Who: VN Publisher Joseph Connelly + VN Associate Publisher Colleen Holland
What: The Maggie Awards, an annual magazine awards banquet
Where: The Westin LAX in Los Angeles
When: May 2, 2008
Why: With two Maggie nominations this year, we had high hopes for bringing home the top prize!
The Scoop: About two months ago, Team VN learned it had secured two nominations in the 2008 Maggie Awards. The Maggies, affectionately referred to as “The Oscars” of the magazine publishing world, is no small feat. This year, VegNews was up for one of the major awards, Best Lifestyle Magazine, as well as for Joseph Connelly’s compelling profile on activist Gretchen Wyler (“The Actress and The Elephant”) from the September+October 2007 issue. Needless to say, we’ve been sitting on pins and needles ever since.
Finally, the big day arrived. We flew down to Los Angeles on our favorite new airline, Virgin America (great service, affordable fares, and cool cabins). In need of a quick bite to calm our nerves, we head over to the only spot nearby to secure a veggie meal, Subway (gotta love the plethora of veg options near airports). We enjoyed a pair of Veggie Delite sandwiches (cheese-free, with avocado, toasted bread, and vinaigrette, thank you very much). No complaints!
The pre-ceremony cocktail party commenced at 5:30pm, and we had a chance to mingle with publishers from all over the country. There were racks filled with the nominated publications, and it’s always fun to flip through magazines in a range of categories (sports, automotive, health, epicurean, etc.). At 7:00pm, the ballroom doors swung open, and a sit-down dinner was served. Despite requesting a vegan entrée every year, we always end up with same thing: a salad, cheese-filled ravioli topped with roasted vegetables (the veggies were great), dinner rolls, and a decidedly non-vegan dessert. Thank god for Subway.
At last, the ceremony began. A high-tech multimedia show featuring all of the nominees kicked off the program (think glossy mag covers buzzing all over the film screen set to cool tunes). We then wait anxiously for the biggie: Best Lifestyle Magazine. Up against Vegetarian Times, Alternative Medicine, Mothering, and The Advocate, this was our year. We won! Oh my god! It was fantastic. VN publisher Joseph Connelly gave a heartfelt speech to the audience of 600+, making sure to acknowledge our fellow nominees (who were all in attendance). Unfortunately, we didn’t take top honors for our second nomination, but we’re still absolutely elated. Our staff works hard to deliver the best vegetarian magazine on the planet, and it’s wonderful to be recognized. Yeah!