HONOLULU Magazine Earns 13 Awards in 2021

If you’re looking for a great read, here are a few of our stories that won local and national awards this year.


We love what we do. But it takes a team—a small, but we like to call ourselves scrappy, local team—to put together the pages of HONOLULU and HONOLULU Family magazines, and every piece those and Frolic Hawai‘i’s websites. So, though we feel a little local-style shame at tooting our own horns, we know we owe every award we receive to the people who trust us to share their stories. That’s the real honor. Still, we are proud about the more than a dozen local and national awards for our work.


The City and Regional Magazine Association matches HONOLULU Magazine against city and regional magazines across the nation. We were named finalists for overall general excellence for the magazine and received two more awards for individual features. The Society of Professional Journalists Hawai‘i Chapter awarded our entire design team in 2020—creative director James Nakamura and senior art directors Christine Labrador and Janelle Kalawe-Ching—by giving us first place for overall page design. Editor at large Robbie Dingeman earned first place for a body of work by a single writer, while food and dining editor Martha Cheng took third place. Managing editor Katrina Valcourt won top honors for her column, “Afterthoughts.” The other individual stories that received awards are among some of our favorites in 2020. So, take a moment to read, or re-read, some of these pieces about the place we love.


City and Regional Magazine Association


Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Food or Dining Feature

Finalist: “Poke!,” written by Robbie Dingeman, Catherine Toth Fox, Mari Taketa, Katrina Valcourt and Christi Young, and designed by creative director James Nakamura. Judges comments: “The fresh design of this poke roundup reeled readers in while guiding them bowl by sensuous bowl through Honolulu’s varied and delicious options for this traditional Hawaiian dish.”



09 20 Hn Fall Fashion Joy Story Opener

Harold Julian; Hair and Makeup: Risa Hoshino; Illustrations: Shar Tuiasoa



Feature Design

Finalist: “Joy Story,” senior stylist Stacey Makiya and designed by senior art director Christine Labrador. Judges comments: “This is lively, contemporary and visually exciting from beginning to end.”


General Excellence

Finalist: Judges comments: “This is a spectacular magazine to look at. Its well-displayed photography, creative layout and clean design are top-notch. From the sharply written front-of-book Calabash section to well-reported news features the publication delivers on all fronts. Honolulu makes for a first-rate and fabulous reader experience. ”



Society of Professional Journalists Hawai‘i Chapter


12 20 Mw Owners

Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka. Photo: Olivier Koning




3rd Place: “Community Circle,”  Mari Taketa


Community Circle


Body of Work for a Single Writer

1st Place: Robbie Dingeman


3rd Place: Martha Cheng


Overall Magazine Page Design

1st Place: HONOLULU’s art directors Janelle Kalawe-Ching and Christine Labrador and creative director James Nakamura



Organized Crime



Best Single Feature Layout

1st Place: “Organized Crime in the 808,” James Nakamura

3rd Place: “The Sour Poi Awards,” Janelle Kalawe-Ching


Magazine Cover

1st Place: Organized Crime Undercover, November 2020, James Nakamura

2nd Place: Poke!, October 2020, James Nakamura

Honolulu Magazine October November Covers


Column Writing or Blog/Features or Sports

1st Place: “Afterthoughts,”  Katrina Valcourt




Special Section

2nd Place: “Poke!”- Robbie Dingeman, Catherine Toth Fox, Mari Taketa, Katrina Valcourt, Christi Young, designed by James Nakamura


Open Magazine Mockup By Anthony Boyd Graphics