U.S. Catholic, Claretian Publications win a combined 50 awards

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The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada announced its annual Catholic Press Award winners during a convention in Denver last week. We are proud to report that U.S. Catholic received a total of 20 awards, with five additional awards being given to other members of our Claretian Publications family. These awards are in addition to the 25 awards received by Claretian Publications (including 22 for U.S. Catholic) from the Associated Church Press during its annual conference in April.

If someone asked me what the greatest strengths of our magazine are, I'd probably point to our monthly feature stories, our in-depth interviews, and our provocative columns. Looking over our list of award winners, it seems the judges of the CPA and ACP would agree with those assessments. In the category of Best Feature Article, the Catholic Press gave both the first and second place awards to U.S. Catholic for Kristen Hannum's "Pride and Prejudice" (First Place) and Bob Smietana's "Take it to the board" (Second Place). Smietana's article was also part of our special issue covering the sex abuse crisis (June 2012), which won First Place from the CPA for Best Special Issue and an honorable mention from the ACP for best in-depth coverage by a magazine. Assistant Editor Liz Lefebvre also received an honorable mention for short feature writing for her piece on people transitioning out of homelessness, "Headed home."

When it comes to interviews, we received First Place in the Best Interview category from the CPA for "Save the date," our interview on young adults and dating with Kerry Cronin. We also took third place in the same category for our interview with Amy-Jill Levine, "A Jewish take on Jesus," which the judges noted had the "best researched questions in the competition." The ACP also chose the Levine interview as the Award of Excellence (first place) winner in its Best Interview category.

When it comes to our monthly columns, we received three awards from the CPA: Second Place for Best Regular Column on the Spiritual Life for Alice Camille's Testaments, and in the general commentary category we earned both Second Place for Kevin Clarke's Margin Notes and an honorable mention for Bryan Cones' The Examined Life. Cones' column "My friend the abuser" received both Second Place from the CPA and the Award of Excellence from the ACP in each competition's Best Editorial category.

In the overall categories, the CPA gave U.S. Catholic Third Place for General Excellence among national general interest magazines, Second Place for Best Magazine or Newsletter website (with credit to our former web editor, Meghan Murphy-Gill, who led the effort to redesign and greatly improve this website last year), Second Place for Best Electronic Newsletter, and Third Place for Best Blog. The ACP also gave us an honorable mention for Best Denominational Magazine and an Award of Merit in the Best Blog category.

We received a number of other awards for writing, art, and design, which you can find on the full CPA award list here and the ACP award list here. We are also happy to see that the awards for Claretian Publications extended beyond U.S. Catholic. The excellent family newsletter At Home With Our Faith, edited by Cathy O'Connell-Cahill and written by Annemarie Scobey, won First Place in the CPA's General Excellence Category for newsletters and the ACP's Award of Excellence for newsletters. It also picked up a writing award from CPA for Scobey's essay "Wanted: A New Sacrament" and a design award from ACP.

In the best newsletter category, both ACP and CPA also recognized our Hispanic Ministry Resource Center's publication Nuestra Parroquia, and their ¡OYE! publication garnered two Catholic Press awards.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also extend our congratulations to the many other excellent Catholic and Christian publications that were honored by the ACP and CPA this year, many of which I often swipe copies of the minute they arrive in the mail so that I can read them on my train ride to and from the office. There's a lot of great work being done by these publications, which makes it all the more humbling to be recognized among them.

Of course, winning awards isn't everything, but we are proud of the work we do and it is always nice to be honored for that work. We also hope that you, our readers, continue to enjoy the content we publish and that you continue to share your feedback with us as well.