The National Magazine Award for Best Magazine Brand

We know that magazine publishers work hard to extend their brand across multiple platforms to attract readers and grow their business, and this year the National Magazine Awards Foundation will recognize this ingenuity with the award for Best Magazine Brand. Whether you’re advancing your publishing mandate with mobile apps, radio and television broadcasts, live events, SIPs, social media campaigns or other innovations in audience engagement, we want to recognize your work and showcase your brand to the industry.

CRITERIA
The award for Best Magazine Brand will go to the publication whose brand best delivers on its editorial mandate through at least three platforms. The platforms may include but are not limited to a print or digital magazine, a website, SIP(s), mobile app(s), tablet edition, social media, television shows, radio broadcasts and podcasts, live events, innovations in print or digital media and other forms of audience engagement.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Publishers must complete the online application and submit in hard copy four (4) copies of a submission package which must include:

  • a) A cover letter of maximum two pages summarizing the strength of the publication’s brand identity against its editorial mandate and the achievements during 2014;
  • b) Any print edition of the magazine from 2014, if applicable; and
  • c) Any supporting documentation (such as links to social media, summaries of research, event materials, products, etc.) that attests to the success of the brand in 2014.

FEES AND DEADLINES
The application fee for Best Magazine Brand is $175 +HST. Enter online by January 11 for the early-bird rate of $150. All supporting materials must be received by January 19.

FINALISTS AND WINNER
A shortlist of three finalists will be announced on May 4 and all finalists will receive a certificate and recognition in NMAF publications and at the awards gala. The winner will be announced on June 5 at the 38th annual National Magazine Awards and be promoted to the Canadian magazine industry and public in a promotional campaign whose goal is to showcase the winner’s branding strategy as a benchmark of excellence and an inspiration to others.

Submit today at magazine-awards.com. Final deadline: January 19.

Farewell, Descant

Descant, the arts and literary quarterly published independently in Toronto since 1970, has announced that its forthcoming 167th issue, Vol. 45, No. 4, Winter 2014, will be its last.

Editor-in-chief Karen Mulhallen posted a farewell note on the magazine’s website, noting that after painstaking efforts to find alternative funding and deliberations among staff and funders, “we have jointly decided that Descant magazine in its present form is no longer sustainable.”

Grants have been in decline for more than five years, although other revenues such as sales and subscriptions have held steady or increased. We have cut costs everywhere we could, but many expenses over which we have no control have continued to spiral up.

Descant has won 6 National Magazine Awards since 1980 for its fiction, poetry and essays, most recently Adam Lindsay Honsinger‘s short story “Silence” in 2009.

What began as a mimeograph forty-four years ago evolved into a robust and stimulating literary magazine that has published works by Anne Michaels, Timothy Findley, Evelyn Lau, Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Tom McGuane, Jane Urquhart, Dennis Lee, Michael Ondaatje and R. Murray Schafer, among many others. Lately its production office has been the historic George Brown building at the corner of Baldwin and Beverly Streets.

Browse through the back issues of Descant for a more complete perspective on what the magazine has published.

From the National Magazine Awards online archive:
Up the Amazon–1959; Mexico–1960” by P.K. Page (Descant), Honourable Mention, Poetry, 2005
Fudge” by Alex Pugsley (Descant), Honourable Mention, Fiction, 2010

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer

Are you an emerging Canadian magazine journalist or creative non-fiction writer? Did you publish one of your first major stories in 2014 in a Canadian consumer magazine, university magazine or literary journal? Chances are you’re eligible to be named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer goes to the writer whose early work in Canadian magazines (print, online or tablet) shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

Last year’s winner, Catherine McIntrye, published an investigative story in THIS Magazine about cancer rates in New Brunswick and correlations to heavy industry. Read our interview with Catherine about her story and ambition to become a magazine journalist.

The 2012 winner, Sierra Skye Gemma, published a personal essay about grief in the literary journal The New Quarterly. Read our interview with Sierra about her approach to creative writing and how she came to enter her story for a National Magazine Award.

