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Off the Page, with Sierra Skye Gemma

Off the Page appears regularly on the Magazine Awards blog. Today we catch up with Sierra Skye Gemma, winner of the 2012 National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer.

[This post has been updated to include the new deadline for the Prism International Creative Non-fiction contest deadline: Dec 5.]

NMAF: Earlier this year you won the National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer for a story called “The Wrong Way” (The New Quarterly), a personal essay and critical meditation on the stages of grief. Tell us a bit about how you developed this story and why you decided to submit it in the annual non-fiction writing competition from TNQ?

Sierra Skye Gemma (Photo: Nadya Kwandibens)

Sierra Skye Gemma (Photo: Nadya Kwandibens)

Sierra: The Wrong Way came out of an assignment in a Creative Non-fiction course with Andreas Schroeder. I had never written a personal essay before and when I started I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to say. Not exactly, anyway. I looked up Kübler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief because I thought it would explain my experiences. I thought I could structure my essay according to the stages, but I realized that Kübler-Ross’s theory didn’t apply to my life at all. My essay then developed as a sort of antagonistic call-and-response with conventional grief theories.

I sat and wrote it in two sittings, straight through from beginning to end. I didn’t move things around after that and I barely edited it. That said, I had bits and pieces of it already written. Little vignettes that I hadn’t known what to do with before, like the story of buying my son the fish and aquatic frog. I had also taken extensive notes when my sister died and I wrote down lots of dialogue. Maybe that sounds weird; maybe not, if you’re a writer. But what do you do with a short “scene” between siblings that, when read on its own, seems to make light of the death of another sibling? Well, I guess you build an elaborate home in which it can live. The Wrong Way was that home for many of my disjointed experiences with grief.

I submitted the essay to The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest because Andreas Schroeder told me to submit it to a contest (and not through the slush pile of regular submissions); he thought the essay was good enough to win. The New Quarterly’s personal essay contest seemed like the obvious choice. The lesson here? Always listen to Andreas Schroeder.

Click to read "The Wrong Way" by Sierra Skye Gemma

Click to read “The Wrong Way” by Sierra Skye Gemma

NMAF: What was the significance for you as a young writer winning that contest and then the National Magazine Award?

Sierra: Winning both the contest and the NMA gave me confidence in my writing, which I never really had before. Winning the NMA also got my work noticed. After I won Best New Magazine Writer, the essay was selected to appear in the Best Canadian Essays 2013 anthology, alongside some very successful writers. It is an amazing honour that I feel would not have happened without the National Magazine Awards.

NMAF: As a writer and also an editor of PRISM International, a literary magazine published by the Creative Writing Program at UBC, you are in a good position to survey the landscape of Canadian literary arts. What are the challenges and rewards of devoting yourself to this industry?

Sierra: I think the greatest challenge to being an editor of a literary magazine (or a writer for that matter) is money. There is not a lot of money in literary magazines. Small lit mags live and die by the decisions of the Canada Council for the Arts and the various provincial Arts Councils. They live and die by the seemingly small financial decisions of their staff. They live and die by their contest entries and subscriptions and by the ebb and flow of their donations. Editing and managing a literary magazine is not a career for the lazy or the extravagant. It takes a lot of careful, cautious, and sometimes tedious work to keep a literary magazine alive.

That said, it is so emotionally rewarding.  I have been a reader for the past two Creative Non-fiction Contests at PRISM and I will be a reader again this year. The emotional rollercoaster that this work has taken me on is intense. You feel the author’s highs and lows. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed until I’ve been in tears.

Although I’ve also read for other contests and other magazines, it is PRISM’s Non-fiction Contest that really makes it worth it for me because the stories are real and they matter. They matter to the author, who is risking so much to share; to the readers with whom the stories will resonate; to the editors, who have the responsibility for creating the long list and the short list; and to the contest judge who has to make the toughest decisions.

Our Creative Non-fiction Contest deadline is coming up on November 28th [Update: December 5] and I can’t wait to start reading again!

NMAF: What are your immediate goals as a writer, and what are you working on these days?

Sierra: This summer I received a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada to perform research for a novel set in 1950’s California. I spent three months in northern California—taking notes, visiting museums and farms, interviewing seniors and experts, and exploring the countryside—so my research is nearly completed.

