Boca magazine Wins Big at 2020 FMA Awards

Sometimes you have to brag about you—and in this case, that means the staff of Boca magazine, which brought home nine awards from the Florida Magazine Association this year. It was a good showing—with three very important Charlies—first place—all honoring the quality of writing and reporting in our magazine. Our late owner, John Shuff, always maintained that “content was king,” even as many competitors skirted solid reporting and feature writing for short cuts and canned content. We’ve always had to come up with our own ideas, our own tracking of the community pulse, our own sense of what people wanted to read—good news and bad news.

And this year it paid off.

We won top awards for our ambitious Culinary Guide to Florida (“a very ambitious round-up, but I think they pulled it off”), and for Christiana Lilly’s tough story, A Word In The Dark,” on local teen suicide (“compelling reporting and thoughtful writing paired with equally compelling photography and strong design.”) We also won first place in best overall writing and the judges said this:

 “From the Editor’s Letter to the final-page column (My Turn), this is a reader’s magazine – it is simply a pleasure to read. The long feature pieces are well researched and offer carefully constructed stories nestled into eye-catching designs. Attention to storytelling in longer pieces may not be a surprise, but even the single-paragraph info bites respect a reader’s interest in words nicely put together. The department’s consistently bring together information and high-quality writing. The editorial focus is as eclectic as the area it serves, covering the whimsical aspects of life in an entertaining way and the more serious community concerns with thoughtful reporting and thought-provoking writing.”

We also won awards for our website edited by James Biagiotti (“clean, easy to navigate, and full of relevant, useful content for Boca residents”), for overall design, for best column for John Shuff’s beloved My Turn (“Friendly and engaging, these pleasantly written interludes encompass the experiences of a cross-section of readers through personal stories.”) best use of photography, best custom magazine and best overall magazine.

It’s been a tough year. The magazine industry, including we at Boca magazine, are facing trying times under a raging pandemic. We lost our founder, John Shuff. We face a future that will demand even more creative thinking, adaptability and a renewed passion to do things right—as we have for 40 years.

So an armful of awards feels pretty good about now. Thanks to our readers and advertisers for sticking with us, and thanks to Lori Pierino, Oscar Saavedra, John Thomason, James Biagiotti and the rest of our awesome staff for keeping us Number One.

Here is a list of our awards:

Charlie award (first place)

Best overall writing

Best in-depth reporting

Best public service feature

Silver award

Best commentary

Best overall design

Best overall magazine

Best website

Bronze award

Best use of photography

Best custom magazine (Mizner’s Dream)