Previous finalists and winners have been published in Ryerson Review of Journalism, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Prairie Fire, Chatelaine, Alberta Views, NOW Magazine, Toronto Life, Maclean’s and more.

ELIGIBILITY
Eligible work must have been published in a Canadian magazine (print, online or tablet) between January 1 and December 31, 2014, and must be at least 1000 words in length. Open to non-fiction work only. Articles published in university/college magazines are eligible. Candidates must not have published any magazine work longer than 1000 words prior to 2013. The intent is to restrict this award to students and magazine writers with a maximum of 2 years’ experience in professional journalism. One entry per person. See the NMAF’s general rules for further information about eligible publications.

HOW TO ENTER
Submit now at magazine-awards.com. Submissions may be made by the writer or by their publisher, editor or teacher. Entrants must complete the online application and submit required hard copies (see below). The deadline for applications including all required hard copies is January 19. The cost to enter is only $25 +HST.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Upload a PDF of your story during the online application.
  • Submit in hard copy four (4) sets of original tear sheets and four (4) copies of a letter of reference from a teacher, editor, mentor or colleague which attests to the candidate’s eligibility and provides context for the work submitted. Both the article and letter are reviewed by the judges.
  • Pay the submission fee ($25 + HST) by cheque or credit card.

FINALISTS AND WINNERS
A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced on May 4, and each finalist will receive recognition in the NMAF’s publications and a certificate. The winner will be revealed at the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 5.

PRIZE
$500 cash; plus the right to call yourself a National Magazine Award-winning writer. We’ll interview you on our blog and promote you and your writing across Canada.

More information and to submit:
magazine-awards.com/bnmw 

Don’t forget the deadline: January 19, 2015.

What’s New for the 2014 National Magazine Awards

For the 2014 NMAs, upload single-page spread PDFs of your complete article for all written categories. No more photocopies!
For the 2014 NMAs, upload single-page-spread PDFs of your complete article for written categories. No more photocopies!

As the National Magazine Awards Foundation announces the 2014 Call for Entries, there are a few important changes this year.

Each year the NMAF reviews its awards program in consultation with our stakeholders, participants, judges and industry experts in order to ensure that we continue to provide the best service to the Canadian magazine industry. This year is no exception, and we want to thank those stakeholders who took time to contact us, respond to surveys and participate in our round-table discussions to give their voice to proposed changes to the National Magazine Awards. We at the NMAF are looking forward to another great year of evaluating, recognizing and awarding the best in Canadian magazines.
Joyce Byrne, President, NMAF

THE END OF PHOTOCOPYING!
Yes, that’s right—you’ll save countless hours and avoid numerous paper cuts (and so will we) as we no longer require six photocopied, collated sets of every written-category entry.  Instead, we are moving to a print-on-demand format, which means you’ll need to upload an 8.5″x11″ printable PDF for each entry in written categories.  (Double-page spreads are preferred for visual and integrated categories.) Please read the “How to Package” instructions carefully as hard copies are still required for whole-book and some special and integrated categories.

ONE NEW AWARD: BEST MAGAZINE BRAND 
Magazine publishers work hard to extend their brand across multiple platforms to attract readers and grow their business, and this year the NMAF will recognize this with the award for Best Magazine Brand. Whether you’re advancing your publishing mandate with mobile apps, radio and television broadcasts, live events, SIPs, social media campaigns or other innovations in audience engagement, we want to recognize your work and showcase your brand to the industry. Read more about this new award and its submissions requirements.

