The 2010 National Magazine Awards will be remembered as a long night of surprises.
National Geographic beat out The Atlantic and Wired for Magazine of the Year; Los Angeles‘ Ben Ehrenreich took down The New Yorker‘s David Grann in the Feature Writing category; Harper’s defeated Rolling Stone‘s “The Runaway General” for the Reporting award.
And Katie Couric asked the assembled editors for a job.
“I just had to mention that I brought a copy of my new book, The Best Advice I Ever Got,” the host of the four-hour affair said in her opening remarks. “I knew this room was going to be filled with magazine editors, so in case any of you are looking for a writer, I’m just saying.”
One favourite to walk away with an Ellie was Christopher Hitchens, winner in the Columns and Commentary category.
Graydon Carter gave an emotional tribute to his long-time friend, who is showing “remarkable signs of recovery” from terminal 4 oesophagael cancer.
“His writing has become better since he’s become ill,” Carter said. “He writes with greater clarity and energy in a strange way.”
Another touching moment was GQ‘s win for Design, Print. Editor Jim Nelson accepted the award, crediting Fred Woodward and encouraging the design director to speak. After some initial reluctance, the deputy obliged.
“I had pretty much given up on this one… The last time I was up here was 1988,” he said, before launching into a lengthy speech.
Couric — who returned to her table during Woodward’s long moment — came back to the podium and ad-libbed a fitting line for the night: “No offence, but now I understand why none of you guys went into television.” (Still, after waiting 23 years, Woodward deserves 10 minutes.)
Later in the evening, guest presenter David Copperfield performed a magic trick with the envelope holding the winner of the General Excellence in the Finance, Technology, and Lifestyle category. Scientific American prevailed over GQ and Backpacker. That was not the trick.
ASME awarded Tom Wolfe the Creative Excellence Award for his lifetime of work in magazines. Jann Wenner introduced the dapper septuagenarian with an amusing anecdote.
“We published Bonfire of the Vanities in 1984,” the Rolling Stone editor and publisher said. “The ASME for fiction in that year went to Seventeen,” he said.
Perhaps Couric could get a gig with the Hearst publication?
Full list of winners below.
GENERAL EXCELLENCE, PRINT
News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines
honours large-circulation weeklies, biweeklies and general-interest monthlies
Fast Company; New York; The New Yorker; People; TIME
Literary, Political and Professional Magazines
honours academic and scholarly publications as well as smaller-circulation general-interest magazines
Lapham’s Quarterly; The Paris Review; Poetry; The Sun; Virginia Quarterly Review
Fashion, Service and Lifestyle Magazines
honours women’s magazines, including health and fitness magazines and family-centric publications
Essence; Real Simple; Vogue; W; Women’s Health
Food, Travel and Design Magazines
honours lifestyle magazines for men and women as well as shelter titles
Conde Nast traveller; Garden & Gun; House Beautiful; Martha Stewart Living; Saveur
Finance, Technology and Lifestyle Magazines
honours men’s magazines as well as business, science and active-interest publications
Backpacker; Bloomberg Markets; GQ; Popular Mechanics; Scientific American
Special Interest Magazines
honours magazines serving targeted audiences, including city and regional magazines
Audubon; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Texas Monthly; Time Out New York
Esquire; Fortune; GQ; New York; Wired
GQ; Martha Stewart Living; National Geographic; The New York Times Magazine; W
NEWS AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY
National Geographic; The New York Times Magazine (2); TIME; Virginia Quarterly Review
AARP The Magazine; ESPN The Magazine; National Geographic; The New York Times Magazine; W
Bloomberg Businessweek; GQ: National Geographic; New York; Scientific American
Esquire; New York; Real Simple (2); Wired
Good Housekeeping; Men’s Health; Men’s Journal; O, The Oprah Magazine; Wired
Cooking Light; Golf Digest; Los Angeles; Men’s Journal; Runner’s World
The Atlantic; Marie Claire; The New Yorker; OnEarth; Texas Monthly
Harper’s Magazine; The New York Times Magazine; The New Yorker; Rolling Stone; Virginia Quarterly Review
The Atlantic; GQ; Los Angeles; Mother Jones; The New Yorker
The Atlantic; Harper’s Magazine; New York; The New York Times Magazine; The New Yorker
ESSAYS & CRITICISM
The American Scholar; The Antioch Review; The New Yorker; The Paris Review; Virginia Quarterly Review
COLUMNS & COMMENTARY
Esquire; New York; The New Yorker; Vanity Fair (2) — Winner, Christopher Hitchens
The Atlantic; The New Yorker (2); Virginia Quarterly Review (2)
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
National Geographic; The Atlantic; Backpacker; Foreign Policy; Wired