I’ve been meaning to finish my outline and start writing, but I’ve been a little distracted by another project that I have been working on for over a year: a humorous and irreverent parenting book that I’m co-writing with blogger Emily Wight. We have completed our non-fiction book proposal and one sample chapter, but I’d like to get a few more chapters done before I launch into the novel.

Sierra Skye Gemma is an award-winning writer and journalist working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Aside from the National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer, this year Sierra was also honoured with the first-place award in creative non-fiction in Rhubarb’s Taboo Literary Contest, a long-list nod in House of Anansi’s Broken Social Scene Story Contest, and a BC Arts Council scholarship. She is an executive editor of PRISM international, western Canada’s oldest literary magazine. Her work has been published in The New Quarterly, The Vancouver Sun, Plenitude, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @SierraGemma.

More:
The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer
Meet the finalists for Best New Magazine Writer
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines
Your Guide to Fall 2013 Canadian Magazine Writing Contests
More Off the Page interviews

The 36th National Magazine Awards Gold Book

Make your summer reading the National Magazine Awards digital Gold Book. More than forty magazine stories and visual spreads representing the Gold winners from the 36th annual National Magazine Awards, available FREE for your computer or mobile device.

Including National Magazine Award-winning work by these Canadian literary and visual artists:

Caroline Adderson, Dave Cameron, Karen Connelly, Craig Davidson, Sierra Skye Gemma, Jessica Johnson, Tom Jokinen, Peter Ash Lee, Angus Rowe MacPherson, Greg McArthur, Leah McLaren, Conor Mihell, Jonathan Montpetit, Alison Motluk, Mark Peckmezian, Graeme Smith, Emma Teitel, Chris Turner, Jeff Warren, Sam Weber and more!

With stories from Canada’s best magazines, including Adbusters, Avenue, Azure, Canada’s History, Canadian Notes & Queries, Eighteen Bridges, Explore, Geist, Maclean’s, Maisonneuve, Reader’s Digest, Report on Business, Sportsnet, The Feathertale Review, The Grid, The New Quarterly, The Walrus, Toronto Life and more!

Congratulations to all of this year’s National Magazine Award winners, and happy summer reading to all!

Announcing the winners of the 36th National Magazine Awards!

Tonight the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) presented the winners of the 36th annual National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at The Carlu, presented by CDS Global, and hosted by Canadian actor Zaib Shaikh. Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards were presented in 47 categories, after the NMAF’s 250 volunteer judges evaluated 2000 submissions from nearly 200 Canadian consumer magazines.

[Version française]
[Complete list of winners PDF]
[36th NMA Gold Book]

Magazine of the Year

The coveted award for Magazine of the Year went to Corporate Knights. Honourable Mention for Magazine of the Year was awarded to Cottage Life, UPPERCASE and Urbania.

The award for Tablet Magazine of the Year went to Canadian House & Home for their “Colour Issue” from March 2012.

The award for Magazine Website of the Year went to Hazlitt, the online literary magazine published by Random House Canada.

Renowned Canadian editor, teacher and mentor Stephen Trumper was presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The winner of the award for Best New Magazine Writer was Sierra Skye Gemma, for her story “The Wrong Way” published in The New Quarterly.

Top Winning Magazines at the 36th National Magazine Awards:

Magazine

Gold

Silver

HM

L’actualité

6

0

18

The Grid

5

2

15

The Walrus

4

2

17

Hazlitt

3

0

1

Report on Business

2

5

13

Maisonneuve

2

3

9

Maclean’s

2

2

16

Corduroy

2

0

0

Toronto Life

1

4

24

Sportsnet

1

2

7

Eighteen Bridges

1

1

8

Canadian House & Home

1

1

5

Explore

1

1

4

Reader’s Digest

1

1

2

The Feathertale Review

1

1

0

Québec Science

0

2

1

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AWARDS
The article “Building with the Brigadier” (Report on Business) by Greg McArthur and Graeme Smith—about the SNC-Lavalin investment in Libya—was the most celebrated individual article of the 36th National Magazine Awards, winning two Gold Awards, in Business and in Investigative Reporting, as well as Silver in Politics & Public Interest.

The Gold award for Best Single Issue went to The Feathertale Review (“Issue 9”), the Toronto-based independent arts magazine. The Silver went to Toronto Life (“The Loneliest Man in Toronto”).

The Gold award for the best Magazine Cover of the year went to Adbusters for their fast food satire “Are We Happy Yet?” by Will Brown and Pedro Inoue. “Issue 45” of Maisonneuve by Anna Minzhulina took the Silver award.

