Letter from the editors

Dear readers:

Time for us to toot our horn a bit: The Mountain Xpress has just garnered a slew of new awards.

Xpress is one of 125 member newspapers of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, which administers a national journalism contest that issues highly coveted awards each year. The results of this year’s contest were announced June 15, and Xpress came away with two very different, but equally gratifying, awards.

One of our regular columnists, Webster postmaster Mark Jamison, won a second-place award for Best Columnist, edging out all but one writer from a crowded field of entries. (Tom Danehy of Tuscon Weekly won first place.) While many columnists use bombast to go for the jugular, Jamison takes a more subtle and poignant approach that taps into feelings just as deep.

And the entire staff won a second-place award of its own, in the Best Ad category. Our submission that brought home the silver was a series of “house ads”—advertisements produced by Xpress and about Xpress—that ran last summer and fall, introducing readers to the faces and personalities behind our paper’s writers and editors. The series was truly a company-wide endeavor, with several departments contributing their ideas and expertise to make the ads tell big stories in small spaces. (Visit www.aan.org to see the full roster of winners.)

The AAN awards came on the heels of wins closer to home. In this year’s Best Ad Contest run by the North Carolina Press Association, the results of which were announced June 8, Xpress also won two awards.

Winning first place for Best Full Color Restaurant/Entertainment Ad were ad rep John Varner and former Xpress production designer Travis Medford, who now works for Lark Books. Together they coordinated the ad (for local restaurant C.F. Chan’s) that won the gold, and Xpress staff photographer Jonathan Welch snapped the shot that made it come alive.

And winning a third-place award in the Best Full Color Food Ad category were ad rep Scott Sessoms and production designer Andrew Findley, for an ad they prepared for Spicewood Farm. Visit www.ncpress.org to see other rankings.

Congratulations to all the awardees—and thanks to you for expecting Xpress to offer its best every week.

— The editors

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