“In second place: The Marquette Wire from Marquette University,” the announcer for the College Media Association called out. CMA was announcing who won Feature Magazine of the Year.
Drake Magazine still had not been mentioned yet.
Drake Mag Editor-in-Chief Nate Eisenmann turned to Drake Mag art director Lily Eckenrode.
“I think we won,” Eisenmann said. And just like that, Drake’s name appeared on the giant screen at the front of the room.
Drake Mag faculty adviser Jen Wilson and senior editor Kylie Petty were also with Eisenmann and Eckenrode at the Associated Collegiate Press and CMA fall convention held in Atlanta, Georgia from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. The magazine and its staff received a total of five national awards.
“I wasn’t too surprised because we went into it having won a few the year before,” Eisenmann said. “I was still really excited, of course, finding out this summer we were finalized for these awards. It was also exciting to hear Drake Mag’s name get called over and over again [in Atlanta].”
In the past 10 years, Drake Mag has either received or been nominated for the annual ACP Pacemaker award nine times. For the CMA Pinnacle award, they have either received or been nominated seven out of the past ten years. Despite this publication frequently winning awards, the excitement is not lost on its staff.
“I think it’s just as exciting to win an award three times in a row as it would be to win one for the first time,” Eisenmann said. “I think that with each new issue, they’re unique enough that it’s so special to hear our name called at these ceremonies. It doesn’t get old, and it’s something I want to continue after I’ve graduated.”
This edition included summer fashion trends, recipes for street tacos and a story on maintaining sobriety as a young adult. Beyond Features Magazine of the Year, Drake Mag won the Best Magazine Feature Page/Spread award for their “Figs” recipes, and multiple writers were singled out for their works.
“There were a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of tears,” last year’s Drake Mag Editor-in-Chief Annie Peterson said. “You kind of forget all about that when you get the awards. It was definitely worth it.”
Drake Mag was not the only publication to win awards in Atlanta. Urban Plains, the capstone publication for the multimedia journalism, magazine and brand media and digital media productions majors, won seven awards. Drake Political Review, Drake’s political magazine, received two awards: second place for Best Editorial Illustration and honorable mention for Feature Magazine of the Year. A Times-Delphic features story won Divison II for best feature story.
“We are a completely student-written, edited and illustrated magazine, so whenever we get recognized for the work that students put in, I think it’s pretty rewarding,” DPR Editor-in-Chief Madeline Crawford said. “I went to Washington D.C. last year to accept some of our awards, and it was a really meaningful experience. It was one of the reasons I wanted to be editor-in-chief [of DPR].”
Drake Mag is a student-run publication that produces biannual feature content. The publication includes everything from fashion trends to martini recipes.
“[Drake Mag’s staff’s] goal is to tell great stories that the campus can enjoy. That’s why they do it,” Inman, who advised Drake Mag last year, said. “But in that process, because of that culture of excellence that they have, they always produce something that is head and shoulders above a lot of other student magazines across the country.”
For Drake Mag, each publication starts with a brainstorming meeting. Afterwards, writers, designers and photographers work in tandem to create stories. Wilson and faculty adviser Neil Ward give advice and help the editorial team in creating each issue. Then, Drake’s magazine publications host what’s called a pin-up, where they publicly show off what they’ve created by the beginning of November.
“These students are passing down their skills and their ideas and their pride through class rank,” Wilson said. “It’s really fun to see, and it’s inspiring, too — clearly, because we brought back a basket of awards.”
Drake Mag doesn’t anticipate this year’s victory being their last.
“I don’t have any doubt that the students working this year are going to rise to the same occasion next year,” Wilson said.