The new online literary magazine Hazlitt, in addition to winning Magazine Website of the Year, also took the Gold awards for Magazine Website Design and for best Online Video, the latter for the first installment of their interview series “Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh.”

Journalist Catherine Dubé of L’actualité won her eighth National Magazine Award with a Gold in Service: Health & Family, for “Faut-il interdire le cellulaire à l’école?” – one of six Gold awards won by L’actualité, the most of any magazine.

Journalists from L’actualité also won Gold in Politics & Public Interest (“Jason, le missionaire de Harper” by Alec Castonguay); in Service: Personal Finance & Business (“La guerre des retraites est commencée” by Annick Poitras); in Profiles (“L’étoffe d’un premier ministre?” by Noémi Mercier); in Photojournalism & Photo Essay (“Au coeur d’Attawapiskat” by Renaud Philippe); and in Spot Illustration (“Papa souffre, moi aussi” by Gérard Dubois).

The Grid led all publications with 7 total awards, including 5 Gold Awards: in Editorial Package: Web for their feature “Are You Going to Eat That?”; in Single Service Article Package for “The Grid Guide to Getting Hitched”; in How-To for “The Grid Guide to Buying a Condo”; in Creative Photography for “Truckin’ A!” by Angus Rowe MacPherson; and in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, for “Chef’s Guide to Toronto” by Vanessa Wyse.

Corduroy, an independent style and fashion magazine based in Toronto, won Gold for Art Direction of an Entire Issue (“Issue 10”) and in Fashion (“ten covers x ten models”), with art direction by Peter Ash Lee.

Writer Chris Turner led all individuals with four nominations and won Gold in Travel for “On Tipping in Cuba” in The Walrus. Mr. Turner has now won nine National Magazine Awards.

The Walrus won 6 total awards including 4 Gold: in addition to the Travel category, also winning Gold in Illustration (“Apocalypse Soon” by Sam Weber); in One-of-a-Kind (“What Would Tommy Douglas Think?” by Tom Jokinen); and in Society (“Fade to Light” by Dave Cameron).

In Words & Pictures the Gold award went to “On Thin Ice” in Canada’s History, by Terry Mosher (a.k.a. Aislin), Mark Reid and Michel Groleau.

Writer Alison Motluk won Gold in Health & Medicine for her story “Is Egg Donation Dangerous?” in Maisonneuve. For Ms. Motluk this is her third National Magazine Award. The Montreal quarterly’s other Gold award came in the category Best Short Feature, for “Notes from the End of the War” by Jonathan Montpetit.

In Fiction the Gold went to Alberta novelist Caroline Adderson for her short story “Ellen-Celine, Celine-Ellen” published in Canadian Notes & Queries. Former Governor General Literary Award winner Patrick deWitt won the Silver for “The Looking-Ahead Artist” in Brick.

In Poetry the Gold winner was former Governor General Literary Award winner Karen Connelly for her poem “The Speed of Rust, or, He Marries” in Geist. Sue Goyette won the Silver for her series of “Fashion” poems in Prairie Fire.

The story “Whale Rising” by Jeff Warren in Reader’s Digest was a double winner, taking Gold in Science, Technology & Environment and Silver in Essays.

Sportsnet took the Gold in Editorial Package: Print, for “Sports that can kill.” Québec Science won Silver for “50 défis pour 2050.”

Emma Teitel of Maclean’s won the Gold award in Columns. Ms. Teitel won Honourable Mention last year in the category Best New Magazine Writer.

Six of the ten finalists in the new category Blogs were from Maclean’s, with the blog “Science-ish” by Julia Belluz—a former winner of the National Magazine Award for Best Student Writer—winning Gold. Paul Wells won the Silver for “Inkless Wells.”

In Portrait Photography the Gold went to “Never Left Art School,” a series of portraits of artist Douglas Coupland by Mark Peckmezian for Montecristo.

The new French-language literary magazine Nouveau Projet won its first National Magazine Award for “Faux self mon amour” by Fanny Britt in the category Personal Journalism.

Eighteen Bridges gained ten nominations and won Gold in Humour for “The Hairs about our Secrets” by Jessica Johnson.

Toronto Life led all publications with 29 nominations, winning a Gold in Arts & Entertainment for “Something Borrowed” by Leah McLaren.

The new Globe & Mail magazine Globe Style Advisor won its first National Magazine Award, a Gold in the category Beauty for “Lady Obscura.”

