Arizona Highways took home 10 golds, including Magazine Writer of the Year and Photographer of the Year, at the International Regional Magazine Association's annual conference last week.
The honors were among a conference-leading 22 awards for the magazine. The 10 golds also were the most among participants at this year's IRMA conference, which was held in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
Frequent Arizona Highways contributor Matt Jaffe won Magazine Writer of the Year for Thick and Thin (January 2016), about the history of thick-billed parrots in Arizona; Quite Wright (February 2016), on the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix; Up for Hours (May 2016), a look at historic fire lookouts in Arizona's forests; Out of the Ordinary (July 2016), a profile of Grand Canyon resident Eric Gueissaz; and The Last Trading Posts (November 2016), on the few trading posts still operating in Northeastern Arizona tribal lands. "Jaffe paints an evocative picture of every subject he writes about," the judges wrote. "He has an ability to set the scene with both concrete detail and a lyrical writing style."
Photographer Adam Schallau, a relatively recent additon to Arizona Highways' list of contributors, won Photographer of the Year for several of his appearances in the magazine — notably Something Old, Something New (January 2016), a Grand Canyon portfolio. Schallau specializes in photos of the Canyon. "The atmosphere being created with these landscapes is powerful, eerie and exciting," the judges wrote.
Other gold awards included the writing categories of Public Issues, won by Cutting It Down to Size (Terry Greene Sterling, April 2016); Historic Feature, won by Quite Wright; Essay, won by The Sound of Fallen Trees (Craig Childs, August 2016); General Feature, won by Across the Great Divide (Annette McGivney, March 2016); and Department, won by The Journal (multiple staff and freelance contributors).
In photography, Arizona Highways won gold in Photo Series, for This Land Is Your Land (multiple photographers, August 2016); Portrait Photo, for Out of the Ordinary (David Zickl, July 2016); and Portrait Series, for Getting Your Face Wet (Zickl, September 2016).
The magazine also joined Adirondack Life as a finalist for Magazine of the Year. The winner of that award was British Columbia Magazine.