The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies announced June 17at its national convention in San Diego that City Newspaper won four writing awards for its 2004 content. With that many AAN awards --- the most we've received in our history --- City was among the leading recipients in its circulation category (under 50,000).
Freelance writer Jennifer Loviglio won first place for column writing for "The XX Files." Judge Randy Kennedy, who worked 11 years as a reporter for The New York Times, praised Loviglio's "very skillful use of personal anecdotes to make important political and cultural points" and her "fine writing, restrained when it needs to be and lyrical when the subject calls for it." He thought her column, "Tainted Love," about the anxiety she and her husband suffer after he gets a needle stick at work, was especially well done. "Does she know how good she is?" asked Colbert I. King, deputy editorial page editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post. "It's not the subject but what she does with it that makes her columns a great read," he said. "I shouldn't like '[Expletive Deleted],'" which is about her children's endeavor to get her to stop swearing, "but I loved it."
Erica Curtis, City Newspaper's features editor, won second place in special sections for the Best of Greater Rochester 2004 issue. Carol Goodhue, former special-sections editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, liked the way "The Best of Greater Rochester" balanced the "Alienated Nation" post-presidential election analyses in the front of the book with the light "Best of" listings by readers and critics. "'Best of' sections are always tough; after all, how many times can one reinvent the wheel?" asked Holly Andren, special sections editor for Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine. Curtis, she said, rose to the challenge, taking a nice creative approach to the readers' choice awards.
Food critic Adam Wilcox earned third place for food writing for his "Gut Instincts" reviews. Judge Corby Kummer, a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly and three-time James Beard journalism award winner, praised Wilcox's "lively writing." Sally Bernstein, the manager and editor of www.sally's-place.com, called Wilcox's articles "good and clear."
And freelance writer Rich Gardner received an honorable mention in the arts feature category for his January 28, 2004, cover piece "Seeking Son House." Lisa Fung, arts editor for the Los Angeles Times, praised Rich Gardner's story of his search for disappeared bluesman Eddie J. "Son" House Jr. with these words: "First person works well in this story. A lot of legwork obviously went into the reporting, but it's nice that the writer doesn't flaunt that."