Call for Nominations: Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement


The National Magazine Awards Foundation is calling for nominations for the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, presented annually to an individual whose creativity and innovation over the course of their career have made a significant impact on the Canadian magazine industry.

Previous winners include Kim Jernigan, Michael Fox, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, John Macfarlane, Stephen Osborne, Jean Paré, Sally Armstrong, Robert Fulford and more.

Nominations are welcome from anyone working in Canadian magazines, and must consist of:

  • A letter of nomination, including a brief bio of the nominee and a summary of their career achievements;
  • At least two (2) supporting letters from other individuals in the Canadian magazine industry or colleagues of the nominee.

There is no cost to nominate someone for the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Nominations are due by March 1, 2016 and can be emailed as a PDF to or sent by mail to:
National Magazine Awards Foundation
2300 Yonge St, Suite 1600
Toronto, ON, M4P 1E4

The winner will be announced on May 2 and will be presented with their award on stage at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 in Toronto.

For more information visit

Have you heard about the new Digital Publishing Awards? Submissions for this new awards program–recognizing and rewarding excellence by Canadian digital publishers and content creators–are being accepted until February 16. Awards will be presented in 14 categories, including Best Video, Best Podcast Series, Best Digital Design, Best Feature, Best Visual Storytelling, Best Editorial Package and more.

Digital Publishing Awards: Last Call for Early-Bird Entries

The Digital Publishing Awards program is looking for Canada’s best digital content creators, designers, innovators and publishers, with awards in 14 categories for feature writing, news coverage, blogging, visual storytelling, video, podcast, multiplatform publishing, design and more.

The early-bird deadline is Monday, February 8: Enter online by that date to save 20% on entries. The final deadline is February 16.

We look forward to presenting the inaugural Digital Publishing Awards on June 9, recognizing excellence by Canada’s best digital publishers and content creators, and we hope you’ll be a part of the experience.

To enter, visit

With questions, email us at

February Events & Awards Deadlines in Canadian Magazines

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawny Phil did not see his shadow down in Pennsylvania this morning, but good luck convincing the residents of Iqaluit that spring is on its way.

Here’s what’s going on in February (and early March) in Canadian magazines:


Digital Publishing Awards
February 8: Early-bird deadline (& Small Publishers Rebate)
February 16: Final deadline

Canadian Business Media Awards
(formerly the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards)
February 8: Early-bird deadline
February 16: Final deadline

CSME Editors Choice Awards
February 2: Call for Entries

Arc Poem of the Year Award
February 14: Final deadline

Canadian Cover Awards
February 23: Final deadline

Alberta Magazine Awards
February (TBA): Finalists announced

Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
March 1: Deadline for nominations


Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
February 3: The Best Free Online Tools For Editors, Toronto

Freedom to Read Week
February 21-27

AlbertaViews Photography Contest
February 28: Final deadline

TNQ Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
February 28: Final deadline

Alberta Magazines Conference
March 3-4, Calgary

More awards and events info will be added. Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for updates and to share your news with us.

Rebate for Small Publishers at Digital Publishing Awards

The new Digital Publishing Awards program is offering a free entry to small digital publishers whose budgets could use a break. Publishers with annual revenue under $50,000 are eligible to participate.

To apply for the Small Publishers Rebate, complete the online application form and submit by February 8 (also the DPA’s Early-Bird deadline for discounted entry fees).

The 2016 Digital Publishing Awards are open to Canadian digital publishers, designers, innovators and content creators. Awards will be presented in 14 categories:

  1. Best Digital Editorial Package
  2. Best Blog or Online-Only Column
  3. Best News Coverage of a Single Topic or Event
  4. Best Online-Only Short Feature
  5. Best Online-Only Long Feature
  6. Best Online Video
  7. Best Multimedia Storytelling in a Single Feature
  8. Best Use of Data
  9. Best Podcast Series
  10. Best Visual Storytelling
  11. Best Digital Design
  12. Best Use of Multiple Platforms
  13. Best Digital Initiative
  14. Digital Publication of the Year.

