Contest to split into digital, print competitions for 2009

Separate programs will have their own conferences.

To increase the prestige and visibility of the high-quality digital work that b2b editorial and design staffs do, ASBPE is creating a separate digital Azbee Awards program for 2009. It will operate on a later schedule than the print awards.

First up is the Print Azbees, with an entry deadline of January 30, and its associated two-day National Editorial Conference with the Print Azbee Awards of Excellence banquet. Both are set for July 15–17 at the Marriott Washington in Washington, D.C.

The Digital Azbees will have an entry submission deadline in late summer and a one-day digital conference and digital awards banquet set for fall 2009 on the West Coast.

Members will be notified when digital submissions may begin.

Other benefit of split

Another advantage of separating the print from the digital is the creation of additional award categories that match the actual work that editors and artists do every day, especially on the digital side.

“By offering a separate digital awards banquet and conference, we can recognize the hard work that editors are doing to not only publish a quality print publication, but also to drive revenue and encourage reader interaction through online projects,” said competition and conference committee chair Amy Fischbach.

The fall 2009 Digital Azbee Awards banquet will allow ASBPE to develop an associated one-day digital conference, yet another educational opportunity for editors. The event likely will feature beginner and advanced tracks.

While the digital conference will focus solely on Internet-related topics, the print conference largely will explore the interrelationship between print and digital.

The July Print Azbee awards ceremony will acknowledge the two Magazine of the Year winners, while the Digital Azbees will honor the Web Site of the Year and the Multi-Platform Presentation of the Year.

Improved submission process

After rolling out the online entry process for the first time last year, ASPBE asked competition entrants and judges for comments about the process.

“We’ve listened to the feedback and are improving the entry process,” Fischbach said. “We want to make it easier for publications to enter the competition.”

For example, ASBPE is looking to expedite the payment and receipt process. Entrants will also find instructions on how to make a low-resolution PDF and will be informed of a successful upload.

For better entry preparation, a well-written mission statement, geared for judging purposes, will be posted.

Although entrants can still send hard copies, most categories will now be available for PDF submission, including design entries. Some categories, such as those needing entire issues, will still require hard copies.

Custom publications category added

On the print side, four new categories have been created.

To recognize more freelance business writers and editors working on custom publications, and to separate these publications from other b2b magazines, Best Custom Magazine and Best Custom Newsletter categories have been developed.
Unlike previous Azbee contests, custom publishers may only enter in these two new categories.

A Best Humorous/Fun department and a Most-Improved Publication category have been added to the editorial division.

Details about digital categories will be announced later in 2009.


All of ASBPE’s editorial categories have a design component for judging purposes, and the design categories have an editorial element as well.

“This is the Azbee hallmark,” Fischbach said. “No one understands better than ASBPE what quality work and the interrelationship between editor and artist are.”

Call for entries

Rather than printing a Call for Entries brochure this year, ASBPE will instead email the entry form to publications nationwide.

Reminder postcards with the URL of the online entry system as well as the deadline for the competition will be mailed.


Submitting online will carry a lower entry fee than submitting a hard copy:

  • For members, a fee of $75 will apply for entering online and $90 for entering hard copies.
  • For nonmembers, the fee is $85 for online and $100 for hard copies.

Fees for the Magazine of the Year are slightly higher.

The Azbees will continue to include gold, silver and bronze awards nationally. All three awards generally will be awarded in the regional divisions as well.

Notification of finalists

In advance of the national and regional awards banquets, all entrants will be notified by email of the finalists and their posting to the ASBPE Web site.

Azbee awards banquet

National awards will be presented during the ASBPE annual National Editorial Conference the evening of July 16, 2009, at the Marriott Washington, Washington, D.C.

Regional awards will be presented at ceremonies around the country sponsored by various ASBPE chapters. Regional ceremony dates will be announced later.