Award-winning Magazine Work from 2011

Oct 24, 2011   //   by Susan West   //   Awards, Magazines, Urbino, Italy  //  No Comments
Susan West is an award-winning writer and editor who launches and advises magazines and websites. With an M.S. in science journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, West started her career as a staff writer at Science News and Science 80. In 1986, she co-founded a popular health magazine called Hippocrates (now known as Health and owned by Time Inc.), which won four National Magazine Awards during her tenure.

We had an impressive bunch of students in the magazine program in Urbino, Italy, this past summer. The best evidence of that is Urbino Now, the 92-page glossy that they created. Our challenge to them: In barely a month, create a travel magazine for English-speaking visitors to Urbino and the Marche region. Not incidentally, we wanted the students to learn all they could about international reporting and magazine journalism.

I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy every page of the magazine. You can read it online here or order a copy to be printed and mailed to you from our virtual, “cloud-based” production plant at MagCloud. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a few highlights within this blog post. Here we proudly present summaries of the especially strong student contributions that were honored at the end of the course. Each winner was awarded a “Raffie,” a cheesy yet coveted plastic likeness of the Renaissance artist Raphael, who was born in Urbino.

award-winning feature articles in Urbino Now magazineFEATURE ARTICLE (best overall story that exhibits exceptional writing and reporting)

  • Sydni Dunn for “Snips of History,” a warm, day-in-the-life portrait of Pippi Busignani, Urbino’s last traditional barber.
  • Sunny Thao for “A Renaissance Artist in the 21st Century,” a story that skillfully balances insights about Renaissance painting with a profile of contemporary artist Vitaliano Angelini and his modern art.


  • Caryn Maconi for “Le Marche on Two Wheels,” a first-person story of a regional biking trip that combines a vivid sense of place with useful information for readers who might like to follow in her tracks.

Award-winning reporting for an article in Urbino Now magazineREPORTING (best evidence of enterprise in reporting, including live interviews and background research)

  • Rosa Castaneda for “Versatile Verdicchio,” a story about Le Marche’s unique verdicchio wine, for which Rosa did enough backgrounding to become a wine expert, interviewed three Italians without the help of a translator, and tracked down both Italian and American outside perspectives.


  • Caryn Maconi for “Le Marche on Two Wheels,” for which she reported the biking trip both by bike and by car, and also researched accommodations, sights, safety, and transportation advice; AND found a bike rental shop, which was not at all as simple as it sounds.
  • Victoria Staples for “Pesaro: A Sunday Market for Shopaholics,” a you-are-there story for our Day Trips section in which Victoria rummages through nearly every stall and befriends almost every merchant at Pesaro’s alternative to Urbino’s Saturday market.

Award-winning service article in Urbino Now magazineSERVICE (story that provides the clearest, most useful, and most specific guidance to the Urbino Now reader)

  • Caryn Maconi for “Le Marche on Two Wheels.” As we’ve said earlier, Caryn’s biking story offers succinct, specific, well-researched, and well-written advice about where to stay, what to do, and how to do it along this 70-km bike route.


  • Jordan Holloway for “Shopping for Mr. Big,” a short, but extremely useful article about where to buy Big Guy-sized shirts, pants, and shoes in Urbino, Italy.
  • Sarah Lorsch for “Fano: Beach Town With a Bonus,” a Day Trips story that recommends Fano’s off-the-beaten track attractions, including its unusual rocky beach, an underground city for insiders only, and a local’s favorite spot for affordable dinners of fresh fish.

Award-winning short article in Urbino Now magazineSHORT ARTICLE (sidebar or stand-alone short article that exhibits strong writing and reporting)

  • Lauryn Smith for “Farm Life.” This article for our food section introduces readers to the owners and volunteers at a nearby agriturismo where visitors can learn organic livestock farming.


  • Jordan Howse for “Urbino 101.” This 150-word article is packed with fun facts about Urbino, such as the fact that Urbinati believe it’s bad luck for a local to visit the Ducal Palace before he or she graduates from college.
  • Sydni Dunn for “Sometimes Graffiti is Just Graffiti.” Sydni’s short article for our front-of-the-book section demystifies the apparently scholarly debate that surrounds the popular graffito called “Urbinzoo.”

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Students Say...

My experience at The Perpignan Project was unbelievable, not only as as traveler but as a student. I was placed completely out of my element to take on a challenge that included language barriers, wrong directions, and Final Cut Express! As a student journalist, I was able to connect with the people of Perpignan to find meaningful stories that helped me increase my skills as a journalist and as a global citizen.
by Audrey Arthur, San Francisco State University, The Perpignan Project 2010