Chicago Parent brings home 17 awards

Chicago Parent returned from the annual Parenting Media Association’s Design and Editorial Awards held in St. Petersburg, Florida this past weekend with 17 new awards to add to its name.

“Entries in this year’s contest demonstrate the impressive quality and ongoing commitment among these publications to provide parents across the country with important local resources and to entertain, inform and build community,” said Reuben Stern, who oversees the judging by faculty members at the Missouri School of Journalism. “The design and writing have become noticeably more sophisticated.”

Out of the 566 entries in the competition this year, Chicago Parent received six gold awards, six silver awards and five bronze awards for work appearing in 2018. Details about each award can be found below. Thank you to all our readers who have supported us over the years and we can’t wait to bring more exciting things in 2019! 


General Excellence: Dan Haley, publisher

The judges say: “Each publication is packed with information presented in an informative and entertaining way. Covers are outstanding; for example, the bullying cover and the inside package demonstrates excellent thinking and planning. The design is active without being intrusive. There is good use of narrative elements in the writing. Columns have original ideas. The end result is very professional.”

Ancillary Cover: “Going Places”; Claire Innes, Jacquinete Baldwin, Javier Govea, Thomas Kubik

“This cover is bright, cheerful and shows off planning and coordination. The color of the car and the shirt is powerful. The three cover lines have good hierarchy and depth. The model is posed quite well for the space, complete with flowers in the passenger seat. The image is well-composed with several layers yet still allowed good space for typography that blends well and communicates boldly.”

Column Humor: “Failing with Gusto”; Marianne Walsh, writer

“This is a no-holds-barred column in which even the writer isn’t immune to jabs at her own parenting gaffes. It’s not easy to make a reader laugh out loud, but that’s what happens with each essay.”

Personal Essay: “Lilah’s first haircut”; Brittany Farb Gruber

“The author uses a milestone in parenting—baby’s first haircut—as a symbol for how what parents hope and dream for their children, and for themselves, can change suddenly in the face of something truly life-changing, and, in this case, life-threatening. The essay is charged with the author’s honest fear, anger and self-reflection and shows how she changed as a parent.”

Best Blog/Bloggers: Natalie Dal Pra

“This blog features quick-hit, to-the-point listicles that are well-written and packed with information. Together they create a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the area.”

Best Use of Multimedia: “Masters in Parenting podcast: School Anxiety”; Hillary Bird

“The conversational format and extended discussion provide detail and context for parents that would not fit into a text-only format. The insightful interview with an expert on school anxiety provides a great example of the strength of audio, particularly around a topic parents may be trying to manage without knowing it even had a name.”


Website General Excellence:; Katina Beniaris, digital editor

“An amazingly comprehensive set of guides and evergreen stories for the entire metropolitan area are likely to keep people coming back to the site time and again. The site also includes great response to local news stories, keeping content refreshed and updated to reflect what’s happening in the local conversation.”

Calendar of Events: Hillary Bird, managing editor; Elizabeth Diffin, senior editor    

“This extensive calendar offers both a day-by-day listing as well as break-outs for special events. Lively writing brings the events to life.”

Humor Column: Viva Daddy”; Matt Boresi, writer

“The writer offers short-but-sweet anecdotes about the challenges and chuckles that come with raising a daughter who’s growing up far too quickly. It’s a personal read but likely to resonate with every parent.”

Ancillary Overall Design: “Going Places”; Claire Innes, Jacquinete Baldwin, Javier Govea, Thomas Kubik

“This is another good example of a small guide that feels larger than its physical size. The cover photo adds a sense of fun, and greets the reader with a smiling face. On the interior, nice details like drop caps and vertical dotted rules elevate the design, and help it feel like a larger publication. Punchy, yet restrained use of saturated magentas, and turquoise help give the layouts a bit of an edge, and feel more modern. Nice headline type treatments add to equation making the overall publication an engaging visual experience.”

Best E-Newsletter: “Weekend Picks”; Katina Beniaris, digital editor

“A modern-looking design features weekend events, seasonal stories, where to shop, where to eat, and relevant advertising.”

Best Use of Social Media: “Being Mind-full”; Katina Beniaris, digital editor, Hillary Bird, managing editor

“The back-to-school feature puts the power of words in the hands of children. The main story, published in print and online, asked children what they were thinking about as they returned to the classroom. The social media component, a series of portraits with each contributor’s hands open with their message written on them, serves as a poignant approach that brings mindfulness and pause to readers across platforms.”


Ancillary General Excellence: “Going Places – Summer”; Dan Haley, publisher    

“This digest-sized publication packs a lot of value into its pages. It balances well-written stories with event listings, and provides a comprehensive guide to summer in Chicago with kids. The design is organized and refined, and it has a lively voice throughout. Overall, it’s an engaging, useful publication.”

Profile: “Adelaide’s Shot”; Jerry Davich

“This is a heart-wrenching account of a couple’s struggle to deal with their newborn daughter’s epilepsy while the father tries to juggle a new role in the popular Broadway musical, ‘Hamilton.’ The result is a beautiful story of ambition, courage and compassion.”

Special Section Within A Publication: “Hey Baby”; Keely Flynn, Jackie McGoey, Taylor Wood

“Great tips for new urban parents in this lively section include navigating the Chicago Transit Authority with strollers. The section also offers some very clever ideas for Chicago-themed baby gifts.”

Overall Design: Claire Innes, Javier Govea, Jacquinete Baldwin    

“There’s a solid format for success in this design: dynamic photos, bold copy lead-ins, pull-quote, repeat. Everything feels really on-brand throughout the publication, and the design is fine-tuned to effectively and consistently pull readers into stories in each issue.”

Ancillary Overall Writing: “Going Places”; Tamara O’Shaughnessy, Hillary Bird   

“This publication is comprehensive and helpful. Readers definitely learn a lot about things they can do in the Chicago area. It’s the kind of guide that’s sure to get consulted regularly over the course of a summer.”

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