INSP Awards: Best Vendor Contribution 2017 Nominees

It’s time to unveil the final set of nominees for this year’s INSP Awards – the longlist for the Best Vendor Contribution Award.

This award celebrates the valuable contributions made by street paper vendors to their paper. The top ten nominees are featured below.

INSP is delighted that our network of street papers is such a powerful platform for the creative and journalistic output of thousands of street paper vendors worldwide.

All week we’ve been announcing the nominees for our editorial categories, which are going forward to our international judging panels who will decide our finalists. These will be revealed in early August, ahead of the Global Street Paper Summit, when the winners are unveiled.


The nominees:

Big Issue North, UK

Big Issue North

Dave and Raelene

“Dave sells Big Issue North in Altrincham, England; Raelene a similar street paper in Colorado, USA. When they spoke to each other via Skype recently they found that the American and British experiences of homelessness had lots of similarities – and some differences.”

Denver Voice, USA

Steve Anson, Denver Voice

Steve Anson

“The piece by Steve Anson originally appeared in our 20th Anniversary issue. Naturally, it was an issue full of reflection on the history of the Denver Voice. Although Steve’s humorous, curmudgeonly reflection on his struggles with alcoholism and homelessness is a very personal piece, it also hits on one of the universal truths we’ve encountered over the decades: if you look closely at any community, you will find people who decide to care for each other despite the odds.”

Hus Forbi, Denmark

Hus Forbi


“The story is told by Hus Forbi-vendor Martin. He spends a lot of time on the road. He came to the editorial office at Hus Forbi with a memory card and said: ‘You can use it if you wish.’ Indeed. He told a fantastic story about going to the legendary Egeskov Market Denmark’s second biggest island, Funen. It takes place every year on the third Wednesday in September.”

Kupfermuckn, Austria


Ursula Mitterlehner

“A moving, personal account of the death of Kupfermuckn vendor Ursula Mitterlehner’s partner, who suffered from AIDS.”

L’Itinéraire, Canada


Jo Redwitch

“L’Itineraire vendor Jo Redwitch reflects on her former career as a sex dancer in Montreal. Her essay is in reaction to Canada’s controversial new prostitution bill, which has been widely denounced by sex workers because it makes the sex trade illegal and could create more victims. Jo believes the bill “isn’t suited to the reality of sex work” and hopes more sex workers can “find the courage to speak out and share their point of view” to challenge common stigmas. Her essay is a brave example.”

Street Sense, USA

Street Sense

Eric Thompson-Bey

“Eric wrote a series, starting with this instalment, after accepting a job offer from a local farmer who he met at a market where he’d sell Street Sense on the weekends. Eric is a native to D.C. and had never been out in the country. He appreciated the hard work and exposure to new experiences in nature – but it was definitely a learning curve.”

Street Sense, USA

Street Sense

Ronald Dudley

“Hours before the Prophets of Rage played in Washington D.C., Street Sense vendor and writer Ronald Dudley — a self-produced rap-artist by the name Pookanu — sat down with Chuck D, Tom Morello and PE Turntabalist DJ Lord (Lord Aswod) to hear more about their motivation and views on homelessness.”

StreetWise, USA


Penny Gearhart

“On August 3, 2016, we discovered that the victim of a drive-by shooting in Uptown was Penny Gearhart, an active participant in the StreetWise community. Penny and a friend were walking down the street when gang members started shooting, and she got caught in the crossfire. Penny was a vendor in Uptown and on restaurant row on Randolph. She regularly visited the offices to join our writers group and help out with whatever was needed. She was caring and compassionate and had a larger-than-life personality. In memoriam, we compiled some of Penny’s writing, some previously published and some not. The pieces capture the heart and humour of Penny, but also capture her fears. She was right to be worried about the gang violence infecting her neighbourhood, because it ultimately took her life.”


The Contributor, USA

The Contributor

Vicky B

“Vicky B is a vendor for The Contributor’s and one of our most celebrated writers and on her own, created the concept for five-part series detailing what it’s like to call a hotel your home.”

The Curbside Chronicle, USA

The Curbside Chronicle

Chazzi Davis

“One of the most challenging aspects of living with mental illness is the isolation. Curbside Chronicle vendor and photographer, Chazzi Davis, uses photography to counteract the loneliness and as motivation to live a fuller life. Twenty years ago, Chazzi lost everything due to mental health issues, and has found that taking abstract photos is like therapy for him. Chazzi uses editing software to make his photos more abstract. He likes to play with the colours and textures to make them unique.”

Take a look at the nominees we’ve already announced here. Don’t forget to check back in early August as we reveal the finalists for the 2017 #INSPAwards.