The final deadline for entries is February 16. Nominees will be announced on May 4, 2016 and winners unveiled at the inaugural awards soirée, which will take place on June 9, 2016 in Toronto. Enter today at:

Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2016 Magazine Writing Contests

Winter. A shivery season not only conducive to externalizing our inner narratives in poetry and prose, but also which leaves us, as we curl under heirloom quilts with cups of tea, prone to daydreaming. Michael Pollan, in A Place of My Own–a bestseller in which the author writes the biography of his own writing cabin in the woods–used the daydream as metaphor for the writer’s first draft. “A fair amount of what [writers] call work,” wrote Pollan, “consists of little more than daydreaming edited.” He went on:

Isn’t it in our daydreams that we acquire some sense of what we are about? Where we try on futures and practice our voices before committing ourselves to words or deeds? Daydreaming is where we go to cultivate the self, or more likely selves, out of the view and earshot of other people. Without daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others.

Like Thoreau, Shaw, Woolf and her Room of One’s Own, and countless others, Pollan understood that daydreaming depended “on a certain degree of solitude,” and resolved to build a cabin to allow his daydreaming to flourish. “What is a book but a daydream at second hand?”

Wherever you find yourself writing this winter and spring, these Canadian magazine contests may be just what you’re daydreaming for.

All contests and awards listed below accept previously unpublished works of Canadian poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction; listed in chronological order by deadline date. (If you know one that we missed, please let us know.)

Prism International Short Fiction & Poetry Contests
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: January 25, 2016
Prize: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription

Matrix Magazine Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: January 31, 2016
Prize: $500 advance + publication
Entry Fee: $30

Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline:  February 1, 2016 February 14, 2016
Prize: $5000 (Poem of the Year); $500 (Honourable Mention)
Entry Fee: $35 ($5 for each additional entry); includes subscription

The Malahat Review Novella Prize
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Prize: $1500; publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription Details

12th annual Geist Literary Postcard Story Contest
Genre: Very short fiction or non-fiction (500 words max)
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Prize: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20; includes subscription ($5 each additional entry)

Publishing online? The Digital Publishing Awards are accepting submissions until Feb 16.
Publishing online? The Digital Publishing Awards are accepting submissions until Feb 16.

Carleton University’s “Passages” Creative Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction, Poetry
Deadline: February 19, 2016
Prizes: $300 (1st); $100 (2nd); publication; prize pack
Entry Fee: None
Note: This contest has two age categories, one for under-18, one for 18+.

Alberta Views Public Spaces Photography Contest
Genre: Photography
Deadline: February 28, 2016
Prizes: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $30 ($15 for each additional entry)
Note: The contest is open to residents of Alberta and Alberta expats.

The New Quarterly Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 28, 2016
Prize: Two prizes of $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for first 2 poems; $5 each for additional); includes subscription

CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction Prize
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: February 29, 2016
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25

Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction
Deadline: March 1, 2016
Prize: $2500 + assistance with publication
Entry Fee: $29

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Genre: Fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: March 7, 2016
Prizes: $5000 (1st); $1000 (to two honourable mentions)
Entry Fee: $0
NotesTo be eligible, candidates must be: a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, under the age of 35 as of March 7, 2016; previously published in an independently edited magazine or anthology; unpublished in book form and without a book contract.

Room Creative Non-fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: March 8, 2016
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $50 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 ($7 for each additional entry); includes subscription

Arc Poetry Magazine Diana Brebner Emerging Poet Prize
Genre: Poetry (max 30 lines)
Deadline: March 15, 2016
Prize: $500
Entry Fee: $25 for up to 2 poems; includes subscription

Exile Literary Quarterly Carter V. Cooper Fiction Competition
Genre: Fiction (max 10,000 words)
Deadline:  March 21, 2016
Prizes: $10,000 for best story by an emerging writer; $5000 for best story by a career writer; publication
Entry Fee: $30; includes subscription

The New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction
Deadline:  March 28, 2016
Prize: $1000
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Note: All submissions will be considered for publication ($250) in the magazine.

Vallum Chapbook Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Prize: $125 + publication
Entry Fee: $25

Narrative Magazine Winter 2016 Story Contest
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction; Graphic Narratives; Photo Essays
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Prize: $2,500 (1st); $1000 (2nd); $500 (3rd); $100 (finalists)
Entry Fee: $24
Notes: Entries can be short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.