10% FEWER CATEGORIES
We hear you: everyone wants fewer categories, but no one wants us to cut their categories. So we did our research, talked to stakeholders, reviewed past entries, discussed many options and determined the following:

  • How-To and Service Journalism: What was 4 categories is now 2 – Service: Lifestyle and Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance. Submitters will find a home for their entries in these refurbished categories.
  • Blogs and Columns: The former Blogs category has been merged with Columns, so that submissions from both print and online columns are eligible in the new Columns category. Blogs that are more curated creations of dynamic and thematic content may be eligible in the category Editorial Package (Web).
  • Creative Photography and Beauty: These categories, which were created in recent years, have not received enough participation to merit continuation. Submitters in these categories will find their work may be eligible for the awards Still-Life Photography, Fashion, Portrait Photography and/or Words & Pictures.

Please review the  complete list and definitions of categories before submitting your work for this year’s National Magazine Awards.

A LITTLE HELP FOR SMALL MAGAZINES
We understand that smaller magazines have a tough time competing when budgets are tight. So this year we’re introducing a Small Magazine Rebate—one FREE entry to every Canadian magazine whose annual revenue is $200,000 or less. Read more about how to apply for this great opportunity for small and literary magazines.

 A NEW NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS GALA 
In the spring of 2015 we’ll be announcing a few changes to the annual awards gala with the aim of providing a more enjoyable, affordable and rewarding experience for guests. We’re also accepting suggestions from you about how we can improve the gala experience, and who you’d like to see as Master of Ceremonies. Get in touch with us with your ideas.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2014 National Magazine Awards. Early-bird deadline: January 11. Final deadline: January 19.

Call for Entries: 2014 National Magazine Awards

CfE_Horiz

The 2014 National Magazine Awards are open for submissions. Enter your best magazine work for awards in 45 written, visual, integrated and special categories. Digital content is eligible in most categories. The early-bird deadline for entries is January 11. Final deadline (including all required hard copies) is January 19.

Before you submit, you’ll want to review the categories, rules and FAQ, and you’ll also need the following:

  • Name and email of the author/creator and editor/art director of each piece;
  • Title, date and publication of each piece;
  • PDF of each piece (printable, single-page spreads 8.5 x 11 for written categories; single- or double-page spreads for all others);
  • Method of payment (cheque or credit card);
  • Statement of editorial mandate (for new magazines and for certain categories).

Visit magazine-awards.com to submit.

A few changes this year:

No more photocopies! All written categories except Editorial Package no longer require 6 sets of photocopies. Submit only a printable, single-page-spread (8.5 x 11) PDF version of each entry.

One new category: Best Magazine Brand. This Special Award will go to the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through at least three platforms. The platforms may include a print or digital magazine, a website, SIP(s), mobile app(s), tablet, social media, television shows, radio broadcasts, live events, innovations in print or digital media and other forms of audience engagement.

We’ve also reduced by 10% the total number of categories. Read more about What’s New This Year.

Other important information:

Small Magazine Rebate – One free entry to small magazines with less than $200,000 in annual revenue.

Call for Judges – Nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on a jury.

Guide to Entering Digital Content – Information for digital magazines and content.

Magazine of the Year – Awards for best overall magazine, best tablet magazine and best magazine website.

Best New Creators – Awards for Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Illustrator or Photographer.

Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement – Individual award for innovation and creativity in support of the Canadian magazine industry.

Read more and submit at magazine-awards.com

Deadlines:
January 11 – Early bird
January 19 – Final

Small Magazine Rebate: Is Your Magazine Eligible for a Free Submission to the National Magazine Awards?

The National Magazine Awards Foundation strives to ensure that the awards recognize the best work from Canadian magazines. To help ensure a broad base of participation, this year we are offering one (1) FREE ENTRY to the National Magazine Awards to all magazines whose annual revenue is $200,000 or less. [Version française].

Applications are being accepted now; submissions for the 2014 National Magazine Awards will open on December 1.

YES: I want to apply for the Small Magazine Rebate

Why should you take advantage of the Small Magazine Rebate?

