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.

Holiday Magazine Subscription Guide

The deadline is approaching fast — for holiday gift shopping. (Also for the National Magazine Awards, but that deadline is January 19.) Looking for pleasurable, readable, can’t-put-down-able gift ideas. Here’s a list of gold-winning magazines from this past year’s National Magazine Awards and their subscription deals.

Cottage Life: Canada’s reigning Magazine of the Year has a fantastic online store with gift ideas for every Canadian. Plus, subscribe to Cottage Life print and digital editions for just $29.75 for a year.

The Walrus: Want some of this country’s best magazine writing and art in one compelling package? Get two years of Canada’s most award-winning magazine (Gold medals in Society, Politics & Public Interest, Travel, Best Single Issue, Magazine Website Design, Words & Pictures and One of a Kind) for under $50. Plus, the Walrus store – awesome gift ideas.

Maclean’s: Awarded Canada’s Magazine Website of the Year as well as Best Online Video and Best Short Feature; get a one-month free trial of the digital edition via Next Issue, plus access to back issues and over one hundred magazines in one app.

Maisonneuve: A one-year subscription to one of Canada’s best and most beautiful literary and arts magazines (4 Gold National Magazine Awards last year for Illustration, Spot Illustration, Photojournalism and Health & Medicine) is only $20!

Report on Business: Get Canada’s leading business magazine, winner of National Magazine Awards for Business reporting, Portrait Photography and Magazine Covers, among others, with your Globe and Mail subscription.

Legion Magazine: A double National Magazine Award winner this past year in Service: Health & Family and Investigative Reporting, Legion pursues top-notch journalism dedicated to Canadian veterans and their families and anyone with an interest in Canadian history. Five-year subscription for under $50. Read our interview with Legion general manager Jennifer Morse for more info about this great mag.

THIS Magazine: Almost 50 years old and still one of Canada’s top independent magazines where many emerging writers and investigative journalists are published, including Catherine McIntyre, winner of last year’s award for Best New Magazine Writer. Gift subscriptions for as low as $15 per year.

Western Living: Winner of 4 National Magazine Awards this year, Western Living is all about how to live well, healthy and in style in Western Canada. Get a one-year digital subscription for just $17.99.

Little Brother: One of Canada’s newest literary magazines, Little Brother won the NMA for Fiction this past year. Get 4 issues of the magazine for $50 and enjoy some of Canada’s best literary arts. Read our interview with publisher Charles Yao.

Azure: Canada’s premier architecture and design magazine, winner of the NMA for Creative Photography, get one year (8 big, bold issues) for less than $40.

Eighteen Bridges: Winner of the National Magazine Awards for Essays, Profiles and Arts & Entertainment, this Alberta magazine is always a great read. Get a year for $25.95. Read our interview with editor Curtis Gillespie to find out more about Eighteen Bridges.

Sportsnet: Canada’s ultimate sports magazine, winner of the NMA for best tablet edition. Get 26 issues for less than $30.

United Church Observer: Winner of the National Magazine Award for Science, Technology & the Environment, this veteran Canadian magazine will surprise you. Get a year’s subscription for $25.

Malahat Review: The winningest literary magazine of all time and winner of this year’s award for Personal Journalism, give a gift subscription for $35 for a year for some of Canada’s best poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.

Prefix Photo: Get one year of Canada’s most alluring contemporary photography magazine, and NMA winner for Art Direction, for less than $30. That special photographer friend will be thrilled.

Hazlitt: The online magazine from Penguin Random House will help you discover great writing again. Browse the bookshop for Hazlitt’s anthologies and eBooks featuring National Magazine Award-winning writers.

Flare: Consistently one of Canada’s most award-winning fashion magazines, get one year of all-access print and digital editions for $14.95.

ELLE Canada: Winner of the National Magazine Award for Beauty, ELLE is one of Canada’s most popular magazines for good reason – incredible fashion, beauty and lifestyle content. Print and digital subscriptions available.

Other great fashion magazine ideas: Sharp | fshnunlimited

Check out the National Magazine Awards archive for more great magazine discoveries, plus all the winners from this past year’s National Magazine Awards.

Submissions are now open for the 2014 NMAs.

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

An Interview with National Magazine Award-winning Fiction writer Jess Taylor

Jess Taylor on stage at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards, June 6, 2014.
Jess Taylor on stage at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards, June 6, 2014.

Recently the literary journal Echolocation published a great interview with Jess Taylor about her National Magazine Award-winning short story, “Paul,” the challenges of writing and her pursuit of a book project: the story collection Pauls will be published in 2015 by BookThug.

The interview was conducted by Liz Windhorst Harmer, herself a National Magazine Award winner earlier this year for Personal Journalism (“Blip,” published in The Malahat Review).

In this excerpt from the interview, Liz and Jess discuss the “hard place,” the core of the writerly being from which the literary art emerges.

Liz: What is exciting to watch as far as your “emerging” (a word with multiple meanings, it seems to me!) career, is just how many things you manage to balance and balance well. You recently wrote about ways of building community. You of course are the founder of Toronto’s Emerging Writers series. Your Puritan article discusses the joys and pitfalls of building community, and in it you use the phrase “the hard place”: you hoped “you’d meet people who’d understand you and what you describe as a hard place in yourself”. I love this essay. As we close out this interview, I hoped you could talk a little about the hard place.

