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The Stack Awards are back for their fourth year, searching out the most exciting and inspiring independent magazines published between October 2017 and September 2018.

Explore this year’s shortlists below, with a focus on the magazines we stock. The winners and commended titles will be announced in London on Monday 19 November.

Magazine of the Year

Remarkable magazines that have excelled in 2018, producing the highest quality content to deliver on a strong and clear editorial concept.

The judges consider the magazine in its entirety, looking for originality, innovation and clarity, as well as the overall quality of content, design and production.

Launch of the Year

This category is for magazines that made a bright start in 2018, launching with an exciting new editorial concept and high quality content.

The judges consider the magazine in its entirety, looking for originality, innovation and clarity, as well as the overall quality of content, design and production.

The shortlist:

Others: A Profound Waste of Time, Broccoli, Contra, It’s Freezing in LA, Jezga, Journal du Thé, Matter, Nataal, Oof, Plantain Papers, Suspira.

Editor of the Year

This award is for the editor who has led their magazine to success with a clear and original editorial vision, skilfully packaging their ideas into a compelling and engaging read.

The judges consider a single issue in its entirety and are looking for stories that come together to form a cohesive and characterful whole, with attention given to long-form writing, but also to headlines, picture captions and story selection.

The shortlist:

Others: Harvard Design Magazine, Kitchen Toke, Off the Block, Positive News, Rugby.

Art Director of the Year

This category is looking for the art director whose skillful and distinctive design has elevated their magazine and helped it stand out from the crowd this year.

The judges consider a single issue in its entirety and are looking for characterful design that defines and amplifies the magazine’s editorial identity. Attention will be paid to picture selection, fonts, layout and production to identify the creation of an exceptional magazine brand.

Cover of the Year

We want to see the year’s best, most inventive, most enticing magazine covers. The point of a cover is to make people pick up the magazine, so we’re looking for the covers we just can’t resist.

The shortlist:

Others: Good Trouble, New Internationalist, The Nib, Pan & the Dream, Quoted, Still, Suspira, Swim, Varoom.

Best Use of Photography

This category is for the most outstanding photography published in independent magazines this year. We’re looking for images that are impactful and memorable.

Photographs do not need to be original but consideration will be given to the way they are presented, quality of the image, and placement in the page.

The shortlist:

Others: Baron, Brownie, Carrete, Der Greif, Petrie, Rouge Fashionbook.

Best Use of Illustration

The judges are looking for the best, most characterful, most distinctive illustrations published in independent magazines this year.

Combining excellent artwork with a clear editorial purpose, the winning illustrations will be conceptually rich as well as aesthetically pleasing, adding an extra dimension to the magazine’s stories.

The shortlist:

Others: A Profound Waste of Time, The Anonymous Sex Journal, Counterpoint, Ephemeral, EYEYAH!, New Philosopher, The Nib, Oogst, Sassify, She Is Fierce, Umber.

Best Original Non-Fiction

This category is for the most exceptional interviews, reportage, and any other writing based on real events. The judges are looking for original storytelling that informs and engages the reader with a distinctive editorial voice.

Combining excellent artwork with a clear editorial purpose, the winning illustrations will be conceptually rich as well as aesthetically pleasing, adding an extra dimension to the magazine’s stories.

The shortlist:

Others: Ecotone, Forme, Harvard Design Magazine, Nataal, The Nib, Racquet, Rugby, Scamp.

To see the complete list, visit the Stack Awards webpage here.

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