Phoenix New Times writers won 26 awards - including 13 first-places -- over the weekend at the Arizona Press Club awards banquet for work published in 2009.
The big winner was art director Peter Storch, named Designer of the Year, one of the contest's four most prestigious awards.
About Storch's winning entry, the judges wrote, "This portfolio was filled with complex concepts, and the ideas alone made it a contender for the top spot. But what put it there was execution."
Storch, with assistant art director Jasmine Hobeheidar, also won three first places in design categories and swept all seven awards in two of the categories. The firsts were in Illustration, with artist Rory Kurtz; Multi-Page Design; and Cover Design.
Columnist Sarah Fenske took two first places. She won the John Kolbe Award for Politics and Government reporting for her cover story "Mr. Clean Elections" and the Don Schellie Award for Column Writing.
Critic Robrt L. Pela won two firsts, in Best Criticism and for his "Chasing Pablo" cover story in the Personality Profile category.
Music editor Martin Cizmar received two firsts. He won for his "Do You Hate Fan Music?" and "The Great Hoofed Hope" in the Best Arts Reporting category and,with Web editor Jonathan McNamara, staff writer Niki D'Andrea, and writer Stephen Chilton, for the Up on the Sun blog.
Other New Times journalists winning top honors were: staff writer Ray Stern, Best Opinion Blog, for his work in Valley Fever; former Night & Day editor Clay McNear, Best Feature Headline; and former writing fellow Malia Politzer, Social Issues Reporting.
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Managing editor Amy Silverman took second place in Project, Explanatory, or Public Service Journalism for her three-part series, "The Lost Kids," and Stern and Fenske came in third for the Don Bolles Award for Investigative Reporting.
Assistant N&D editor Lilia Menconi, staff writers Paul Rubin and Monica Alonzo, photographer Jamie Peachey, and artists Brian Stauffer, Jeff Foster, and Jeff Crosby also won awards.
Journalist of the Year winner was Shanna Hogan, a reporter for Times Publications (including the Scottsdale Times) for her crime writing.
The awards banquet was held at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix.