3 Questions: Rebekah Monson


Rebekah Monson of Arts & Sciences magazine at the University of Miami and a freelance journalist. Rebekah is a judge on the news team.

What’s your takeaway from being a judge?
“There is a huge quantity of really outstanding work that we’re seeing. When you work in this business sometimes you feel like we’re losing staff and we’re losing space but people are really doing some innovative and cool things to make the most of what they have. I’ve also been surprised at how thorough the process is because a lot of times when you’re not here you get the book and you think, ‘How did this win and this other thing didn’t?’ But the way that everything is set up it’s so organized and systematic. It’s not a perfect system but every judge is deeply concerned with being fair and thorough.”

What advice do you have for people entering the competition?
“People who have been very successful pick their top pages and enter them in multiple categories. They also are very harsh editors. The entries that do the best have been heavily curated. It’s 100% editing from the bottom up.”

What are you a nerd about?
“I’m a band nerd by training. I’ve been surprised how many other judges are band nerds also. There are a lot of judges who play instruments here. In some ways that makes sense because in some ways there is a link between music and creativity and what we do here.”

To see the 3-question responses of all the SND34 judges, click here

About Kenney Marlatt

is a designer/editor at the Chicago Tribune.

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