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ACP Winners

ACP 2011 Magazine Pacemaker Winners

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View judges' comments

Links to online archives of print issues listed with each publication (if available).


Literary (Four-year)

Literary (Two-year)

2011 ACP Magazine Pacemaker Finalists


Literary (Four-year)

Literary (Two-year)

Judge's Comments

Feature Magazines
The chance to consider these magazines was a chance to be reminded of the enthusiasm and creativity that exists on college campuses -- and indeed among those who will push the idea of the print magazine forward in the years ahead. In an age when so many people wonder what the print magazine will look like going forward, it’s nice to see a young generation of magazine makers providing an encouraging answer to that question.

The factors that set the very good magazines apart from their peers are the same factors that distinguish the best in the field within the professional ranks—an ability to surprise and intrigue (both visually and with strong writing), and the ability to speak with an authoritative perspective and a sense of purpose that comes from knowing your reader and knowing how to reach them. In addition, the very best of the magazines we considered were produced with care and attention (something that can be done no matter the size of the staff or the resources).  These magazines are a gust of fresh air for those of who got a chance to read them. We were reminded of the genuine pleasure that comes out of reading stories and seeing pictures produced for the pure passion of expressing an idea.

A few thoughts on the winners:

  • Inside, Indiana University
    This is a first rate magazine that displays excellent writing, superb design and the thought and care of editors who are presenting information with wit and sophistication. The range of stories is wonderful and the connection to the theme of this particular issue is never forced or contrived. The look and feel is attractive and clean and design elements provide illumination for the ideas that are packed into the magazine neatly. The editors display a strong confidence that they know their reader and their subjects. The features are very well written and the accompanying illustrations and photography demonstrate real mastery. This is a model magazine that does big things very well and small things with just as much care and style and attention.
  • Q Magazine, Yale University
    This is a magazine with a clear sense of purpose that hits its mark. The writing is very strong. The photography is beautiful and artfully matched with pieces. The ideas are at once clear and surprising and the measured design works very nicely with the (at times) provocative nature of the content. The story about the lives of gay and lesbian cadets in the military was excellent—and a top-notch idea for a piece. Kudos. And the accompanying sidebar was wonderfully done. The story mix and the range of story-telling devices show that this is a magazine being made by editors making smart choices, editors that are mixing sophistication with wit in a way that produces a very smart magazine. This is very well done.
  • Think, Drake University
    Think is a good looking magazine that pulses with a clear sense of purpose. There feels like a clear editorial intent being presented and the stated mission of the issue—illuminate the connections of a global community—seems well achieved (even if that concept has a way of sounding amorphous). As a pure exercise in magazine making there are notable achievements in design and ambition which merit applause. However, it’s a little difficult to know who the audience for the magazine is—and thus how this mix of stories and ideas succeeds at reaching that audience.
  • Reporter, Rochester Institute of Technology
    Another well-conceived issue that presents good ideas. Reporter mixes news-providing items with longer, thinkier features in a way that underscores the range that a magazine can provides storytellers. The photography is solid and the design, in most places, is clean and strong.  
  • Ethos, Iowa State University
    Ethos is a strong magazine that publishes a nice range of stories that feel like they connect with the audience in obvious ways. It feels written by the people it hopes to reach, and in that way appears authentic and authoritative in the way a good magazine should. There’s a real sense of energy at work here and a wit that comes across. At the same time, the magazine grapples nicely with stories that have some heft (the student government financial investigation, for one). This is a magazine that succeeds at being fun and seemingly relevant and is looks like the sort of publication student reader must really look forward to digging into.

Literary Magazines
Those selected as winners were chosen because of:

  • a unique presentation (for example, Metrosphere's amazing concept of having two books in one, where art and literature each received their own presentation but packaged together with a uniting concept),
  • a sense of individuality in presentation (many winners varied their layouts to accommodate and match the concepts and ideas presented by the individual pieces presented while still offering a sense of continuity through the publication),
  • and a variety of topics and ideas presented in the literary and visual arts selected for publication.

Pages popped with colors, fonts, and layouts that dazzled, catching the eye and making you want to review the images of submitted art and read the poems, stories, and essays written so lovingly. Covers united the inner pages, even if colors and concepts varied among spreads. And topics ranged from the beautiful to the grotesque, offering real insights into many aspects of the human condition.

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Contest Deadlines

Yearbook Pacemaker - Jan. 15, 2014

Online Pacemaker - Feb. 14, 2014

Newspaper Pacemaker - June 6, 2014

Magazine Pacemaker - June 6, 2014

Individual Awards (Story / Photo / Design / Reporter / Advertising / Cartooning) - June 6, 2014

ACP Contests/Critiques...

Upcoming Conventions

ACP Best of the Midwest College Newspaper Convention - Feb. 7-9, 2014, Minneapolis

ACP Midwinter National College Journalism Convention - Feb. 27-Mar. 4, 2014, San Diego

ACP Summer Journalism Workshops - July, 2014, Minneapolis

ACP Conventions...