Shortlist: Best Original Non-Fiction

We announced the shortlists for the Stack Awards last week, and while our expert judges deliberate over the next month, we’re going deeper into the categories and looking more closely at each of the individual publications. Today, we present the Best Original Non-Fiction category, which looks for the most exceptional interviews, reportage, and any other writing based on real events.

We’re excited to have Govind Balakrishnan, founder (an app for listening to curated articles) join Barbara Rowlands to judge this category. On top of running the MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, Barbara contributes to publications like The Guardian and The Times.

Berlin Quarterly | Berlin
Berlin Quarterly is a European review of long form journalism, literature and the arts. But their stories are far from Euro-centric — their subjects stretch to the furtherest corners of the world. The story they submitted for example, shows the unique Roma community living in rural eastern Portugal.

BQ6 in Copenhagen!

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Dispensa | Faenza
The Italian culinary magazine took a 9-year-old to the best restaurant in the world in their latest issue. Their submission sees a child visiting l’Osteria Francescana in Modena, a setting usually reserved for grown-ups.

Dispensa Cover

Even | New York
Even places art, music, architecture, and film in the context of the world’s biggest stories, and their chosen non-fiction piece sees writer Michelle Cho dissect South Korea’s grimey politics and corporate manoeuvring.

Even Cover

Fare | Glasgow
The food and travel magazine centres on Istanbul for their first issue. In their submitted story, Istanbul resident Andrew Finkel visits a medieval storeroom from the 1300s, which is now a workingman’s eatery called Mutfak Dili.

Harvard Design Magazine | Cambridge
For their ‘Seventeen’ issue, the design magazine metaphors the year 2017 as the world’s teenage years. A feminist collaborative responded to the brief with an essay using the music videos of Princess Nokia as the basis for an interrogation of the power of young girls.

History Today | London
This magazine aims to bring serious history to a wider audience, and their story ‘The Myth of Mummy Wheat’ debunks a myth that few people know even existed — that wheat found in Ancient Egyptian tombs could still be germinated despite the passage of time…

The September issue of History Today has arrived in the office! This month features articles on #pakistan #finland #ancientegypt #opera and much more. In shops on August 24th. #history #magazine #design #magazinecover

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Howler | Tampa
The inventive football magazine chooses a story of a groundskeeper for their submission. In the early 90s, a young Swansea City groundskeeper enjoyed double identity as the man inside the team’s mascot Cyril the Swan.

In the wild

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Kings’ Review | Cambridge
Aiming to make academia accessible, this magazine turns exciting research from top universities into long form journalism. Their chosen piece looks at extreme beauty through Helen of Troy, cosmetic surgery, and beyond.


New Philosopher | Hobart
This magazine applies philosophical ideas from past and present to contemporary life, often breaking down difficult concepts into engaging, bite-sized articles. Their chosen piece by Oliver Burkeman explores the phenomenon of “not eating things”, the way people cut out meat, dairy, gluten, etc from their diet.


Racquet | New York
Racquet is a lovely title from Brooklyn looking at tennis artfully and thoughtfully. They submitted a story by Sarah Nicole Prickett about the reselling of Maria Sharapova (who is also shaped in clay on their cover), which you can read on

Our third issue is finally here, featuring a @wilfridwoodsculptor take on @mariasharapova and the debut column by @andreapetkovici Subscribe now! Link in bio. 💻🎾👩🏼(Designed, as always, by @larrybuch 👑)

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Rouleur | London
Though this is a magazine about professional cycling, their narratives tend to transcend sport — ‘The Road From Damascus’, for example, is a story encapsulating the struggle of so many Syrians fleeing their beleaguered homeland.


Scenario | Copenhagen
Scenario looks at trends, ideas, visions and possible futures. ‘WrestleWorld’ by Esben Schjørring explains political issues through the emotion-inducing theatre of televised wrestling.


Somesuch Stories | London
This London-based paperback magazine offers original insight into contemporary experiences of culture, nature, politics, sex and society. ‘Matrescence’ by Lucy Jones explores the ill-documented psychic upheaval and resulting re-birth that the initial months of becoming a mother entail.


The Lifted Brow | Melbourne
The Lifted Brow presents essays, commentary, columns, criticism, fiction, poetry, interviews, comics, visual art, and more from exciting writers around the world. ‘An Architecture of Early Motherhood (and Independence)’ explores how people “inhabit spaces of female selfhood at different points in time and life, and the implicit assumptions that underpin their design.”

You can snag a copy now from our web store and we'll post it straight to you! Or grab one from your local bookshop or newsagent. Essays, commentary, criticism, interviews, fiction, poetry, comics, and more. ____ #theliftedbrow

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Womankind | Hobart
Womankind is a women’s magazine on self, identity and meaning in today’s society, and their chosen piece, ‘Consumer Narcissism’ by Antonia Case, forces readers to reflect on and revise their positions on a number of important issues for women.


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