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At last: the Magazine of the Year

by Galynn Nordstrom

It’s been discussed, debated and dissected for several years, and finally adopted to grace this year’s MMPA Awards Gala in November: the new Magazine of the Year Award, MMPA’s highest honor.

The award is a cumulative honor, tracking awards results all the way back to the founding of MMPA’s annual awards competition in 1996. Every award that a magazine has won since then will be figured into the total: Gold, 3 points; Silver, 2 points; Bronze, 1 point. The magazine with the most cumulative points wins, and becomes the current—and this year, the first—MMPA Magazine of the Year. It’s a way to recognize publications that consistently produce high-quality, award-winning work.

The Exhibitor Group’s Travis Stanton, a long-time member of the awards committee, came up with the logistics for the award and presented it to the MMPA board of directors, who approved his proposal to add a crowning moment to this year’s excellence awards presentations. There were several very compelling reasons to create this top award, according to Stanton.

“For the finalists, it’s the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of writing, designing, publishing and circulating magazines that repeatedly take home gold, silver and bronze awards in MMPA’s annual Excellence Awards competition. In a sense, it’s a little like a lifetime achievement award, but instead of recognizing one person’s individual efforts, it recognizes the collective talents of the entire organization,” he commented.

There’s no separate entry procedure for this award—simply keep entering your best work into the competition each year, and your totals will be calculated automatically, moving you up the ranks of the competition. And to make sure that every magazine, of any size, ultimately has an opportunity to become the Magazine of the Year—once a magazine wins the award, that magazine’s numerical score reverts to zero, and the process starts all over.

The first-ever MMPA Magazine of the Year award will be presented as the finale of this year’s Awards Gala, Thursday, November 4—which for the first time ever will be held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, on the river in Minneapolis. Fresh food, delectable wines, a classy new venue, and an evening spent recognizing excellence, culminating with this year’s single top winner, serenaded by a cavalcade of rampant accordions. (Maybe.)

The names of this year’s top five candidates for the Magazine of the Year Award will be announced soon. But on November 4, there will be only one.

©Josh P. Roberts