Ms. Stewart, who was released from federal prison last month, unexpectedly took the stage when her Martha Stewart Weddings magazine won general excellence for magazines with circulation between 250,000 and 500,000. Later in the ceremony, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together (formerly known as Martha Stewart Kids) won best design.
"How does it feel to win two fabulous, coveted awards? Excellent," a grinning Ms. Stewart told Adage.com after she exited the stage following a final winners-only photo op. (Gawkers noted that the electronic monitoring bracelet Ms. Stewart must wear was not visible between her trousers and open-toed shoes.)
Big winner: 'The New Yorker'
Elsewhere the big winner was The New Yorker and its parent company, Conde Nast Publications. The New Yorker, the sole magazine that won multiple awards, took home five "Ellies," as the elephant-shaped Alexander Calder-designed trophies are known, including one for General Excellence for magazines with circulation between 1 million and 2 million. But two other Conde Nast titles, Wired and Glamour, won General Excellence in their categories as well, and Conde Nast's style.com arm won the online category's General Excellence. All told, Conde Nast took home nine Ellies, easily besting Time Inc.'s four victories to be the most-awarded company.
Perennial nominee-vacuum The Atlantic took home just one Ellie, for fiction, a slightly ironic honor given that the magazine has announced plans to remove fiction from its regular issues and to publish one annual fiction issue in the summer. "That's our big bet," managing editor Cullen Murphy said. He added he expected the issue to contain 10 short stories and related fiction content, including an essay by novelist Rick Moody.
His magazine's Ellie was conspicuously absent from Mr. Murphy's grasp at an impromptu press scrum after the event, because, the Boston-based Mr. Murphy said, it's difficult getting an ungainly and pointy metal object onto trains or planes. "I have a lot of experience trying to get Ellies through security," he said.
General Excellence after 14 years
Glamour's Ellie for General Excellence is its first in 14 years, said editor in chief Cindi Leive, who tottered onstage in high heels despite being "nine and a half months" pregnant.
Asked if winning an Ellie made a difference to more workaday concerns like selling more newsstand copies, Ms. Leive burst into laughter. "I have no idea! Ask me in a year," she said.
Among the day's surprises: Vanity Fair, nominated for seven Ellies, took home none. And San Francisco made inroads into a decidedly Manhattan-centric business, with two Bay Area-based titles -- independent shelter magazine Dwell and Conde Nast's Wired -- taking home General Excellence awards.
The 2005 National Magazine Award winners are:
- Glamour for General Excellence (over 2 million circulation)
- The New Yorker for General Excellence (1 million to 2 million circulation)
- Wired for General Excellence (500,000 to 1 million circulation)
- Martha Stewart Weddings for General Excellence (250,000 to 500,000 circulation)
- Dwell for General Excellence (100,000 to 250,000 circulation)
- Print for General Excellence (under 100,000 circulation)
- Baby Talk for Personal Service
- Sports Illustrated for Leisure Interests
- The New Yorker for Reporting
- The New Yorker for Public Interest
- Esquire for Feature Writing
- The New Yorker for Profile Writing
- National Geographic for Essays
- National Journal for Columns and Commentary
- The New Yorker for Reviews and Criticism
- Popular Science for Magazine Section
- Newsweek for Single-topic Issue
- Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together for Design
- Gourmet for Photography
- Time for Photo Portfolio/Photo Essay
- The Atlantic Monthly for Fiction
- Style.com for General Excellence Online