Also winning Gold Awards:

Visit magazine-awards.com for the complete list of winners and to download the commemorative 36th National Magazine Awards Gold Book.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as financial support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS FOUNDATION
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts. magazine-awards.com

Meet the NMA Finalists for Best New Magazine Writer

One of the most exciting awards each year at the National Magazine Awards gala is that of Best New Magazine Writer, sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation. This award, including a cash prize of $500, goes to a writer whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year, our judges have nominated three finalists, one of whom will be named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer at the awards gala on June 7.
[INFO & TICKETS]

And the nominees are…

Chris Hampton, for “The Place Where Art Sleeps” (Maisonneuve)

Chris Hampton

Chris Hampton is completing graduate studies in journalism at Ryerson University. He has contributed to Maisonneuve, the National PostChart Attack, and The Huffington Post.

What the judges said about it: “In evocative and entertaining prose, Chris Hampton takes the reader on a visual journey to a cloistered world where some of art’s greatest treasures lie hidden from public view. With a keen eye for detail, he makes the underground realm of high art accessible and fascinating.”

Sierra Skye Gemma, for “The Wrong Way” (The New Quarterly)

Sierra Skye Gemma

Sierra Skye Gemma

Sierra Skye Gemma is an award-winning writer and journalist. Her story “The Wrong Way” was the winner of The New Quarterly 2012 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

What the judges said: “With a fresh voice and a strong command of style and structure, Sierra Skye Gemma digs ever deeper into the story of a lost life, writing with both edginess and verve in this meditation on the process of grieving. A terrific example of personal exposition, her story is powerful and lasting.”

May Jeong, for “The Cult of Pastor Song” (Toronto Life)

May Jeong

May Jeong

May Jeong is a graduate of the University of Toronto and now is a freelance reporter who has written for The Globe and Mail, Reuters, The New York Times and Toronto Life, among others. She lives in Kabul, Afghanistan.

What the judges said: “Fearless reporting characterizes this investigative exposé from May Jeong, who gains exclusive access to multiple sources as she pieces together a controversial narrative of fraud and sexual abuse. Immersing herself in a difficult story, she shows real courage and great promise as a writer.”

Congratulations to all the nominees in Best New Magazine Writer. The winner will be revealed at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7 at The Carlu in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Meet the NMA Finalists for:
Art Direction for an Entire Issue
Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Announcing the Nominees for the 36th National Magazine Awards!

Today the NMAF announces the nominees for the 36th annual National Magazine Awards!

[Version française]
[PDF Nominations List]
[Tickets]

In the category Magazine of the Year the jury has selected four finalists:

Corporate Knights
Cottage Life
Uppercase
Urbania

Nominated for Tablet Magazine of the Year are Canadian House & Home (“The Colour Issue”), Maclean’s (“Canada’s Best Restaurants”) and Chez Soi (“Noël 100% déco”).

And the nominees for Magazine Website of the Year are Hazlitt, Maclean’s and Toronto Life.

The winner of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, announced on April 30, is Stephen Trumper.

Leading all magazines with 29 nominations for this year’s National Magazine Awards is Toronto Life, followed by L’actualité (24), The Walrus (23), The Grid (22), Maclean’s and Report on Business (20 each).

Top Nominated Magazines for the 36th National Magazine Awards:

Magazine

Written

Integrated

Visual

Special

Total

Toronto Life

19

4

4

2

29

L’actualité

20

0

4

0

24

The Walrus

15

3

5

0

23

The Grid

8

7

7

0

22

Maclean’s

17

1

0

2

20

Report on Business

13

3

4

0

20

Maisonneuve

10

2

1

1

14

Cottage Life

4

3

2

1

10

Eighteen Bridges

10

0

0

0

10

Sportsnet

9

0

1

0

10

enRoute

3

2

4

0

9

The New Quarterly

7

0

0

1

8

Magazine of the Year Finalist

Magazine of the Year Finalist

Nine magazines are nominated for National Magazine Awards for the first time:
Chez Soi
Globe Style Advisor
(3 nominations)
Hazlitt
(4 nominations)
Infopresse
Le Must
New Trail
Nouveau Projet
(2 nominations)
Ottawa Citizen Style

Write Magazine

Chris Turner leads all individual finalists with 4 nominations in written categories for his work in Canadian Geographic, Marketing and The Walrus. Garnering 3 individual nominations are Catherine Dubé (L’actualité), Dan Robson (Sportsnet), Iain Marlow (Report on Business) and Dominique Forget (ELLE Québec, Jobboom and L’actualité).

