Alta Journal received four special recognition awards, five wins, and five honorable mentions at the 2021 Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards gala held in New York City on Thursday, October 14. Presented by Folio, the annual awards recognize outstanding journalism work in both editorial and design.
Alta’s managing editor, Blaise Zerega, received special recognition as Editor of the Year. “This award is shared by all of us at Alta,” Zerega said in his acceptance speech. “Our amazing contributors, our writers, our photographers, illustrators, and our small team of talented and hardworking editors, copy editors, and, of course, fact-checkers.”
“I’d also like to acknowledge our publisher and editor, Will Hearst,” Zerega said, “whose vision for a new kind of publication devoted to California and the West with oversize pages, beautiful paper, high-quality printing, not to mention pull-out road maps, special folios, even a comic book…they all celebrate the power of print. And above all, it’s his support for superb editorial content that we champion in the pages of Alta each issue.”
Alta’s creative director, John Goecke, received special recognition in three categories: Art Director of the Year, Designer of the Year, and Overall Design Excellence. Goecke credited Hearst for his “vision to bring Alta to life” and for “endlessly challenging us to do the best we can, supporting us at every step of the way.”
Goecke also thanked the dozens of illustrators and photographers he works with on each and every story in the magazine, from major features and illustrated original fiction to the Altatude cartoons printed on the back page of every issue.
Among the category winners of the night, Julia Flynn Siler won Best Investigative Journalism for “The Safe Place That Became Unsafe.” The article examines the decades of sexual abuse that occured in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown at what was meant to be a safe space for children.
Alta editor at large Mary Melton won Best Long Form Feature Content for her article “A Mother’s Road.” In this deeply personal essay, Melton chronicles a transformative 15-day road trip with her autistic son through a very divided country.
Alta assistant editor Rasheeda Saka was awarded Best Newsletter for her series of California Book Club articles and newsletters related to author Myriam Gurba’s powerful memoir, Mean.
California Book Club host and Alta contributor John Freeman won Best Range of Work by a Single Author. Standouts of Freeman’s work include “Butchering the Mythic West,” “Falling,” and numerous essays on CBC authors.
Alta contributor Keenan Norris was awarded Best Overall/Special Interest for his short story “One Coyote.” This coming-of-age tale was inspired by Norris’s own experience as a Black child who moved from Los Angeles to California’s Inland Empire.
Honorable Mentions include Alta books editor David L. Ulin for Best Range of Work by a Single Author, contributor Jessica Zack for her in-depth feature on painter Wayne Thiebaud, artist Chris Sickels for his extraordinary three-dimensional imagery for Alta’s Next West issue, artist Mark Smith for his illustrations that paired with Judith Freeman’s “The Port of Missing Women” article, and Goecke for Overall Art Direction for Alta’s Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 issues.
The awards ceremony kicked off an exciting few days for Alta. On Saturday, October 16, the magazine won 18 awards at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards. Read more on those talented Alta winners right here.•