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SPD judging completed

SPD judging completed

What a great weekend that was. How could looking at magazines alongside fellow magaholics be anything else? Good to meet Jaap Coverjunkie at last, along with Brendan from ’Sup and Brian from McSweeney’s, as well as catch up with so many other people.

Always rigorously planned and executed, the judging ran like clockwork thanks to the team of volunteers led by new SPD director Keisha Dean. Managing the presentation of magazines for judging is a big job, and could easily be simplified by doing the first stage, say, on screens. But that would miss the point; looking at and touching the real magazines is a key part of the judging process, as is sharing thoughts along the way with fellow judges.

As co-chairs, Luke, Richard and I had two primary aims: to encourage international entries and increase the representation of smaller, independent magazines. Yesterday, looking at the results of Saturday’s first round of judging (ie the cut that would make the SPD Annual), it felt like we’d at least started a shift. As ever, you can only judge what is entered, and there were plenty of magazines not represented for that reason. But seperating out smaller independents into their own cataegory at least helped place them in there own context, while the shortlist for Magazine of the Year had several magazines that haven’t featured there before.

Thanks to everyone at SPD for inviting me to take part and looking after me so well. The shortlists will be announced later this month, the winners in May.

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