Grain Magazine Short Grain Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Prize: $1000 (1st); $750 (2nd); $500 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for two entries in one category); includes subscription

Alice Munro Festival Short Story Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 2500 words; separate categories for adults and youths)
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Prizes:  $1,500 (adults prize); $500 (youth prize); $500 (Arts & Letters Club Special Prize)
Entry Fee: $25 (adults); $10 (youth)
Note: New this year, there is a special category for an emerging GTA author between the ages of 20 – 30. Sponsored by the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. Must be living in the GTA or have grown up in that area.

CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 4, 2016 (registration; competition is held April 9-10, 2016)
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes registration + subscription (registration only is $16)

Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (5000 words or fewer)
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Prize: $1500 in total cash prizes; publication
Entry Fee: $34.95; includes subscription

The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: May 1, 2016
Prize: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $25 (additional entries are $15); includes subscription

Exile Literary Quarterly Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition
Genre: Poetry
Deadline:  May 16, 2016
Prizes: $1500 for best suite by a career writer; $1000 for best suite by an emerging writer; $500 for best poem; publication
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription

The New Quarterly Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 28, 2016
Prize: $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Note: All submissions will be considered for paid publication ($250) in the magazine.

CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2016
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Note: The submission form can be downloaded as of April 1, 2016

Other contests may be added to the list as Winter melts into Spring. Stay tuned.

Did we miss one? Send us a note or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the winter and spring as more contests are announced.

Find more awards, prizes and contests for magazine journalism on the Awards and Contests pages of this blog.

Summer Magazine Contest Guide
Fall Magazine Contest Guide
Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals

Image via WikiCommons

New York, New York Times, New Yorker lead U.S. National Magazine Awards nominees

Now that submissions for the (Canadian) National Magazine Awards are complete–though submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards remain open until February 16–it’s a perfect time to look at the nominees for the American mag awards, announced last Thursday by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

“For the third year in a row,” notes Adweek, “New York magazine led the pack of print and digital publications with an impressive nine nominations, including one for Magazine of the Year.” New York put out one of the most enduring covers of 2015–its “Cosby: The Women” cover, including 35 portraits of the women who’ve come forward to accuse the former TV star.

Also nominated for Magazine of the Year: The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and The Hollywood Reporter.

Affectionately known as the Ellies, for the copper elephant statuette designed by Alexander Calder and given to winners, the U.S. NMAs will present awards in 21 categories including four divisions of the award for General Excellence. This year’s awards gala–the 50th anniversary Ellies–is February 1 in New York City. Tickets start at $850 per person.

Leading the nominees:

  • New York (9)
  • New York Times Magazine (7)
  • GQ (6)
  • The New Yorker (5)
  • Bon Appétit (4)

Among the first-time finalists this year are a number of non-traditional magazines, including VICE, BuzzFeed News, The Huffington Post, The Intercept, the Marshall Project and ProPublica, demonstrating once again the ability of the magazine medium to evolve with technologies, platforms and reader appetites.

Although there is no Ellie for Best Cover, here are a few of our favourite U.S. magazine covers from 2015, from among the nominated titles.

Very Last Call for Entries: National Magazine Awards

“Opportunity is missed by most people,” quipped Thomas Edison, “because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

It couldn’t be easier to enter the National Magazine Awards, and today is your last chance. Complete the online submissions form by midnight (ET) tonight to enter your best work from 2015 for one or more of 39 awards, including:

  • Best New Magazine Photographer & Best New Magazine Writer: Given to the young journalists whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Entry fee just $25.
  • Best Magazine Brand: Awarded to the publication that makes the best use of creativity and innovation in growing its audience.
  • Magazine Covers: Canada’s best magazine cover of the year.
  • Art Direction of an Entire Issue: Given to the art director or team that designs and executes the most compelling magazine issue.
  • Investigative Reporting: Awarded to the journalist or team that produces the top investigative story of the year.
  • Editorial Package: Rewarding collaboration between writers and editors in producing a package of thematic or related content in a single issue.
  • Infographics: Awarded to the editorial team that produces the best presentation of data using text and visuals.
  • Magazine of the Year: Awarded to the magazine judged to be the most consistently engaging and surprising publication of the year, serving the needs and desires of its readers.

And more: 39 awards for writing, photography, illustration, packaging and design in Canadian magazines.

Enter today (and today only) at