Happy Almost-Birthday, Us

The Ellie ceremony was last week, and Pipe Wrench was there. What will we accomplish in Year Two? We can only assume a Nobel.

If you hadn’t heard the first dozen times, this barely-one-year-old magazine was a finalist for Profile Writing in the 2022 National Magazine Awards, for Shanna B. Tiayon’s excellent “If We Can Soar: What Birmingham Roller Pigeons Offer the Men of South Central.”

The big screen. There we are, snuggled between The New Yorker and ProPublica.

The award ceremony was last week in Brooklyn, and Catherine, Shanna, and I were there to celebrate one another, see our little magazine on the big screen, eat tiny canapés, and watch the New Yorker and New York Times Magazine win awards.

Wonder what our acceptance speech would have
been like? That’s the kind of stuff we share
with members in our newsletter.

You should become one!

Did I start to cry as soon as I saw us appear on screen? I did. Did the presenter make a point of saying that profile writing was the most competitive category, and did that make me cry harder? Yes and yes. Did The New Yorker ultimately take the category? Of course. (And congrats to Rachel Aviv for a gorgeous story.) Did we care? We did not. We continue to float on the thrill of being nominated.

We also lived up to the pre-ceremony vows we’d made to go full-fancy schmancy with our clothing, to bring maximum sparkle to the proceedings. (The dress code was listed as “cocktail, business, or smart casual,” which I interpret as “anything but yoga pants.”) And for our efforts, we are now immortalized on Getty Images:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: (L-R) Shanna Brewton-Tiayon, Michelle Weber, and Catherine Cusick at the 57th Annual National Magazine Awards at Brooklyn Steel on April 5, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for American Society of Magazine Editors)

Congrats to all the finalists and winners and thanks to all the judges; you like us, you really like us! We’ll see you next year.

Big thanks to Pipe Wrench supporter Chris Hardie, who generously underwrote the fees for our Ellie applications. We are beyond grateful.

And of course, thanks to all our readers and members — we wouldn’t be here at all without you.

Four small pigeons in a row, serving as a paragraph divider

Revisit Shanna’s nominated feature,
along with the rest of Pipe Wrench no. 2.