The New Yorker's post-Charlottesville cover named best of the year; Entertainment Weekly's RuPaul wins consumers' votes

New York, NY (February 6, 2018)—The American Society of Magazine Editors today announced the finalists and winners of the 12th ASME Best Cover Contest. The New Yorker's "Blowhard" cover, depicting a Trump-like figure powering a sailboat by blowing into a Klansman's hood, was named Cover of the Year. Entertainment Weekly's election-themed RuPaul cover, “Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru," won the Readers' Choice Award.

Jonathan Dorn, the chief innovation officer of Active Interest Media and a member of the ASME Board of Directors, announced the winners at the annual American Magazine Media Conference at the Conrad Hotel in New York. The finalists and winners were simultaneously twittercast @asme1963. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, accepted the award for the Cover of the Year. Henry Goldblatt, editor in chief of EW, accepted the Readers' Choice Award.

The ASME Best Cover Contest honors the most outstanding magazine covers of the previous year. ASME members, including leading editors, art directors and photo editors, choose the best covers in 10 categories. The ASME Board of Directors then selects the best of those 10 covers as Cover of the Year. Selection criteria include the quality of the cover image, art direction and editorial copy as well as journalistic significance and newsstand strength.

Every cover entered in the contest is also posted on Facebook, where media consumers pick the winner of the Readers’ Choice Award by liking their favorite covers.

The 10 finalists for Cover of the Year included entries from 7 publications: Bike, The California Sunday Magazine, GQ, Marie Claire, New York, The New Yorker and Sauce. The New Yorker alone placed 4 covers in the top 10. The top five finishers in the Readers' Choice Award voting were Billboard, Concealed Carry, Entertainment Weekly, Living Bird and National Geographic. 

ASME members also chose four finalists in each category. Among the notable multi-finalists were TIME, two-time finalist in both the Best News and Politics and Most Controversial categories and finalist in the Brainiest category; ESPN The Magazine, two-time finalist in Best Sports and Fitness; Esquire, two-time finalist in Best Entertainment and Celebrity; and Texas Monthly, finalist in both Best News and Politics and Best Service and Lifestyle.

Other finalists were AFAR, Allure, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bon Appétit, The Chronicle Review, Condé Nast Traveler, EatingWell, Garden & Gun, GQ Style, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Magazine, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Local Palate, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Popular Science, Rachael Ray Every Day, Sports Illustrated, Surface, Surfer, TransWorld Motocross, TransWorld SKATEboarding, Vanity Fair, VICE, Wired and WSJ. Magazine.

Each category had its own Readers' Choice winner. The winners were Allure in Best Fashion and Beauty; Concealed Carry in Best Service and Lifestyle; Entertainment Weekly in Best Entertainment and Celebrity; ESPN The Magazine in Best Sports and Fitness; Feast in Most Delicious; GQ in Most Controversial; National Geographic in Best News and Politics; Popular Science in Best Business and Technology; VICE in Best Travel and Adventure; and Whitefish Review in Brainiest.

"From Norman Rockwell illustrations on The Saturday Evening Post to Annie Leibovitz photographs on Vanity Fair, Americans have always relied on magazine covers to tell us where we are and where we're going," said Sid Holt, chief executive of ASME. "The entries in this year's ASME Best Cover Contest continue in that tradition. There’s not a lot more that needs to be said. This year’s top covers—EW’s ‘Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru’ and especially The New Yorker’s ‘Blowhard’—speak for themselves.”

The first ASME Best Cover Contest took place in 2006. Previous Cover of the Year winners include Rolling Stone’s “Obama” in 2009; Harper’s Bazaar’s “Twilight” in 2010; New York’s “City and the Storm” in 2013; Boston’s “We Will Finish the Race” in 2014; Vanity Fair’s “Call Me Caitlyn” in 2016; and TIME’s “Total Meltdown” in 2017.

This year 128 magazines entered the contest, submitting 261 covers in 10 categories. More than 100 editors, art directors and photo editors judged the contest. Readers' Choice voting began January 2 on Facebook and lasted four weeks; 2.3 million media consumers saw the contest on Facebook, and 80,000 voted. 

