Vermont Life Named Among Most Improved Magazines

Vermont Life Named Among Most Improved Magazines

Coveted honor among three awards presented to Vermont Life by International Regional Magazine Association
MONTPELIER - A revitalized Vermont Life magazine has been named among the most improved magazines in the United States and Canada by the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA).

Judges for the 45-member association called Vermont Life "much improved in design and in editorial, but most significantly in its focus. Throughout there is a palpable sense of the readers' interests and concerns."

During 2007, the year being judged, Vermont Life underwent several changes designed to re-energize the magazine and ignite readers' interest in contemporary Vermont. "We are thrilled to have won this award," said publisher Tom Kelly. "It affirms our belief that our new editorial team led by Mary Hegarty Nowlan is headed in the right direction in making Vermont Life a must-read magazine for Vermonters. We believe there is a bright future in covering contemporary Vermont."

The magazine association also awarded bronze medals to Vermont Life in the categories of Essay and Photographic Series.

The essay "Four Maples" by Castle Freeman Jr. of Newfane, which appeared in the Autumn 2007 issue, was praised by the judges for being "philosophical without being too academic or self-indulgent." The article is a eulogy for four grand old maples that presided over the author's property for generations until disease and old age necessitated their removal.

Vermont Life's winning photo essay, "Brown in Black and White," featured images by Richard Brown, who took a series of black-and-white portraits in the 1970s and '80s of a vanishing way of life in the hill farms of the Northeast Kingdom. The photos were enhanced by Brown's heartfelt recollections of the time. "I guess I didn't realize it was the end of a breed," Brown said. "I thought there would always be people like that around, but I was obviously wrong."

Judges for the awards said the photo essay was "very gritty, very real. These photos exude a kind of honesty that is rare." The images by Brown, a resident of Peacham, appeared in the Autumn 2007 issue.

The awards were presented at IRMA's October annual meeting, held this year in Cape Breton, Canada.