Columbus Monthly Wins National Award for its Special Issue on Black Life in the City

The honor was announced Monday night at the City and Regional Magazine Association's annual conference.

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
The May 2021 cover of Columbus Monthly

Columbus Monthly has won a national award for its May 2021 issue that focused on the experiences of Black people in Columbus. The honor was in the Special Issue category of the 2022 National City and Regional Magazine Awards, which were announced May 23 at the City and Regional Magazine Association's annual conference in St. Louis.

The May 2021 edition, guest edited by Columbus native and acclaimed author Wil Haygood, marked the first time Columbus Monthly devoted an entire issue to a single topic. Titled Racial Divide, the special issue featured an ambitious lineup of stories that touched on law enforcement, education, the arts and more. CRMA judges described the resulting magazine as "fresh, thoughtful and wide-ranging." Other finalists in the Special Issue category were Boston Magazine, Down East: The Magazine of Maine, Texas Highways and Texas Monthly

Columbus Monthly also was a finalist in three other categories: General Excellence, senior editor Suzanne Goldsmith in Writer of the Year and ancillary publication Columbus Weddings in Ancillary: Weddings. The National City and Regional Magazine Awards are presented annually by the City and Regional Magazine Association.

Judges praised Goldsmith for her portfolio of stories, which included features about affordable housing activist John EdgarU.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty and the story behind the human remains found at Upper Arlington High School. "The author uses descriptive, evocative, scene-setting language in her stories of community outreach," judges said.

Columbus Weddings submitted its spring/summer 2021 issue, which featured a same-sex couple on the cover for the first time and was created during a challenging time for the wedding industry. "Weddings workarounds during COVID-19 made for great service journalism," judges said. "True to its promise, this special issue is informed with facts about local venue openings and closings, masking options and social distancing guidelines."

For the sixth consecutive year, Columbus Monthly was a finalist in the General Excellence category for its circulation size. "Columbus Monthly serves up a true reflection of its diverse, vibrant community," judges said. "It's a compelling mix of people, businesses, culture, celebrations and pain points. The rich, powerful racial divide issue doesn't shy away from real problems and real history. Consistently great storytelling, thoughtfully edited, makes this magazine worthy of finalist status." In 2018, the magazine won top honors.