Thank you for all of the incredible entries in the 31st Annual Pa’i Awards! It is a great pleasure to honor Hawaii’s talented writers, designers and photographers! Congratulations to all of the winners!



First Place – Ka Leo O Hawai‘i of University of Hawaii at Manoa, “Strong, consistent design … I especially appreciated your range of coverage and your commitment to news/hard news, which was a particular strength of this publication.”

Second Place – Ka Mana‘o of Leeward Community College, “Excellent design with a broad focus … Not afraid to take on controversial issues.”


First Place – Metro, “There’s some excellent work in this publication. Headlines are catchy and compelling. Writing is solid throughout.”

Second Place – MarineStar, “This publication has a different target audience than other entries, but I like both the content and design. Excellent use of alternative story forms and infographics throughout.”


First Place – Halekulani Living from Nella Media Group, “The design of this is striking. It really creates an identity. I also really like the editorial choice of printing in both English and Japanese within the same page.”

Second Place – Outrigger Journey by Morris Visitor Publications, “The photography really makes this publication sing… also, important stories to tell about culture.”


First Place – Hawaii Magazine, “Wow. Really important stories about sugar plantations and culture in this issue. Great design and regular departments, too.”

Second Place – Hana Hou, “Fantastic design, images and stories. I really appreciate the aesthetic of this issue.”


First Place – MidWeek – Special Sections Division for the piece it did for Hawaii Foodbank, “Strong design with good use of infographics and nice typography. I like the way you’re engaging readers through social media in a printed publication.”

Second Place – Hawaii Tribune-Herald for “Celebrate Hula,” a special section devoted to the Merrie Monarch Festival, “Nice special section that was enjoyable to read.”


First Place – Building Industry Hawaii. “… This robust publication has a strong mix of content that should please both readers and advertisers. Writing is engaging and reflects some solid editing. Design is strong on some of the feature stories.”


First Place – Honolulu Magazine for its All-Island Restaurant Guide, “Mouth-watering photography, with the best editorial content in this category. If I’m visiting Hawaii, I’m picking up a copy of this publication. Terrific quality and terrifically useful.”

Second Place – Honolulu Magazine for its Private School Guide, “Excellent product that is certainly helpful for families choosing private schools in Hawaii.”


First Place – Abstract Magazine, “Fresh and clean layout. It feels like a print magazine adapted very well for the Internet, rather than the standard ‘content index’ approach of most news websites.”

Second Place – Honolulu Magazine, “I like the strong visual approach here. The top-level navigation is sparse enough that I can go directly to the content I want.”


First Place – Honolulu Magazine for “Behind-the-Scenes Look at Making Honolulu Magazine’s Mauka to Makai Cover,” “Strong production and a decent length give this one the edge over the other entries. For those readers interested in the topic, this provides another dimension to the coverage.”

Second Place – Flux Hawaii for “An Interview with Mark Cunningham.” “As a standalone video, it took me a minute to catch up to the storyline. However, there is a good collection of B-roll that was well anchored to the interview.”


First Place – West Hawaii Today for “Into Guillermo” written by Chelsea Jensen who spent about 12 hours aboard a Hurricane Hunters C-130 aircraft to pen her story about how the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron collects data to assist Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters. “I like the mix of explanation and current news in this story, rather than it just being a feature about the forecast unit. The photo gallery is a good step, as well as the rapid push to the web.”


First Place – Hawaii Tribune-Herald for “Date Onomics.” “Creative, clever, great use of color, graphics and page balance.”

Second place goes to Metro for its “Flight of the Ecotraveler” cover, “Nice mix of imagery and fonts to communicate the vibe and tone of the feature.”


First Place – Honolulu Magazine for its July 2015 “Best of Honolulu” issue, “This cover represents the best of photography, graphics, fonts and design coming together for a striking image.”

Second Place – Hawaii Magazine for its September/October 2015 issue, “This cover employs a great sense of place and image use, nice color balance and good font choices.”


First Place – Honolulu Magazine for “Sour Poi Awards” from its January 2015 issue, “The world of humor is fraught with horror, but here it works beautifully (yes, intentional pun) in this mixture of art and text … An illustrative feast for the reader.”

