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Desert Companion magazine wins 10 Nevada Press Association awards

Heidi stands and smiles at the camera with her arms crossed

We’re thrilled to share that Desert Companion has won 10 (!) awards in the Nevada Press Foundation’s 2023 Better Newspaper Contest, announced the week of September 18 through 22.

The tiny, mighty team of Las Vegas’ only city-regional magazine, published by Nevada Public Radio, took home prizes in a range of categories, from cover design to local column.

Among the most notable were a first place for General Excellence – Print and a first place for Story of the Year – all divisions. Desert Companion’s assistant editor, Anne Davis, also won the top prize for Coverage of Underserved Communities for the magazines category, and art director Scott Lien took home second place for Outstanding Graphic Journalism.

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  • 1st Place, General Excellence – Print, Desert Companion, by Heidi Kyser, Scott Lien, Anne Davis, and Ryan Vellinga
  • 1st Place, Story of the Year (all divisions), “Recalculating the Route,” by Anne Davis, Heidi Kyser, Zoneil Maharaj, Mike Prevatt, and Lourdes Trimidal; with photos by Aaron Mayes and design by Scott Lien
  • 1st Place, Coverage of Underserved Communities (magazines), “Exposed,” by Anne Davis
  • 1st Place, Local Column (magazines), Writer in Residence: Krista Diamond
  • 2nd Place, Outstanding Graphic Designer (visual/audio journalism), Scott Lien
  • 2nd Place, Overall Design (magazines), Desert Companion, Scott Lien, Alyssa Noji, Ryan Vellinga
  • 2nd Place, Cover design (magazines), October 2022 issue, by Scott Lien
  • 2nd Place, Email Newsletter (magazines), The DC Newsletter, for From the IssueOpen Air, and The Guide, with stories by Josh Bell, Meg Bernhard, Anne Davis, Heidi Kyser, and Oona Robertson; edited by Anne Davis and Heidi Kyser
  • 3rd Place, Feature Writing (magazines), “Written in Stone,” by Alec Pridgeon
  • 3rd Place, Business Feature Story (magazines), “Made in the Shade,” by John Glionna

For a complete list of awards, visit the Nevada Press Association’s website at

Congratulations to the many reporters, writers, editors, designers, and business staff who make Desert Companion Southern Nevada’s favorite culture and lifestyle magazine.

Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.