I think I know what you mean by the phrase, and you don’t need to elaborate, but I wondered if your relationship to it has changed as your life as a writer has become more public. The transition from aspiring to published and awarded comes with its own costs. Have you found this?

Jess: Thanks, Liz! I’m glad you liked the essay.

The hard place for me is this little place inside of me that tells me I will always write, that I’m a writer. It’s the one aspect of my identity that is always consistent. It’s what spurs me on and gives me my sense of self. I know I’m a hard worker, I take pride in being a hard worker, and writing is my work. I hope this means that I will be able to build a life either from writing or around writing, but I know that even if no one publishes me, it will always be something I do and something that contributes to my sense of self. Some people may describe this as confidence. I think it’s different than confidence. It’s a baseline. More than knowing my name is “Jess,” that the word “Jess” refers to me, I know that this place exists in me.

To me, this is separate from any sort of public writing life or awards or publications. It’s a deeply personal and special thing. Of course, with public recognition comes a little validation that you’re doing the right thing, that other people can see it and know that you’re doing good work. But that’s almost an extra. Having the hard place in me has allowed me to not worry too much about whether or not my work fits into the current trends of writing. Having studied literature, it’s obvious that what’s popular changes and what’s lasting remains to be seen. So I’m just going to do what I like, write the type of work I like to write and read, and hope that the enjoyment comes across to other people. After winning an award or signing a contract, I guess all that changes for me is that I start to think, “Oh, ok, people are starting to see this my way. They like this too. Interesting.” But that could all change again in a moment.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have moments of doubt. We all do. Right after I was nominated for the National Magazine Award, I had a huge crisis. It was one of the first times I really doubted the hard place existed. I was happy about the nomination and starting to think about focusing on Pauls instead of the novel I was currently working on. A couple of my male colleagues who I really respected told me I should wait until I was older to publish. One was barely older than I was! It made me desolate. Normally someone else’s opinion about that sort of thing wouldn’t faze me; it might make me a little annoyed, but it wouldn’t put that doubt in me. It made me feel that awards were pointless because it wouldn’t change the fact that I was young and a female writer. There would still not be the same level of respect, even if I was doing good work and working hard. And having the award nomination just meant that people would gossip about me and form these opinions about me, about whether I deserved it, and I had no interest in being the subject of this sort of gossip or these dismissive attitudes.

But then everyone was surprised because I did win. The hard place was restored, as it was the one time I think I needed some external validation for that hard place. I’d been sending work out and getting rejected (as we all do), had never had a paid publication in my life, and all of a sudden I had won an NMA. It changed a lot in my life. I finally qualified for TAC grant, which only requires one paid publication, people were actually reading my work and coming to my readings, people were respecting me for my work instead of just as a promoter, it helped me with my job, and I signed a contract for Pauls. The hard place whispered, “I told you so, Jess, you big idiot.”

People are always going to talk, they are always going to be critical, haters gonna hate. But I know I can’t let it interfere with me and my work. Nothing can interfere with that. And that’s what great about having a hard place … everything else could be gone, they could take away the NMA, the book deal, my job, everything, but I’d still be me. The hard place would still be there. I’d keep trying to communicate and write in anyway I could. I always will. At this point, I’m still emerging, I would hesitate to say I have any real public writing life or that I’m the center of anyone’s focus, but if things were to go that way, the experiences I had over the summer really helped prepare me and reaffirmed why I write and why it’s a necessity.

Read the complete interview here.

Echolocation Magazine (www.echolocationmag.com) publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, reviews and interviews. Their joint poetry/fiction contest with Qwerty Magazine on the theme of Doubles closes on December 31.

Check out our Off the Page department for more interviews with NMA winners, including our recent chat with Little Brother magazine publisher and art director Charles Yao.

See also:
Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals
Guide to Fall 2014 Magazine Writing Contests

Watch: 4 National Magazine Award-winning editors talk about Canadian Magazines

Last Thursday on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, four prominent Canadian magazine editors appeared together in conversation about the challenges and opportunities of magazine publishing and engaging readers in a digital age and in a crowded, shifting marketplace. (SPOILER ALERT: The answer to the digital-age question–“Will there still be print magazines in 10 years?”–is yes!)
  • Haley Cullingham, editor-in-chief of Maisonneuve
  • Sarah Fulford, editor-in-chief of Toronto Life
  • Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of The Walrus
  • Steve Maich, senior vice-president & general manager of Rogers Publishing and founding editor of Sportsnet
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A few annotations:

When host Steve Paikin introduces everyone with their associated magazine, describing each as having won “Best Canadian Magazine of…” he is referring to the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year (or, in the case of Sportsnet, Tablet Magazine of the Year).

Toronto Life: Magazine of the Year 2007 (and 1985 & 1989)
Maisonneuve: Magazine of the Year 2011 (and 2004)
The Walrus: Magazine of the Year 2006
Sportsnet: Tablet Magazine of the Year 2013

Steve Maich is a member of the board of directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

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