Second Place – Pacific Business News for its 2015-2016 Book of Lists, “Simple in conception, complex in execution. Nice detail that keeps the reader/viewer engaged.”


First Place – MidWeek for “In a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” “Effective use of the illustrative medium and an aging yet still relevant pop-culture reference. At all levels, a distant government is the issue of the year.”

Second place goes to MidWeek for “Department of Education.”


First Place – Pacific Business News for “Chefs Cook Up Business,” “The combination of photography and illustration is a fun, unexpected design solution here. The type and graphics are clean and easy to read, providing a nice balance to the lively and jovial artwork … this is a very inviting, reader-friendly layout.”

Second Place – West Hawaii Today for “Pasta,” “I dare anybody to see this page in print and not stop to read it. This is a very inviting layout with a nice combination of photography and text … The designer successfully took a large amount of text and made it very appealing.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “Pipeline From Above,” “When I saw the dramatic opening spread, I immediately knew this layout should win an award. Looking at the photos, I also find myself wondering, ‘How did the photographer GET some of those shots?’ The designer effectively shows the surfer’s passion for the ocean’s waves through these gorgeous images.”

Second Place – Honolulu Magazine for “All Hail the General,” “This is a beautiful layout that truly celebrates small local markets and general stores. It’s a very reader-friendly design with several entry points and not too much text … This is a colorful, bold layout full of thoughtful details and creativity.”


First Place – Outrigger Journey from Morris Visitor Publications for “The Song of Mana,” “Impressive tight shots. Beautiful use of lighting and texture. I also appreciate the variety of shots from really tight to medium.”

Second Place – Hana Hou for “Pipeline From Above,” “The opening shot was impressive — really impressive … What a neat way to see something that many people have seen from other angles.”


First Place – Flux Hawaii for “Check All That Apply,” “Oh, what a neat angle on a story. You did a great job of finding a story and then finding people to illustrate it. The family portraits also exemplified nice moments and high technical quality.”

Second Place – Generations Magazine for “Dr. Joe Young, Mayor of Chinatown Wishing Progress in 2015,” “The opening dominant images made this story come to life. I loved how you showed him interacting with the environment. The little shots added to the story and completed moments.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “Bomb Squads.” “Impressive. Nice, tight crop that led right into the spread … Good moment and capturing peak action.”

Second Place  – West Hawaii Today for “Mouth of Tuna.” This made me laugh. And a good photo should push a viewer toward some form of reaction … Good job being at the right place at the right time and for turning what could have been a cliché moment into a chuckle.”


First Place – Hawaii Tribune-Herald for “Hot! Hot! Hot!” “I can almost feel the heat these kids are trying to escape. That compounded by the lovely leading line, the great mid-air action and the wonderful color, and you’ve got a winning image. Well done.”

Second Place – Pacific Business News for “Hawaii’s Most Wanted.” “A collection of mugshots would not usually register as a winning entry. However, you’ve turned what could have been an incredibly boring or clichéd assignment and turned it into something cool and contemporary.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “Riding with the Professor.” “What a great set of storytelling images. They’re beautiful and eye-catching, but the real kicker was the fact that they told the full story of the surf professor … Your attention to creating a visual narrative netted you the win.”

Second Place – Hana Hou for “Pipeline From Above.” “What a cool series of images … The photographs are not only unique but beautiful, too. While the really wide shots featuring lots of surfers were amazing, you were at your strongest when focusing on one specific surfer. Very well done.”


First Place – Maui News for “We Lost Just About Everything.” “I literally took a deep breath when the PDF opened. The emotion and hurt those women were feeling is palpable and gripping. The framing and close crop really enhances the image. Kudos on your ability to capture such an amazing moment while still being respectful to their circumstance.”

Second Place – Hawaii Tribune-Herald for “Standoff!” “I love how the frame is filled with the wall of people. It really helps to put the viewer in the middle of the protest and instantly takes us there.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “The Road Goes Ever On.” “Wow. This piece grabs the reader from the start and gives him an adrenaline rush. Excellent lede for a unique story. Well done.”

