INSP Awards: Introducing the Best Special Edition Award and the 2019 Nominees

We’re introducing two brand new awards as part of the INSP Awards 2019 – the first of which is Best Special Edition.

This award will go to the best one-off edition of a street paper – either a special themed edition, or a spin-off publication sold alongside the regular street paper (such as a Christmas book). Judges will consider the entire product: cover, design, concept and the extra income opportunities offered to vendors.

The Top 10 Nominees in Best Special Edition’s inaugural year, featured below, will now go forward to our editorial shortlisting panel, who will choose the five finalists. These will be announced in early June, and the winner will be revealed at the Global Street Paper Summit in Hannover, Germany.

The Nominees:

1. Asfalt, Norway

Asfalt: Middag

Asfalt said: The last three years we have published a cookbook instead of the regular magazine before Christmas. This book is sold for double the price of a regular magazine, giving the vendor the opportunity to earn twice as much. Food and recipes have been an important part of Asfalt since the very beginning, and one of Norway’s top chefs Charles Tjessem has been contributing his recipes in the magazine. We wanted to collect these recipes in a book, and so the cookbook idea was born. Food is important for bringing people together and facilitating meetings – which is what we strive for. Our first book consisted of a mix of Tjessem’s recipes and new material from local restaurants. It was a success with 22,000 copies sold. Thus, we continued the concept for two more years, with one baking book and finally a dinner book that sold about 16,000 copies. We have approximately 170 vendors. These books have become popular Christmas gifts, and recipes and contributors are great content to share in social media. This has given us attention from local media, and a nice opportunity to share information about our work in its entirety.

2. Asphalt, Germany

Asphalt Kids

Asphalt said: The number of homeless people in Germany is ever increasing, with over 50,000 living completely on the streets. Among them are thousands of adolescents. On the other side, our children and teenagers are being confronted with the hardship and dramatic reality of homelessness in our cities. It scares them, they have questions. We thought it was high time to explain the subject honestly but in the right way for their age groups, and to set the record straight for the especially difficult subjects of child poverty and teenage homelessness. So that’s what we did in December 2018 with Asphalt Kids. It has a special layout adapted to the younger generation and is written in a way they can relate to, with specialist external advice from teachers and pupils. This is the first magazine of its kind in Germany.
What’s inside:
– A day in the life of Karen and Uwe in pictures
– Life on the streets makes you ill: who’s helping?
– Homeless people and their dogs: best friends forever
– Child poverty in Germany
– Street kids: four portraits
– An app to help in emergencies
– Junior reporter Sebastian (10) investigates.
The magazine can offer an extra source of income for our vendors because it is designed for children, teenagers and schools – a completely new set of potential customers. The first edition of 10,000 copies has almost sold out already.

3. Faktum, Sweden

Election Special 2018

Faktum said: In 2018, some of our vendors met top Swedish politicians, one from each parliamentary party, for a personal interview. They met at train stations, airports, offices, hotels and galleries. The questions from the vendors to the politicians were about laws against begging in the streets, debt restructuring, healthcare, crime, racism, voting rights and housing politics. But also about more personal things like which subject was the politician’s best in school, about God, idols and their childhood environment. They all became important meetings between those who have the least power and those who have the most power in Swedish society. The interviews were conducted throughout the year by vendors from different parts of Sweden (Gothenburg and Malmö) and were covered by our reporting team. The articles were first published separately in different editions of Faktum. Before the September 2018 elections, we published a special magazine with all the interviews: “Valextra 2018”. 6,000 copies were printed and sold alongside the regular Faktum, and the vendors sold 4,479 extra magazines that month.

4. Iso Numero, Finland

Vendor Special

Iso Numero said: Our first edition in 2019 was a special one. After eight years of publication history, the January edition featured content exclusively related to the vendors of street papers both in Finland and abroad. The idea for this special edition came from combining ideas of Nordic Christmas books and #VendorWeek. Iso Numero is a current affairs magazine with a social twist. Although as an organisation we have grown exponentially in the past few years, the magazine is created by a small editorial team with limited resources. This means that there is a biannual production bottleneck during the winter and summer holiday seasons. In previous years the holiday editions have been on sale for two months. This meant approximately 50% lower sales during the second month, so the editorial team decided to produce the January special edition. Included in the edition are articles that market the magazine as an employment opportunity to new vendors. The special edition turned out to be a success as it sold out. Furthermore, the vendors earned more than 2.5 times as much income compared to the previous January.

5. Megaphon, Austria


Megaphon said: The Megaphon fairy-tale Mondtraumsand [Moon sand of dreams] is a bedtime story by author Luna Al-Mousli and illustrator Clara Berlinski. At the age of 14, Luna left her hometown in Syria with her family to live in Vienna. One full moon night when it was foggy her 4-year-old little sister Hiba, whom she dedicated the book to, said: “We have to hoover the moon, so we can see it better”. And that’s how the Megaphon story about the moon siblings Luna and Orbis came to life. The siblings are hoovering up the sand on the moon, filling it into small bottles. And then they are scattering the sand into the eyes of children before they go to sleep, and it makes dreams become possible. Luna Al-Mousli has won the Austrian Children’s and Young Fiction Prize in 2017, and in this book her words are enhanced by Clara Berlinski’s exceptional illustrations. The book is a dream catcher, which sweetens the evenings of families and the days of our vendors, as half of the sales value is staying with the vendors. Many of our vendors are also carrying their own firm personal dreams in their hearts. Within dreams, everything is possible. And many times, dreaming is the only refuge.

