Metro Parent Nabs 12 National Awards for Excellence in 2019

At Metro Parent, our goal is to make life a little easier and a lot more fun for local parents. And the Parenting Media Association judges say we're hitting the mark.

Three covers of Metro Parent on a brown background

Day after day, we here at Metro Parent churn out the best content we possibly can for moms and dads in southeast Michigan — whether it’s fun or informative, in our print magazines or here online. And a few top journalism pros think we’re doing a darn solid job.

Metro Parent is again one of the best regional parenting magazines in the country, while MetroParent.com is one of the best websites, according to judges for the national Parenting Media Association. Both won silver for general excellence on Feb. 28, 2020 at the annual PMA Editorial and Design Awards in St. Petersburg, Florida.

These shiny silvers were among 12 total awards giving props across the board in editorial, design and digital efforts. Here’s a closer look at how we did!

Gold PMA Awards

Special Series: Kids Mental Health

The judges dubbed our three-part series about kids mental health a “solid public service.” The series, written by long-time contributor Kristen J. Gough, helped parents understand anxiety, depression and ADHD while giving tips on how they can help their kids thrive.

Editor’s Note

Every month, editor-in-chief Julia Elliott sets the tone for each magazine with a personal touch. “From the very first sentences, these editor’s columns are compelling and engaging, and further, are relevant to that issue’s content,” judges say. “The writer connects to the reader with well-written tales that are personal yet universal, whether that’s the angry outburst of an elementary schooler or dealing with past childhood anxiety.”

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Calendar: Fun Guide

“This massive compilation of kid-friendly information is complete and concise,” note the judges, “and each ‘free’ event is indicated with the word in bright red at the beginning of the entry – definitely a service to readers.”

Whether you use our online calendar, our reader-friendly print version or both, two writers make the magic happen: digital editor Christina Clark and freelancer Kari Zaffarano.

Column: Family Matters: Study Says

This monthly department, penned by senior editor Stacey Winconek, is dubbed “a well written and provocative column with lots of examples and human interest.” Find out what they mean by reading Death and Disney and Sorry, Not Sorry.

Ancillary Overall Design: pink+blue

Our annual pregnancy and baby book got a major overhaul this past year, led by creative director Kelly Buren along with graphic designers Lauren Jeziorski and Jay Holladay.

In our revamped pink + blue pub, judges applaud the beautiful typography and strong photography. (Check out our new pink+blue webpage, too!)

Silver PMA Awards

General Excellence

This big-kahuna award analyzes three magazines and assesses the overall editorial and design quality.

Of Metro Parent, the judges say, “This magazine has a straightforward style that puts an emphasis on information rather than fussiness. The approach is especially successful with short items. There’s humor here along with serious pieces such as revisiting the Flint water story.

“Strong intro paragraphs catch readers’ attention with vignettes rather than just facts. Design is beautiful throughout. Nice covers provide a mix of photos and illustrations. There’s a gorgeous table of contents. It’s clear thought is put into each and every spread.”

Website General Excellence

Judges like MetroParent.com’s robust, well-organized site. “The stories cover a wide variety of parenting topics. Design is clean, bright and visual, and drop-down navigation menus showcase the wide variety of content. A clear tie to the magazine completes the strong branding as a go-to place for southeast Michigan parents.”

Overall Writing

“This magazine has a breezy, no-nonsense style that puts an emphasis on information rather than fussiness. The approach is especially successful with shorter items where the language is deliberate and direct — no wasted words here. Smart editing means stories are told in ways that are crisp, clear and strong,” the judge write.

Overall Design

The judges declare, “This publication’s large pages are filled with ample white space, which allows the pages to breathe. The design is open, airy and beautiful. Strong photography is used to attract the eye to the pages. Subordinate titles tell and sell. Designers also offer a variety of lengths and story formats.”

Special Section: Education 2019

The Education 2019 section caught the judge’s eye with its “striking cover” and consistent design.

General Feature Writing: Life After Pregnancy Loss

In awarding Christina Clark’s “Life After Pregnancy Loss” story , the judges describe it as well told through a variety of brave women willing to share their stories.

Front Cover Original Photo: ‘On the Naughty List’

In honoring the December 2018 cover — featuring a young girl who’s earned coal for Christmas, photographed by Lauren Jeziorski — the judges say it captured “a perfect sense of bratty defiance.”

Final words from the pros

So who’s behind these accolades? That’s the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Specifically, Professor Reuben Stern oversaw the judging of the annual awards. And he had encouraging words for the state of local parenting media.

“This year’s winning entries once again showcase the PMA publications’ strength in offering practical and frank advice on tough subjects, as well as extensive suggestions for off-the-radar activities that expand children’s horizons,” Stern says in a news release.

“Amid a sea of questionable material online,” he adds, “these articles are packed with reliable information from experts and primary sources. The stories also validate and inspire parents by giving a window into the lives of others dealing with similar challenges.”

And, as always, local moms and dads are the most important judges of all! How are we doing? Let us know anytime by commenting on any story you read here at MetroParent.com.