Second Place – Halekulani Living for “It’s In the Signs.” “The story takes something pedestrian — signs — and explains how something we see every day is art that shows history and culture. Nice job.”


First Place – Honolulu Magazine for “The Everything Guide to Local Chocolate.” “Outstanding reporting that delved into the history of chocolate on the island and its comeback, involving major players like Dole to local farmers. Beautifully ties the past to the present to the future. Easy to read. Very informative.”

Second Place – Hana Hou for “The Last Roundup.” “Cowboys on the island? The uniqueness of this topic automatically draws in the reader, where we are exposed to a hidden world that is interestingly being corrupted by an evil weed. Outstanding.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “The Great Downwind Run,” “Comprehensive story of a sport not understood by many spectators. Great job showing how multiple elements affect the long race, including bringing in modern-day issues like pollution. Insightful perspectives from multiple sailors, putting a personal touch on a sport that is far-removed from most people.”

Second-place winner is “Building Up” by MANA, “In an era of female empowerment — which is a good thing — this story tackles an important and underreported topic: the essence of male hood. Rather than just a profile of the subject or a story about tradition, the writer delves deep into a larger issue that is rarely discussed.”

First place – The Maui News for “Damage Control.” “Very thorough reporting. Excellent job piecing multiple facts together and — briefly — explaining the situation to your audience.”
Second place – Hawaii Tribune Herald for “Kenoi Outspent by Aides.” “Such an important story. Great job following the money, and getting confirmation of certain things.”


First Place – Michael Keany, Honolulu Magazine, for “Afterthoughts.” “Very personable column. Writer does an excellent job of making the reader feel like he is having a conversation with you. Topics are important to readrs, and reporting occurs on certain issues.”

Second Place – Catherine Toth Fox from Honolulu Magazine for “Ono: Food and Dining.” “So much more than a food column. The writer tells us about the person behind the food. Great, descriptive review.”


First Place – For Kauai Magazine for “Oustanding Humans” — a piece that supports President Obama’s immigration reform.” “Timely and appropriate, with good specifics.”

Second Place – “Who is Charlie?” from For Kauai Magazine, which examines the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. “Solid writing.”


First Place – Hawaii Magazine for “Disappearing Lanai and Everyday Lanai.” “Simply beautiful. The teamwork of the writer and photography (who serves as both the subject of the story and the storyteller) is fantastic. This is a non-traditional advocacy, but provides a great resource to preserve the history of this place. Excellent job.”

Second Place – West Hawaii Today for “Dengue Fever Outbreak.” “This series started out very straightforward, reporting on leaders’ calls for action. But the paper took it further to ask questions for the vulnerable. Good work.”


First Place – “OHA Goes Silent” from Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “Comprehensive, balanced look story that follows the money — multiple money trails if you throw in campaign contributions — and reinforces the need for watchdog journalism.”

Second Place – For Kauai Magazine for “Rapid Ohia Death Threatens the Forest.” “Important heads-up on a potentially transformative development in Hawaii’s forests.”


First Place – Hana Hou for “Riding the Plank.” “Fabulous, fascinating and I loved the first-person approach. A compelling story of the rebirth of the alaia wood-plank, finless surfboard and one person’s effort to right the board … and tell its story — and, no bogus Hollywood ending with the author riding the new/old board silhouetted by a Hawaiian sunset … Although I do hope Mr. Shapiro eventually stood up on the thing.”

Second Place – “Zippy’s Senior Club” from Honolulu Magazine. “I was prepared to toss this piece aside with a ‘whatever.’ But then I read the lead, and I was hooked. A fun, engaging, reflective look at the crew of seniors who populate a well-known and popular Hawaiian restaurant chain, with plenty of the author’s story in the mix.”


First Place – Maui News for “Police Suit Up for Telescope Protest.” “Informative without being excessive with numbers. Writing style is strong and engaging.”

Second Place – West Hawaii Today for “Mauna Loa Waking.” “Manages to blend news angle with interesting historical research.”