The 2008 AltWeekly Awards finalists, announced yesterday, include six from Washington City Paper, which also published two out of the three stories nominated for best feature among the highest-circulation altweeklies in the U.S. and Canada.

The City Paper was also named among finalists in the photography, blog, arts criticism, and music criticism categories for papers with circulations above 55,000. Only the L.A. Weekly, with eight nominations, received more nods than Washington City Paper. More than 1,400 entries from 129 papers were submitted.

Dave Jamieson’s June 1, 2007, cover story, “Letters From an Arsonist,” about the motivations of a man who torched D.C. for decades, and Joe Eaton’s Sept. 28, 2007, cover story, “The Battle Over Heavy T,” about an obese teenager on the run from social workers, were feature finalists. Jamieson has also been named a finalist in the local reporting category for the Livingston Award, a national award for journalists younger than 35.

Staff Photographer Darrow Montgomery, who has been with City Paper for more than 20 years, was also named a 2008 finalist. He has previously won three AltWeekly Awards, including one for first place.

In the Arts Criticism category, Jeffry Cudlin was named a finalist for reviews on the artwork of Edward Hopper, Wolfgang Tillman, and Mingering Mike, and for his review of Modernism: Designing a New World at the Corcoran.

Sarah Godrey is a finalist in the music criticism category based on her reviews of artists Trey Songz, J. Holiday, 50 Cent, Kanye West, and T.I..

The Washington City Paper staff blog, City Desk, was named among the three best blogs for circulation 55,000 and over. The blog was judged overall and for three submitted entries, including breaking news by Arthur Delaney from the Eastern Market fire, Show & Tell Columnist Amanda Hess’ take on “Yuppies, Goths, and Other Groups I Don’t Identify With,” and the tax scam hearing liveblog by Loose Lips Columnist Mike DeBonis.

This is the 13th year for the AltWeekly Awards. Within the past 12, Washington City Paper has won 47 awards in the highest circulation categories, second only to the L.A. Weekly, which has won 61. Third-highest among largest-circ award-winners is City Pages (Twin Cities) at 28, according to the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies.

UPDATE: The AltWeekly Awards announced winners in one last category—editorial layout—naming former art director Pete Morelewicz‘s design for “Sects Appeal,” the cover story that ran April 6, 2007, among the year’s top layouts. That puts CP‘s total count to seven.

Washington City Paper is owned by Creative Loafing, which also owns the Chicago Reader and Creative Loafing Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa, and Sarasota.

Among the 2008 finalists, John Sugg from Creative Loafing Atlanta was a named in the Political Column category for circulation over 55,000. The Chicago Reader’s Lee Sandlin was also named a finalist for arts criticism.

The AltWeekly Awards honor superior journalism and graphic design among alternative newsweeklies. The contest seeks to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well written, incisively reported, and effectively challenges established orthodoxies. Winners will be announced at the annual Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention, June 5-7, in Philadelphia.