Leading up to next week’s National Magazine Awards, mediabistro.com is publishing a special package of our popular “So What Do You Do?” series with daily interviews of selected nominees, ranging from the well-known to obscure. Today we chat with Ted Genoways, editor of last year’s dark horse, the Virginia Quarterly Review.:
Last year your nominations came as a surprise — a shock, really — to the magazine-watching media in New York. What was that experience like, and how is it different — if at all — this year?
It came as something of a shock to us, too. We’d gotten two nominations in 2005, so we were all hoping that we wouldn’t come up empty in ’06. Then, we got six nominations. Everyone took notice, and it did a lot to boost our profile — but also upped the ante for this year. A lot of media watchers seemed to expect that we’d be disappointed with two nominations this year, but I was delighted. It was our third straight nomination in general excellence, our fourth nomination in three years in fiction. If there’s any big difference, it’s that we’re a bit more philosophical this year. Win or lose, we’re glad to be considered again. And, I think we may have another big year next year — not because the work is better, but because it seems to fit some of the categories better. We’re more philosophical in that way, too — recognizing that we publish what matters to us, then worry about awards later.