Looking back on our first year
2015 was a big year here at California Sunday — our first full year out in the world. It wasn’t long ago that we were working in coffee shops, sketching out an idea for a new, made-in-California national magazine, and wondering if, in this age of giant media companies, a small band of writers and editors could create something special.
So much has happened. We kicked off 2015 with the definitive, minute-by-minute account of what transpired the night 43 Mexican students were disappeared, an event that threw Mexico into turmoil. A couple weeks later, we were named a finalist for a 2015 National Magazine Award, the industry’s highest honor — and a few days ago, we won the 2016 National Magazine Award for Photography, honoring our work throughout last year. We saw our story about the women who created #blacklivesmatter passed all around social media, and our piece about the lives of teenage tech workers in San Francisco was optioned for television by director Matt Reeves (Felicity, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and set up at Fox. PEN Center USA presented California Sunday contributor Daniel Alarcón with its annual award for the year’s best work of journalism for a piece in our debut issue. And big audiences discovered and shared our stories about a group of designers trying to reimagine the experience of death; anti-government extremists (and undercover cops) plotting outside Las Vegas; an obsessive amateur sleuth trying to solve one of the world’s most famous cold cases; an entire Alaskan town squeezed into one snowbound high-rise; and so much more.
We also brought our live series, Pop-Up Magazine, to more people than ever before. We guest-edited a session at the TED Conference and embarked on our first national tour, which drew sold-out crowds in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and Brooklyn. We’re already planning a bunch of fun events for 2016. I can’t wait to tell you about them.
We’re still a small team. We’re working hard to make things you’ll enjoy — deeply reported, beautifully photographed stories for your weekends, and live shows for your nights out. We’re grateful for your support. When you subscribe, that money funds our writers and artists. When you share stories you enjoy on social media, you’re helping independent media get heard. When you tell your friends about our live shows, our community grows. And soon there will be some new ways, big and small, that you can get involved.
Thanks, everyone, for helping us make our first year memorable. Here’s to a great 2016 together.