  • New Readers: Award-winning magazines attract new readers who are hungry for great stories.
  • Bragging Rights: Tell your readers and supporters that you are delivering the best and most credible content, recognized by your peers in the magazine industry.
  • Get Noticed: With a National Magazine Award, writers and artists find new audiences for their creative work.
  • Celebrate Your Creators: Editors, publishers and art directors have the opportunity to reward creative talent.
  • We Promote You: The NMAF works year-round to promote award-winning magazines and creators through mass media publicity, social media channels, newsstand promotions and more.

Because small magazines do so much with so little already.

In-depth journalism is expensive, and so most outlets are shying away from it [and] it needs to be supported by genuine investigative journalism that offers trustworthy and thorough research along with genuine writing talent (to keep us reading!). The NMAs mean a great deal to people in the magazine industry and to writers in general; they indicate what is working at a high level and signal to the country what might be worth paying attention to.
Curtis Gillespie, editor of Eighteen Bridges

Because literary magazines are a critical component of Canadian culture and their work deserves recognition.

I think the greatest challenge to being an editor of a literary magazine (or a writer for that matter) is money. It takes a lot of careful, cautious, and sometimes tedious work to keep a literary magazine alive. That said, it is so emotionally rewarding. [And] winning the NMA gave me confidence in my writing, which I never really had before.
Sierra Skye Gemma, executive editor of Prism International and winner of the award for Best New Magazine Writer

Because winning a National Magazine Award helps take your magazine to the next level.

After our first NMA a lot of illustrators and writers who hadn’t really been looking at us started submitting work our way. It definitely helped us grow and added some more established voices to our ever-expanding list of contributors. I guess you could say that award helped us beef up subsequent issues, including Feathertale 9, which won Gold for Best Single Issue last year.
Brett Popplewell, editor of The Feathertale Review

Because without the participation of small magazines, the NMAF would not be able to represent the wonderful work of Canada’s best literary and visual artists.

The NMA is a big award and I’m extremely grateful to have won it. I’m sure it has done quite a bit to promote my work and lift my profile as a documentary photographer. Above all else, I’m happy that this award brought the story to more viewers.
Ian Willms, NMA-winning photojournalist for This Magazine

As a young writer every gesture of support is very meaningful because writing is ultimately utterly solitary.
Alex Leslie, NMA-winning writer for Prairie Fire

 

Please note: The NMAF’s Small Magazine Rebate replaces the Co-Financing program from previous years.

Apply for the Small Magazine Rebate today. Deadline for applications is January 5. Find out more at magazine-awards.com/small-mag-rebate.

The Call for Entries for the 2014 National Magazine Awards will launch on December 1.

Image via Adweek

Off the Page, with Arno Kopecky

Arno Kopckey (Photo by Jay Devery)
Arno Kopecky (Photo by Jay Devery)

Off the Page is back. In the latest installment of our popular interview series, we chat with National Magazine Award finalist and freelance writer Arno Kopecky, author of The Oilman and the Sea, shortlisted for this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards.

NMAF: You’re an intrepid magazine journalist. We’ve read your reporting from Iceland and Columbia and others in The Walrus, from Beaver Lake in Alberta Views, and recently from the British Columbia coast in the Reader’s Digest story “The $273 Billion Question,” for which you were a finalist for a National Magazine Award this past spring. How did you get started on this journey to a freelance magazine writing career, and what do you find personally or professionally rewarding about it?

Arno: Intrepid? Thanks, but groping in the dark is usually how it feels. I studied creative writing at the University of Victoria, and when I graduated in 2002 I realized I had no idea how the world worked, let alone how to write about it; so, on Bertrand Russell’s advice, I travelled. Moved to Spain and got a job teaching English, and after two years I’d learned (barely) enough Spanish to land a reporting internship in Oaxaca, Mexico. A string of magazine and newspaper internships followed: New York, Toronto, Nairobi. I was basically a professional intern for a few years. Somewhere along the way I started selling the odd story to various publications, and before long I was too old to be an intern, but the writing and travelling continued.

The thing I love about my “job” is what I think many journalists love, whether they travel or not: Writing gives us an excuse to meet interesting people doing interesting things. We get to join the conversation.

