Jacob Baynham’s essay “Jerry’s Dirt,” published in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review, won a National Magazine Award in the Profile Writing category of the 2020 National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media, administered by the American Society of Magazine Editors. The “Ellies” awards ceremony was held virtually on May 28.
Baynham, a freelance journalist and essayist based in Missoula, Montana, has written about criminal justice for The Christian Science Monitor and about parenting for Outside magazine, and has reported internationally for Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle, Slate and other publications. “Jerry’s Dirt” chronicles the remarkable life of fiction writer Jerry McGahan, Baynham’s late father-in-law.
“Jerry’s Dirt” appeared in the final Georgia Review issue edited by Stephen Corey before his July 2019 retirement. Over a 20-year period, The Georgia Review published seven stories by McGahan, two of which were reprinted alongside Baynham’s essay. In Corey’s words, “to come upon a surprise about a previous surprise”—the discovery of McGahan’s stories— “makes for a rare and marvelous moment, and that is what happened when Jacob Baynham submitted ‘Jerry’s Dirt.’”
Established in 1966, the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
“Jerry’s Dirt” will also appear in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020, published by Columbia University Press.
See the full list of winners here.