In June, Out There Monthly won three first place Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, or SPJ. The 2007 awards were given for material published in 2006. The publication received two awards in the non-daily newspaper category from the Inland Northwest Chapter of SPJ, which includes news outlets from Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana. Contributing Writer Jess Walter won First Place, General Columns, for his piece about Kendall Yards entitled “Urban Outdoors-July,” and Art Director Kaitlin Snyder won First Place, Page Layout for the April piece about freestyle mountain bikers entitled “Freeride Freaks.”

In addition to the Inland Northwest SPJ awards, Out There Monthly also received a Region 10 SPJ award, which covers publications in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Art Director Kaitlin Snyder won First Place, Page design for her 2006 OTM covers, beating out Second Place winner Seattle Weekly, and Third Place winner The Pacific Northwest Inlander in the alternative newsweekly category.

“It’s really exciting to see the SPJ judges select Out There Monthly over other publications that are much larger and have been around a lot longer than we have,” said OTM Publisher Jon Snyder. ” Our goal is to encourage readers to have a fun, healthy, outdoor lifestyle, and think about how they can help preserve the environment for future generations.”
According SPJ Region 10 Director Nathan Isaacs, The Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest is among the oldest and largest regional contests in the country. This year almost 3,000 entries were submitted in the regional contest, which includes categories in newspapers, television, online, alternative newspapers and radio.

“Judges were impressed by the high caliber of journalism performed daily throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said Isaacs, writing on his SPJ Region 10 Blog.

“Congratulations to Jess and Kaitlin for being recognized for their efforts,” said Publisher Jon Snyder. “These awards are great for them and they are also a great validation of all the folks who work so hard every issue to make Out There Monthly a reality.”