Two more categories of Pacemaker finalists have been announced, with Online and Literary Magazine Pacemakers joining the print and interactive Yearbook Pacemaker finalists announced earlier. Winners of all these contests will be announced for the first time at the Anaheim convention in April.
Following are links to the finalists’ lists, with judges’ comments and other information provided courtesy of Marisa Dobson, NSPA contest and critique coordinator:
The NSPA Online Pacemaker competition has become increasingly competitive over the last three years. We received 50 entries for 2008, up from 46 in 2007 and 35 in 2006. This year’s entries were judged by the online editorial team at DesMoinesRegister.com. The Des Moines Register is an award-winning publication, garnering 15 Pulitzer prizes over the years. The judging team selected ten Online Pacemaker finalists. The web sites were judged based on excellence in site content, site design, ease of navigation, interactivity and quality of writing/editing. The judges released these comments about their Pacemaker finalist selections: “The best online entries had a few things in common. They effectively used multimedia (videos, photos, blogs) as a storytelling tool. They allowed users to comment on the sites. The pages were well organized. Their writing and photography stood out far above the rest.”
The 2007 Literary Magazine Pacemaker contest was judged by the editor of Rain Taxi Review. A multiple Utne Independent Press Award winner, Rain Taxi is a widely circulated alternative publication for literary criticism. Our judge provided NSPA with excellent comments on the winning selections. “Judging these high school literary magazines for the prestigious Pacemaker Award was an exceedingly difficult task, for so many of these journals exhibited excellence on so many levels. Some of the entrants, like Maret Literary & Visual Arts and Fayetteville’s Connotations, offered copious (though well-ordered) displays of fine work; others, like Newton’s Medley and Oxford’s Ethos were smaller but beautifully focused presentations. Several handled the challenge of thematic integrity nicely, like Richard Montgomery’s “Interrobang” issue of Fine Lines, or Ridley’s “Signs” issue of Windscript. And I thought it was terrific how wide-ranging some of these magazines strived to be: Providence Senior’s Roars and Whispers, for example, had very fine nonfiction along with poetry, fiction, and art, while entrants like Dr. Michael Krop’s Ink included work in translation. Overall I think the quality of the writing, editing, art and layout of all these finalist magazines is very high, and speaks well of the fine work being produced in our nation’s high school literary publications.”