Magazine of the Year Finalist

Magazine of the Year Finalist

The article “Building with the Brigadier” (Report on Business) by Greg McArthur and Graeme Smith has the distinction of being nominated in 3 categories: Business, Investigative Reporting and Politics & Public Interest.

The 10 finalists for the best Canadian Magazine Cover of 2012 come from Adbusters, Azure, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Maisonneuve, Report on Business, The Grid, The Walrus, Up Here and Vancouver.

There are 8 finalists for the award for Best Single Issue: Cottage Life (“June 2012”), enRoute (“The Food Issue”), LE Must (“Santé alimentaire”), Maisonneuve (“Tenth Anniversary Issue”), The Feathertale Review (“Issue 9”), The Grid (“May 10”), The Walrus (“November 2012”) and Toronto Life (“The Loneliest Man in Toronto”).

The 3 finalists for Best New Magazine Writer are Chris Hampton (for “The Place Where Art Sleeps”; Maisonneuve), Sierra Skye Gemma (for “The Wrong Way”; The New Quarterly), and May Jeong (“The Cult of Pastor Song”; Toronto Life).

Magazine of the Year Finalist

Magazine of the Year Finalist

In addition to the new category Tablet Magazine of the Year, for 2012 the NMAF created 2 other new categories for digital content. In the new integrated category Online Video, the 5 finalists are “Balcony Makeover” (Canadian House & Home), “Les coulisses du reportage mode Icône” (ELLE Québec), “Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh” (Hazlitt), “Reboot on Life” (Ottawa Citizen Style), and “Toronto’s National Anthem” (The Grid).

Of the 10 finalists in the new written category Blogs, 6 are from Maclean’s, 2 from Torontoist, and 1 each from L’actualité and Today’s Parent.

Congratulations to all the finalists!
[PDF Nominations List]

Magazine of the Year Finalist

Magazine of the Year Finalist

The 36th annual National Magazine Awards Gala
Join us for the 36th annual National Magazine Awards, Friday June 7 at the fabulous Carlu in Toronto. [Tickets]

Gold and Silver awards will be handed down on June 7 in 24 written categories, 12 visual categories and 6 integrated categories. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention. Winners will also be celebrated in 5 special categories: Outstanding Achievement, Best New Magazine Writer, Magazine Website of the Year, Tablet Magazine of the Year, and Magazine of the Year.

Gold winners in written, visual and integrated categories (except Best Single Issue) receive a cash prize of $1000; Silver winners $500. The winner of Best New Magazine Writer receives a cash prize of $500.

Credit Changes
If you are a National Magazine Award nominee, please let us know of any credit changes to your nomination no later than Thursday May 9, 2013.

Thank you!
A grand thank you to all of our judges who evaluated this year’s entries to the National Magazine Awards. From nearly 2,000 individual entries nationwide, the NMAF’s 251 volunteer judges nominated a total of 365 submissions from 87 different Canadian magazines for awards in 47 written, visual, integrated and special categories.

Acknowledgements
The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as financial support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise.

NMA_SM_May1

Spotlight: The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer

Each year one of the most exciting moments at National Magazine Awards gala is discovering which hardworking young magazine journalist is named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer.
[Version française ici]

Submissions in this category are open to students as well as young magazine writers whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

The competition is open to work published during 2012 in print, tablet or web-based Canadian magazines. Individuals may enter their own work (see the full requirements here), but editors, teachers and mentors are encouraged to nominate the talented young writers they’ve worked with.

Details:

  • Entry Fee: $25
  • Deadline: January 16, 2013
  • Requirements: Tear sheets plus a letter of recommendation
  • Finalists: A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced May 1, 2013
  • Winners: The winner will be revealed at the NMA Gala on June 7, 2013
  • Prize: The winner receives a cash prize of $500, a certificate, industry recognition on stage, and promotion of their work in various NMAF publications and archive; the other two finalists will receive Honourable Mention, a certificate, various publicity, and their work will appear in the NMA archive.
  • More informationVisit our website for complete submissions and award details.
  • To SubmitClick here to register online.

Among last year’s three finalists, two were recent graduates of Ryerson University’s School of Journalism and the third was a young columnist for Maclean’s.

