Inside HONOLULU: Making Headlines in 2018

Some of our funniest, most groan-worthy and odd headlines that didn’t make the cover of HONOLULU Magazine.

It’s less than five words long. But coming up with a cover line for the stories in HONOLULU Magazine can be some of the most difficult writing we do. It has to be short but descriptive. Intriguing enough to make you pick up the magazine but not misleading so that you feel duped.


So, every month the HONOLULU team has a no-holds-barred headline brainstorm session. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is rejected. Snacks are eaten. Bad puns are cheered. Often, someone dissolves into silent tears of laughter (managing fashion editor Brie Thalmann). Here are a few of our favorite misses that you will (thankfully) never see on a cover of HONOLULU.


Our August issue included three features: senior editor Don Wallace’s in-depth look at the science behind vog, editor at large Robbie Dingeman’s profile of the new programs at Hawai‘i state public libraries and managing editor Katrina Valcourt’s story about the new developments at local chocolatier Madre Chocolate.

Vog feature


Vog titles that left us in a haze:

  • “The Sky is Falling”

  • “VOG2” (Don’s play on SO2 for the cerebral readers.)

  • The Best of the Worst: “Who Let the Vog Out,” suggested by senior fashion editor Stacey Makiya. This would have been perfect if we had also run with a suggested headline for our restaurant review of The Brilliant Ox—“What Does the Ox Say?” (To be followed by, “yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.”)




Library titles that would have been pulled from the stacks:

  • “Not Your Grandfather’s Library”

  • “Something Borrowed, Something New”

  • “So Fine: Hawai‘i’s Newest Libraries”

  • Our favorite: “Hawai‘i’s Libraries: There’s an App for That,” from the mind of Robbie.

Side note: Our actual headline, “Check It Out,” was such a home run that our digital marketing specialist, Enjy El-Kadi, proudly pitched it as a web headline a month later.


Setting the bar low for Madre Chocolate:

  • Madre

    “Cool Beans”

  • “Pod People”

  • “Madre Wants to be Your Chocolate Mama”

  • “Treasure of the Buried Madre”

  • The Best of the Worst: “Who’s Yo’ Madre?”


Our September 2018 feature on the 15th anniversary of the Kapi‘olani Community College Farmers Market by food and dining editor Catherine Toth Fox brought out the green in us.


Bet you’re glad we didn’t name the story:

  • “Market Revolution”

  • “Jolly Green Giants”

  • “KCC and the Sunshine Brand” (nod to Don here)

  • “Stalk Market”

  • Most Singable Suggestion: “Old MacDonald had a Farmers Market,” suggested by staff writer Jayna Omaye. The E-I-E-I-O is implied.