Better Newspaper Contest Honors Our Arts & Features Work

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Last week, the Chelsea Community News website hit its half-decade mark, celebrating the fifth anniversary of our April 23, 2019 launch. Last weekend, at the annual NYPA (New York Press Association) Better Newspaper Contest, CCNews won Third Place, Division I, Coverage of the Arts. It was an unconventional entry–all LGBTQ+-themed content. (In total, 30 entries vied for the top three positions.)

Comprised of five articles, the entry featured Michael Musto’s column, Happy Pride! Here’s Why Drag is Important; Puma Perl’s review of Drew Pisarra’s poetry collection, Periodic Boyfriends; Scott Stiffler’s roundup of June 2023 Pride Month performances; and two contributions from Charli Battersby: An interview with FJK Dance co-founder Fadi J. Khoury and a review/interview regarding the documentary Break the Game, during its run at the Tribeca Film Festival.

CCNews was also honored with a Division I Honorable Mention in the category of Best News or Feature Series. There were 57 entries in this competitive category, which asks the judge to award First, Second and Third Place winners with the option of awarding Honorable Mention if an entry was considered a particularly strong candidate for the top three. CCN’s entry was comprised of five small business features, which you’ll find in our website’s Support Small Businesses section (click here to access it).

The winning articles were Michael Musto’s profile of a newly revamped Pier 57’s gourmet food hall; Deborah Fenker’s review of the Chelsea Hotel’s Café Chelsea; and three by CCNews founder/editor Scott Stiffler: A preview of Donut Pub’s return, after going dark due to structural work on the building; a celebration of Amy’s Bread at Chelsea Market; and the thumbs up from Manhattan Community Board 4 after hearing from an applicant whose legal cannabis distribution location would come to West 23rd Street.

Congratulations to the contributing writers. Below, you’ll find links to all of the winning entries.

Category: Coverage of the Arts

Via poetry, PRIDE, drag, dance, and gaming, these Arts articles address LGBTQ+ subject matter.

Author Michael Musto (far right) has done drag many times, including at a 1994 shoot for a Cyndi Lauper video. | Photo via Musto’s collection

Happy Pride! Here’s Why Drag is Important (by Michael Musto)

L to R: Director Jeanie Finlay and Aubrey Gordon. | Photo courtesy of the production

Cyberbullying Doc ‘Break the Game’ Speedruns Through Levels of Nuance (by Charli Battersby)

Photo of “The Village” cast by _PeterYesley

On the Stage and In the Street, PRIDE Month Has Many Tales to Tell (by Scott Stiffler)

Cover design by Sasha Sinclair.

Pisarra’s ‘Periodic’ Poems Exemplify the Chemistry Between Writer and Subject (by Puma Perl)

FJK’s Khoury Speaks Out on Art, Culture, Sexuality, and Authenticity (by Charli Battersby)


Category: Best News or Feature Series

Support Small Businesses: Championing new, incoming, and veteran retailers and restauranteurs.

Sweet Relief for the Glazed & Confused: Donut Pub to Resume its 24/7 Presence, Soon (by Scott Stiffler)

The sesame miso chocolate chip cookie at Local Roots was the perfect dessert. | Photo by Wen-Jay Ying

Pier 57 Springs Back to Life with Breathtaking Views and Delicious Culinary Diversity (by Michael Musto)

Outside the new Café Chelsea at The Hotel Chelsea. | Photo by Deborah Fenker

Show, Story, Experience, Memory: Iconic Hotel’s Café Chelsea is Making its Own History (by Deborah Fenker)

After all these years, it’s still about the bread! | Photo courtesy of Amy’s Bread

For Amy’s Bread, at Chelsea Market 25+ Years, Change Remains Baked Into Recipe for Success (by Scott Stiffler)

Sign of the (high) times: Verdi Cannabis is the first of its kind to arrive in Chelsea. | Photo by Joseph Puglisi

‘First Family’ of Licensed Pot Purveyors Presents Convincing Case to CB4 Cannabis Working Group (by Scott Stiffler)


Chelsea Community News is an independent, hyperlocal news, arts, events, info, and opinion website made possible with the help of our awesome advertisers and the support of our readers. Our Promise: Never a paywall, no pop-up ads, all content is FREE. With that in mind, if circumstances allow, please consider taking part in our GoFundMe campaign (click here). To make a direct donation, give feedback, send a Letter to the Editor, or contact our founder/editor, send an email to Scott Stiffler, via

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