The winner was Liam Casey, whose award-winning piece “Suicide Notes” (Ryerson Review of Journalism) won over the judges with its passion and its courageous investigative reporting. Liam Casey is now a staff reporter at the Toronto Star.

"Suicide Notes" by Liam Casey in the Ryerson Review of Journalism. (Click image to read the complete article.)

“Suicide Notes” by Liam Casey in the Ryerson Review of Journalism. (Click image to read the complete article.)

The winner of this year’s National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer will join a group of award laureates that includes Matthieu AikinsPatrick WhiteChantal SrivastavaJeremy KlaszusJonathan TrudelMatthew McKinnonDanielle GroenJean-François BéginSophie Lees, and Kris Demeanor.

Check out some of our interviews with past winners and finalists for this award:

Read more about the award for Best New Magazine Writer. Read the full text of past finalists and winners in our archive.

Click here to submit. The submissions deadline is January 16, 2013.

Liam Casey, winner of the 2011 award for Best New Magazine Writer, accepts his award on stage at the NMA Gala.

Liam Casey, winner of the 2011 award for Best New Magazine Writer, accepts his award on stage at the NMA Gala.

Related posts:

Opportunities for Students at the National Magazine Awards

Attention all journalism school students, creative writers, young artists and magazine professionals: The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has a number of initiatives and opportunities for you.

Awards: Best New Magazine Writer & Best New Visual Creator
While all NMA categories are open to work published by students and young professionals, we have two categories open exclusively to your talent, with cash prizes and recognition at the annual NMA Gala. Submissions for work published in 2012 will be accepted starting on December 1 with a deadline of January 16.
[Read more about these awards]
[Check out last year's winners]

E-Book: Best in Magazines 2007-2012
A collection of over 30 National Magazine Award-winning stories, photo essays, illustrations and covers from the past 5 years, our new eBook is available absolutely FREE for your iPad and features the best in magazine journalism from The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Explore, Eighteen Bridges, AlbertaViews, Swerve, Report on Business, The New Quarterly, Toronto Life, Ryerson Review of Journalism & many others.
[Read more]
[Download the Free App]

Internships at the NMAF
We are offering 2 paid Administrative Internship positions for students interested in pursuing a career in the Canadian magazine industry. Internships are part-time and run from December through June. The deadline for applications to this year’s internship program is November 7.  [Read more]

NMA Online Archives
This summer we hosted a Reading Series featuring award-winning articles from our online archive of previous National Magazine Award winners. The reading series & archive are great opportunities to catch up on the best of the best in Canadian magazine journalism–we have full-text PDF versions of all finalists and winners from recent years–and find inspiration for your future work.
[Dive into the NMA Archive]
[Cozy up with our Summer Reading Series]

Resources & Other Awards
On our website we maintain an exhaustive list of magazine and journalism awards across Canada, and periodically on our blog we feature in depth information about these awards and contests.
[Follow the Magazine Awards blog]
[See which Magazine Writing Contests are going on now]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates, news and opportunities from the NMAF. If you have any questions about the National Magazine Awards, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Best regards for a successful year!

Meet the NMA Finalists for Best New Magazine Writer

We’re getting ready to celebrate the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards on June 7 at the fabulous Carlu in Toronto. Among the many great nominees this year are 3 finalists for the special award Best New Magazine Writer, which is generously sponsored by L’Oréal Canada.

This award will go to a writer whose early work in magazines (print or digital) shows the highest degree of craft and promise. The award is open to students and magazine writers with a maximum of two years’ experience in professional journalism.

Click on the images to read the full text of each of this year’s three finalists:

“The New Paparazzi” by Emma Teitel, for Maclean’s

What the judges said about Emma Teitel:
What a voice Emma Teitel has! Well researched and beautifully paced, her story of the Facebook generation is rich with personal insight. Her writing is full of bravura; authoritative and punchy. Writing a column in a national magazine is a remarkable achievement, especially for someone so young. She is clearly a natural for this style of journalism.

“Suicide Notes” by Liam Casey, for the Ryerson Review of Journalism

What the judges said about Liam Casey:
In a rare combination of eloquent personal journalism and meticulous reporting, Liam Casey has confronted a highly charged question that has been dodged for so long – the practice in newsrooms of non-reporting of suicide. With tremendous honesty he has put himself inside the story of the pain of depression, and emerged with a strong commentary on journalism. Not many writers have made such an impact with one of their first pieces.