6. Nový Prostor, Czech Republic

Crossword Revolution!

Nový Prostor said: The idea for our Crossword special edition came from our vendors, who were asking constantly for more crosswords in the street paper (we currently run one crossword in each issue). So when thinking about a special edition, a Crossword special was number one on the list. Printed in an A5 format, it was one of our greatest successes in 2018. Why? Crosswords are easy and cheap to produce, and you can run it on cheaper newspaper-like paper, in just black and white (with a cover in colour). We were creative to be sure that we delivered to our readers more than just crosswords: we came with an idea to run a series of interviews with our vendors – about their lives, habits, hobbies, ups and downs – and the most interesting answer to the most interesting question was always hidden in the crossword. With a selling price 44 CZK (most of the readers let the vendor have 50 CZK), vendors sold 5,500 copies in six months. It delivered an extra income of 242,000 CZK (€9,000) for vendors and a little extra income for us, too.

7. StreetWise, USA

Festival Guide

StreetWise said: Chicago winters are cold and long, and we only have 100 days of summer to make the best of the city! The Festival Guide is by far our most popular issue and the 2018 edition highlights 112 festivals, street parties, craft fairs, and concert festivals that jam every weekend in the summer. The edition is available to sell in addition to our weekly magazine for the entire summer, allowing vendors to have the option of selling two editions at a time. It has become so popular, that we have started producing a follow-up “Fall Festival Guide” to accompany it in September.

8. The Big Issue Australia, Australia

Fiction Edition

The Big Issue Australia said: Our annual Fiction Edition, now in its 14th year, is Australia’s biggest-selling fiction magazine. In March, we opened submissions for short stories; 500-3000 words with free entry. We received 400-plus stories, which were judged by the editorial team and author Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project). We chose eight stories, and commissioned five well-known local authors, from diverse backgrounds. It’s worth noting those writers discovered through past open submissions who have gone on to have substantial careers: Miles Franklin winner A.S. Patric; and best-seller Jane Harper. It’s a bumper edition of 64 pages rather than our standard 48. And we commissioned artist Paul Vizzari to illustrate the edition, giving it a beautiful cohesion. The edition is always well-publicised by our marketing team, with extra media attention and online presence. Plus, we ran special launch breakfasts in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with the authors. The Fiction Edition generated $182,367. Sales were up 11.3% on the previous edition, and vendors continued to sell 2,000 back copies over the following month. Considered a collector’s item, the Fiction Edition helps build sales momentum over following editions, through increased brand awareness. In fact, sales for the quarter increased 1,998 copies per edition on the previous quarter, or $14,000.

9. The Big Issue Japan, Japan

Cooking and Advice: Troubles are the Ultimate Spice

The Big Issue Japan said: Our book Cooking and Advice: Troubles are the Ultimate Spice was released in December 2018 to commemorate our 15th anniversary. Ever since it began in 2005, “Advice from the Homeless” has been a popular column in our magazine. Cooking and Advice is the second collection of columns to be published as a book. The first, released in 2008, sold 10,000 copies, and a paperback edition released by a major publisher sold an additional 5,000. Cooking and Advice features responses from our vendors to readers’ questions about difficulties they are facing, including those related to lifestyle, work, relationships and feelings of inferiority. Each piece of advice is paired with a “problem-solving recipe” from chef and author Nahomi Edamoto. Readers love vendors’ advice, calling it “warm” and “not at all condescending”, helping the homeless vendors be seen in a more positive light. Some readers become fans of a particular vendor’s responses, and they go buy copies purposefully from that vendor. Additionally, media coverage of The Big Issue Japan has also increased, contributing to higher public awareness of our magazine. The book is priced at 1650 yen. Over half the sales from each book go directly to the vendor’s salary – 4.6 times more than one usual copy.

10. Trott-War, Germany

WM 2018

Trott-War said: For the FIFA World Cup 2018, we made the special edition WM 2018 with 72 pages. It included exclusive interviews with football world champions like Jogi Löw, Jürgen Klinsmann and Sami Khedira, and stars from the local football club VfB Stuttgart. We tackled social issues and critical articles around the subject of football. We wrote articles about the Homeless World Cup, football for disabled and blind people, women’s football, and an interview with the well-known investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt about doping in football. Last but not least, we had a guest article from Arkady Tyurin about the street paper Put Domoi from the host country, Russia. The magazine was given special attention by advertisers. We achieved €63,900 in ad revenue. We were supported by the football media consultant Roland Eitel and the sponsor and art collector Peter Klein, who took over a lot of the production costs.


Take a look at all the nominees in the Editorial categories for the INSP Awards 2019, and use the hashtag #INSPAwards on social media to congratulate our nominees!