Editorial Intelligence have announced  the shortlists for their forthcoming Comment Awards, and the NS has done rather well – we’re up for Best Online Comment Site, and several of our writers have also been nominated in various categories.
Our worthy opponents for the Comment Site crown are the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, the Sunday Times and the newly-relaunched Spectator Coffee House. Now I mean this in the nicest possible way, of course, but still – bring it on.
It’s also good to see further recognition for NS columnist and critic Will Self, who is shortlisted in the Cultural Commentator category. Self writes a weekly column for the New Statesman which alternates beween Madness of Crowds  and Real Meals , and recently wrote a stunning essay  about walking through the capital with his son for our special London double issue. I say further, because this week he was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize  for his latest novel, Umbrella, and alongside Hilary Mantel, is favourite to take the prize. A good week by anybody’s standards.
The late great Christopher Hitchens, who started his career at the New Statesman before going on to illustrious things Stateside, has been shortlisted in both the Foreign Commentator and Cultural Commentator categories. Throughout his long career he kept up an association with the NS, and was interviewed shortly before his death by Richard Dawkins  for the magazine.
In addition, New Statesman blogger Rowenna Davis is shortlisted in the Mainstream Media Blogger category – you can find her blog here . And Laurie Penny, who started out as a New Statesman blogger and still writes for the site,  is up for Twitter Public Personality. You’ll soon be able to vote for Laurie here: commentawards.com , and if you don't already, follow her on Twitter as @PennyRed.