Your BOM questions, answered.

Why BOM?

Morgantown magazine started Best of Morgantown in 2011 to let our readers recognize and celebrate the excellent dining, shopping, and services that make Morgantown a great place to live. We awarded the winners for the first time in 2012, and the competition has since grown to 101 categories.

When does BOM happen?

Determining the best of the best in a way that’s thorough, fair, and fun is a six-month process.

It starts in August, when Morgantown magazine staff create the upcoming BOM ballot. We learn from experience, so each year’s ballot is slightly different as we make categories more clear, drop categories that had too few contenders, and add categories suggested in the previous year.

The nomination-round survey goes live online as the October / November print issue hits newsstands—October 12, 2018, for BOM19—and stays online for about three weeks. We tally the votes to determine the finalists in each category—usually three, but from two to six depending on the number of legitimate contenders and the competitiveness in the top ranks.

What comes next in 2018 is something new: BOM Challenge Week. We will post the Food and Drink finalists 10 days before final-round voting starts. They can offer Challenge Week specials. Readers will have a week to sample the finalists so they’ll be able to vote with complete confidence. BOM Challenge Week will be November 12–17, 2018—stay tuned for details.

Final-round voting goes live November 19 in 2018, online only. We keep this round up through mid-December. Per contest rules, one vote per device—no ballot box stuffing here! In late December and early January, we contact winners to congratulate them and, except in the case of perennial winners, to learn more so we can write profiles. We ask winners to keep it to themselves until the BOM issue of the magazine is published.

The February / March Best of Morgantown issue hits stands and mailboxes in early February, letting everyone know who’s the BOM. And finally, around the end of February, the best of the best get together at the BOM party to celebrate another great year in Morgantown.

Our schedule may shift in any year to accommodate our publishing needs and opportunities. The best way to stay on top of it is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

When do the BOM surveys go live?

The BOM19 nomination round will go live on October 12, 2018, and the final round on November 19. But it’s no secret. The best way to be informed is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who can vote?

Anyone can vote in the nomination and final rounds—one ballot per device.

Who can be nominated?

Anyone can be nominated. We love learning about new things going on in town through BOM nominations. We also take suggestions in the nomination round for categories for the following year’s BOM.

Can nominees be based outside Morgantown?

We consider nominees that are based outside Morgantown on a case-by-case basis. If an out-of-town nominee that operates in town legitimately fits the category and rises to the top, we let it into the final round. We know some people don’t think our Best of Morgantown contest should include out-of-towners, but we say competition is a good thing—may the best contender win!

Can chain stores and franchises be nominated, or is it only for locals?

While we love to see our hometown businesses shine, some categories just don’t have many locally owned businesses. It’s up to the voters to say what they support: Do they like the broad selection and hard-negotiated prices that big corporations can offer? Or do they prefer the individual expertise and personalized service we get from a neighborhood business? We’re happy to say that, over time, we’ve seen more local businesses nominated in nearly every category.

Why did my category disappear?

Check carefully—sometimes we change the wordings of categories to make them more clear. But we do also omit categories to try new ones—more than 100 are suggested to us each year. Now that BOM has reached 101 categories, we’re capping it at that. If we hear that a former category is sorely missed, we may try to bring it back.

Will advertising give me an edge?

We like to think advertising in our print and digital publications always gives you an edge with our readers. But it has no effect on our fair tally of the votes. BOM winners are the readers’ choice.

Still got questions? Contact us at