To view the 2018 ASME Best Cover Contest gallery, visit To view previous winners and finalists, visit


Cover of the Year

The New Yorker for "Blowhard," August 28

Best News and Politics

Winner: The New Yorker for “The March,” February 6

Finalists: Mother Jones for “Trump vs. the Law,” May/June; Texas Monthly for Hurricane Harvey cover, October; TIME for “Nothing to See Here,” February 27-March 6; and TIME for “Person of the Year [The Silence Breakers],” December 18

Readers' Choice: National Geographic for “Gender Revolution,” January 

Best Entertainment and Celebrity

Winner: New York for “David Letterman Returns,” March 6-19

Finalists: Esquire for Pharrell cover, February; Esquire for Adam Driver cover, December 2017/January 2018; TransWorld SKATEboarding for Dylan Rieder cover, January; and Vanity Fair for Serena Williams cover, August

Readers' Choice: Entertainment Weekly for “Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru,” June 23 

Best Business and Technology

Winner: The New Yorker for “Coding 101,” November 20

Finalists: Bloomberg Businessweek for “It’s Not Easy Being Mark Zuckerberg Right Now,” September 25; The California Sunday Magazine for “The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley,” October 1 gatefold cover; Landscape Architecture Magazine for “The Big Blow,” April; and Popular Science for “The State of Water in Our World,” March/April

Readers’ Choice: Popular Science for “The State of Water in Our World,” March/April 

Best Service and Lifestyle

Winner: The California Sunday Magazine for “A Teenage Life,” December 1

Finalists: Garden & Gun for 10th-anniversary cover, April/May; The New Yorker for “Bright Star,” July 3; Surface for “Rossana Orlandi,” April; and Texas Monthly for “The 50 Best BBQ Joints,” June

Readers’ Choice: Concealed Carry for “Comfort & Style,” May/June 

Best Sports and Fitness

Winner: GQ for LeBron James cover, November

Finalists: ESPN The Magazine for Corey Seager cover, April 10; ESPN The Magazine for Brent Burns and Joe Thornton cover, July 17; Sports Illustrated for “Super Bowl Miracle,” February 13; and TransWorld Motocross for Ken Roczen cover, November

Readers’ Choice: ESPN The Magazine for Kirstie Ennis cover, July 17 

Best Fashion and Beauty

Winner: Marie Claire for Emma Stone cover, September

Finalists: Allure for “The Beauty of Diversity,” April; GQ Style for Brad Pitt split covers, Summer; Harper’s Bazaar for Kendall Jenner cover, May; and WSJ. Magazine for “Fall Fashion,” September

Readers’ Choice: Allure for “The Beauty of Diversity,” April 

Best Travel and Adventure

Winner: Bike for “Open Season,” July

Finalists: AFAR for “The Dream Trips Issue,” July/August; Condé Nast Traveler for “30th Anniversary Issue,” September; Surfer for “The Great Wave,” October; and VICE for post-election road-trip issue, June

Readers’ Choice: VICE for post-election road-trip issue, June 

Most Delicious

Winner: Sauce for “Poke All Day,” April

Finalists: Bon Appétit for “The Simple Issue,” August; EatingWell for “Gather & Feast,” November/December; The Local Palate for “The New ’Cue,” June/July; and Rachael Ray Every Day for “You Got This!,” November

Readers’ Choice: Feast for “Pizza & Beer,” October 


Winner: The New Yorker for “Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley,” March 6

Finalists: The Chronicle Review for “You’re Wrong,” May 12; Harper’s Magazine for “Who Owns Black Pain?,” July; TIME for “Infrastructure,” April 10; and Wired for “What Lies Ahead,” February

Readers’ Choice: Whitefish Review for “Rising Voices,” Winter/Spring 

Most Controversial

Winner: The New Yorker for “Blowhard,” August 28

Finalists: GQ for “Citizen of the Year [Colin Kaepernick],” December; Newsweek for “Pop Go the Weasels,” November 17; TIME for “White House-Red Square,” May 29; and TIME for “Hate in America” August 28

Readers’ Choice: GQ for “Citizen of the Year [Colin Kaepernick],” December 

Readers’ Choice Award

Winner: Entertainment Weekly for “Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru," June 23

Finalists: Billboard for “Woman of the Year 2017 [Selena Gomez],” December 9; Concealed Carry for “Comfort & Style,” May/June; Living Bird for “Winter Issue,” gatefold cover; and National Geographic for “Gender Revolution,” January 

All publication dates 2017 unless otherwise indicated  

About ASME

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. The members of ASME include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and on digital platforms. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media in association with the Columbia Journalism School and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.


Sid Holt
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Susan Russ
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