In 2001 we conducted our most recent Readership Survey. Five hundred twenty individuals replied to the 1,000 surveys we mailed—a wonderful response! Some of the notable information we received included a strong reader preference for more controversial material and an indication that we should publish less poetry. We’ve taken these suggestions to heart and have included more material that we believe is both responsible and controversial. The ensuing dialogue in our Forum pages has been lively, instructive, and appreciated by many (including winning an Associated Church Press award of excellence—1st place—for Letters to the Editor in 2002). We’ve also become more selective in the poetry we’ve chosen, accepting and publishing less, but, we believe, increasing the quality of the poetry we do publish (last year winning an ACP honorable mention—3rd place—for Poetry in 2002).
This year, I’m tremendously delighted to tell you that we’ve won more awards in the ACP 2003 competition than any prior year: six awards in all. Except for 2000, when we received 3rd place for "Best in Class—Denominational General Interest Magazine," this is the best we’ve ever done. For 2003, Friends Journal received the following awards:
- Most Personally Useful Article: award of excellence (1st place) for "Addressing Hearing Loss among Friends" October 2003 by Karen Street (Judges’ comment: "This article takes on an extremely important issue that every church, mosque, temple, etc. has: How to hear who is talking. With detail and new information, this piece was great.");
- Poetry: award of merit (2nd place) for