FERN is a three-time finalist for James Beard awards!

All of us at FERN were thrilled to learn earlier this week that we are a three-time finalist at the James Beard Media Awards, in collaboration with two of our valued partners. 

One nomination was in the “Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication” category, for a full magazine issue we co-published on the subject of food, in partnership with Switchyard, the excellent new literary magazine from the University of Tulsa. We were also nominated in the “Foodways” category, also for work in the Switchyard special issue, for Jori Lewis’s brilliant essay on the cultural and social history of the watermelon for Black Americans, “Tell me why the watermelon grows.” Not to brag, although that’s exactly what I’m doing, but our work with Switchyard was already a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and Jori’s essay was selected for the 2024 edition of Best American Food and Travel Writing. Adding to that is our nomination, also in “Foodways,” for a story in partnership with Grist, by Julia O’Malley, on the effects on a remote Alaskan Indigenous community of the collapse of the snow crab fishery.