and the number of page views, both of which have reached an all-time high. Our bloggers and our stories are engaging parents like never before, while our online calendar continues to be the number one resource for parents in Chicago looking for something fun to do with their kids.”

Readers can expect more initiatives, such as This is Science, more blogs and more reader interaction in the coming year, she says.

A panel of 22 judges reviewed the 840 entries in the competition, awarding 128 Editorial and Design awards and 30 General Excellence awards. Chicago Parent’s awards were:

Our Going Places fall Guide to Gourds also won design awards. Click to open a larger version of the image.

  • Winner, website design
  • Winner, website content
  • Silver, website general excellence

“Sometimes there’s something small that can set a site apart from others. In this case, we love the prominently displayed search box and the nicely phrased, “What can we help you find?” It gives the user the sense that they are cared about. Using that search box, the content we searched for (underage drinking) was from the site, not outside sources, which we liked. Good use of the advantages of Internet such as multimedia, blogging, Web-only content, etc. Lots of interaction with their audience via social media and events such as the Parent Panel and comments on individual stories,” the judges wrote.

  • Ancillary publications
  • Ancillary general excellence, Gold, Chicago Special Parent
  • Ancillary feature design,Winner, Going Places, Fall 2011, Your Guide to Gourds
  • Ancillary feature writing,Winner, Chicago Special Parent, Spring 2011, A boy’s best friend, a story about Patrick Maresh and his service dog Mary Lou by former Web Editor Liz Hoffman
  • Ancillary cover, Chicago Parent Going Places, Spring 2011
  • Ancillary overall design, Going Places, Fall 2011
  • Ancillary overall writing, Chicago Special Parent


  • Winner, Overall Reporting

Judges wrote: “A great lineup every issue: Strong regular columnists, fascinating story choices and informativecalendars. Subjects like gender diversity and the “R” word are two of unusual stories that are tackled inmeaningful and substantive ways. Besides a strong community focus, Chicago Parent promotes understandingon a number of difficult issues. Parents need a credible place to go for important information, and ChicagoParent is that destination.”

The R Word, in our November issue of Chicago Parent, was specifically mentioned in our award for general excellence. Click to open a larger version of the image.
  • Calendar of Events, monthly section edited by Assistant Editor Elizabeth Diffin
  • Column: Humor,Chicago Parent “My Funny Life,” a monthly column by Christopher Garlington
  • Profile, “ Monkey See, Monkey Do,” a story by Senior Editor Liz DeCarlo on Lincoln Park Zoo researchers who are also parents
  • News Feature, “The R Word,” a story by Robyn Monaghan on a local effort to stop people from using the offensive word “retard”
  • Service Feature, “Embrace Your Inner Thrill Seeker,” a story by Kelly James-Enger on taking risks in your life


  • Overall design
  • Original interior illustration, Winner, “Boy or Girl” illustration by Stephanie Beischer for a story on gender identity
  • Special section, “Back to School” August, designed by former Art Director Rebecca Lomax
  • Feature layout, “Passion Plays,” the February 2011 package of stories on parents and their relationships
  • Briefs/Short Stuff, “Your Life,” April and October 2011
  • Calendar of Events

PMA is a national trade association of regional parenting publications that reaches from Seattle to Boston and from Minneapolis to Miami, and to Canada and Australia.


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