NMAF: The RD feature story appears to have led to an even larger project, your latest book The Oilman and the Sea (Douglas & McIntyre), which won the 2014 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and is shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. Was there momentum from your fascinating voyage up the BC coastline to the magazine article to the book, and how did your writing journey proceed?

Arno: Actually it was the other way round: the book contract came first. I pitched the idea to my then-editor at Douglas & McIntyre about two days after my friend Ilja Herb (whose photographs are in the magazine story and book) bought a 41-foot sailboat. We wanted to see the oil tanker routes proposed by Northern Gateway for ourselves, and it was clear from the beginning that the trip would generate tens of thousands of words, if only we could find a home for them. Douglas & McIntyre signed on early and gave us the reason we needed to pursue the expedition.

But Reader’s Digest signed on very quickly as well, and was hugely supportive from the outset. My editor there fought to get me real estate for one of the longest stories that magazine has published in recent history.

Two weeks after I got home from the sailing trip, D&M went bankrupt. Suddenly that Reader’s Digest feature was the only thing I had going for me. Thankfully, Harbour Publishing swept in to the rescue and resuscitated D&M, so that by the time my RD feature was on the stands I had a book contract once again. All I had to do was… write a book.

oilman-sea

NMAF: Your approach as a writer to the complex debate about the Northern Gateway pipeline could be characterized by journalistic curiosity, a sense of adventure (to say the least) and perhaps a sense of responsibility, at least with respect to seeking out grassroots perspectives in places such as Bella Bella, Kitimat and others. Was there a particular place or event in the evolving process that made you think, This is the heart of the story, this will grab the reader’s (and editor’s) attention?

Arno: The Great Bear Rainforest–as the north and central coast of British Columbia is known– was itself the thing that captivated me from the outset. In some ways it’s the story’s central character. Here’s this Switzerland-sized labyrinth of whale-jammed fjords and evergreen islands on BC’s north and central coast, the biggest chunk of temperate coastal rainforest left on earth, that also happens to be one of the oldest continually inhabited regions on the planet–Heiltsuk, Haisla, Haida, Gitga’at and many other coastal First Nations have called this place home since the last ice age. I’m not sure how many Canadians are aware of its existence. The fact that oil tankers are now poised to navigate through those waters for the first time was, in some ways, just an excuse to talk about this teeming, volatile, amphibious zone, the likes of which happen not to exist anywhere else on the planet.

NMAF: What is the significance to you of being nominated for or winning awards for your work, whether National Magazine Awards or others? Is there (or do you foresee) a measurable impact on your career?

Arno: I heard a debate on CBC a while back as to whether there weren’t too many awards in Canada’s literary scene these days; that may well be true, but it doesn’t feel so when you get a nomination yourself. It’s become a cliché, how hard it is to make a living at writing, and anyone who wants to give writers a few bucks and some attention-grabbing praise has my everlasting gratitude.

That said, it’s hard to measure what the impact is on your career. Doors crack open, but you still have to push through; money comes, and then it goes. I guess for me personally, insecure hack that I am, the psychological boost that comes with an award is its most lasting aspect. Recognition helps put the self-doubting demons to rest, and it can be called on to subdue them when they inevitably reappear.

Arno Kopecky is the author of The Oilman and the Sea, which is nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award (to be announced next Tuesday, November 18) and won the 2014 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. He is also the author of The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s EdgeFollow him on Twitter @arno_kopecky.

See also:
NMA winners headline shortlists for GGs, Writer’s Trust, Giller Prize
New book by Arno Kopecky investigates anti-mining activism
More Off the Page interviews with NMA winners

From the National Magazine Awards archive:
The $273 Billion Question, by Arno Kopecky
Reader’s Digest, Honourable Mention, Science, Technology & Environment, 2013

The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay, by Arno Kopecky
The Walrus, Honourable Mention, Investigative Reporting, 2011