“Not All Smurfs and Sunshine” by Matthew Scianitti, for the Ryerson Review of Journalism

What the judges said about Matthew Scianitti:
With formidable storytelling chops Matthew Scianitti brings a complicated character – Chris Jones – to life. He combines diligent reporting with an effortless prose style, and deftly mimics the style of his interview subject. He has demonstrated a strong capacity for crafting a profile. A delight to follow, his work is a telling description of a bright young writer.

The winner will be revealed June 7 at the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards. Tickets are on sale now.

Related Posts:
Meet the NMA Finalists for: Best New Visual Creator | Art Direction for an Entire Issue | Magazine Covers | Magazine of the Year–Digital | Words & Pictures | Single Service Article Package | Photojournalism & Photo Essay

** SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT **

BELIEVING IN TOMORROW’S GENERATION

L’Oréal Canada has developed three programs in Canada under its Education Philanthropic Pillar, for grade school, high school, and university students:

1. Grade school — Actua’s National Girls Mentorship Program:
Inspiring girls in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), L’Oréal Canada and Actua’s National Girls Mentorship Program was established in 2003 as a result of a noted decrease in female participation in co-ed camps. This program is a set of specialized initiatives designed to proactively increase the engagement of girls in SET studies and careers, and to provide girls with their first opportunity to meet “real life” scientists and engineers.

2. High School — Project Talent
Partnering with the Montreal School Board, L’Oréal Canada’s Project Talent is now in its third year of reaching out to high school students with learning difficulties and who are at high risk of dropping out. The goal is to encourage these students to stay in school by giving the experience of learning through the arts.

3. University — L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship Program for Women in Science
L’Oréal Canada believes that the world needs science and science needs women. Today, however, women represent only 20% of scientific researches in the private sector, and in certain disciplines such as math, the number to only 12%. L’Oréal Canada annually awards fellowships to four exceptional Canadian researchers with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO through its “For Women in Science Fellowships” Program.

These three programs enable talented young people from various backgrounds to fulfill their potential for excellence and promote equal opportunities for all Canadian youth. For more information, visit www.loreal.com.

** SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT **

Why should young writers and artists enter the NMAs?

Liam Casey, winner of the 2011 award for Best New Magazine Writer, accepts his award on stage at the NMA Gala.

[This post has been updated for 2012]

Few moments at the annual National Magazine Awards gala are as satisfying as discovering which talented up-and-comers are named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Visual Creator. Submissions in these categories are open to students as well as young magazine writers, illustrators and photographers whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

The competition is open to work published during 2012 in either print or digital Canadian magazines. Individuals may enter their own work (see the full requirements here), but editors, art directors and teachers are encouraged to nominate the talented young writers and artists they’ve worked with, even discovered.

Here are just a few reasons we think you might want to enter:

1. It’s only $25 (plus HST) to enter these two categories; a hefty discount on the $95 entry fee for most other National Magazine Awards.

2. Students are encouraged to submit, and the awards are open to work published in college and university magazines as well as any other eligible Canadian magazine.

3. Three finalists will be announced for each award on May 1; they and their work will be promoted in NMAF publications and at the NMA gala.

4. While there is only one entry allowed per person, there is no limit to the number of submissions from a single publication.

5. The winner of each category will be announced on stage at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7, in a room full of Canada’s top magazine publishers, editors and art directors.

6. For each winner there is a cash prize — $500 – and the right to call yourself a National Magazine Award winner in every bio for the rest of your life!

7. The winner of each category will be recognized on stage at the gala; they and their work will be promoted in NMAF publications, press releases, promotional campaigns — anything and everything we can do to celebrate emerging creative talent in our industry.

8. The winner of Best New Magazine Writer joins a group of award laureates including Matthieu AikinsPatrick White, Chantal Srivastava, Jeremy Klaszus, Jonathan Trudel, Matthew McKinnon, Danielle GroenJean-François Bégin, Sophie Lees, Kris Demeanor and Larry Frolick.

9. The winner of Best New Visual Creator joins 2011 winner The Coveteur and 2009 winner Byron Eggenschwiler, a multiple NMA winner who also designed the creative for the 33rd National Magazine Awards (left).

10. The greatness of Canadian magazines is sustained by the talented, innovative and dynamic young people who love what they do and work hard to do it. At the National Magazine Awards Foundation we, like the rest of the Canadian magazine industry, want to recognize and celebrate this. We can’t do it without you.

Read more about Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Visual Creator. The submissions deadline is January 16, 2013.

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