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Foundation Award winner John Macfarlane stepping down as editor of The Walrus

NMAF_JohnMacfarlaneVenerable Canadian magazine editor John Macfarlane, winner of the 2005 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour given by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, announced today that he is stepping down from his position as editor-in-chief of The Walrus, effective the end of the year.

The Walrus Foundation, publisher of the magazine which has won more NMAs than any other since its first issue in 2003, published a statement from John on its website:

“More than five years ago, I came on board as interim editor for six months, and suddenly it’s five years later. The world of journalism has changed in the last five years, and although I’ve enjoyed every minute here the time has come, as the Walrus said, for a new kind of editor—an editor of all Walrus platforms. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and decided the timing is right—for me and for the organization.”

Following a 15-year editorship of Toronto Life (1992-2007) during which that magazine won an industry-best 118 National Magazine Awards including Magazine of the Year in 2007, John Macfarlane was hired at The Walrus in 2008 and since then the magazine has won 59 NMAs, also best in the industry. His long career in publishing also includes Saturday Night, Financial Times of Canada, Weekend Magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.

He served as President of the National Magazine Awards Foundation from 2000-2002.

More information:
NMA Archives
Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

 

Nominees announced for the Western Magazine Awards

The Western Magazine Awards Foundation has announced the finalists for its 2014 awards competition, which features 28 categories for written and visual content and overall excellence. Vancouver Magazine and Western Living led the way with 17 and 15 nominations, respectively. Eighteen Bridges and Up Here landed 8 nods each. Other magazines with significant nominations include Alberta Views, Swerve, Avenue, sub-Terrain, Up Here Business, Prairie Fire and Westworld Saskatchewan.

The winners will be announced and presented at the WMAF Gala on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at the Renaissance Harbourside Hotel in downtown Vancouver. Complete list of nominees.

Major award nominees:

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR: ALBERTA + NWT
Alberta Views magazine
Eighteen Bridges
Swerve
Up Here
Up Here Business

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR: BRITISH COLUMBIA + YUKON
BC Business Magazine
British Columbia Magazine
MONTECRISTO Magazine
Vancouver Magazine
Western Living

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR: MANITOBA
Border Crossings
Canada’s History
Prairie Fire
The Cottager

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR: SASKATCHEWAN
Farming For Tomorrow
Saskatoon HOME Magazine
Westworld Saskatchewan

BEST NEW MAGAZINE
Glass Buffalo
Homes & Living Magazine – Calgary
NICHE magazine

BEST ON-LINE MAGAZINE
BCLiving.ca
GalleriesWest.ca
Kerrisdale Playbook
MONTECRISTOmagazine.com
Vitamin Daily

BEST TRADE MAGAZINE
AgAdvance Journal
Border Crossings
Just for Canadian Dentists
Oilsands Review
Oilweek

BEST NEW WRITER         
Women in Charge by Miranda Martini, AlbertaViews
Living the Dream by Sara Samson, Avenue
Smoked by Ariana Kaknevicius, Bacon
The Cost of Caring by Janis Letchumanan, Pacific Rim Magazine
The Useful Citizen by Rosemary Anderson, Trek (UBC Alumni Magazine)

For a complete list of all nominations, including individual writing and visual awards, click here.

A National Magazine Awards salute to The Grid

BSI-grid

It was announced today that The Grid, Toronto’s popular and award-winning weekly city magazine, is closing after an inspiring three-year run following its evolution from Eye Weekly. Publisher Laas Turnbull, a former director of the National Magazine Awards Foundation, told Marketing magazine that the shut-down is due to declining ad sales, changes in media buying patterns and a lack of time to develop new revenue generators that the magazine had been testing. “We ran out of runway,” he said.

Since it launched in May 2011 with the first of its annual Chef’s Guides to Toronto, The Grid won 15 National Magazine Awards (10 Gold, 5 Silver) from 53 nominations; over that span, only The Walrus, Report on Business and L’actualité won more.

As we bid it farewell, the NMAF looks back on some of the most remarkable Grid content to be celebrated at the National Magazine Awards. (You can find more in our online archive.)

After all, to the magazine that once famously gave us 94 Excuses to Drink Now, let’s raise a glass.

The second-ever cover story by The Grid (May 19-25, 2011) swept the Gold medals in the categories Magazine Covers, Art Direction of an Entire Issue and Art Direction of a Single Article. That hadn’t happened at the NMAs since 1998.

At this year’s National Magazine Awards a new category for Infographics was introduced. The Grid snagged 5 nominations for this award, winning Gold for “How much does a street cost?”

GridGuide-Hitched

Among its many popular “Guides,” The Grid’s “Guide to Getting Hitched” was a standout, winning Gold for Single Service Article Package in 2012. Other award-winning guides: “… to Father’s Day in T.O.“; “… to Buying a Condo“; “… to TIFF.”

The Grid’s popular website, thegridto.com, which drew 400,000 unique visitors per month, also garnered awards. “Are You Going to Eat That?” about food safety won Gold in Web Editorial Package in 2012.

The Grid, May 10, 2012. Editors: Laas Turnbull, Lianne George. Art Director: Vanessa Wyse. Including contributions from The Grid staff and contributors.

Photographer Angus Rowe Macpherson’s spread of conceptual food-truck portraits (“Truckin’ A!“) won Gold for Creative Photography in 2012.

"January 12, 2012" - The Grid, Art Direction by Vanessa Wyse

This cover shot was also nominated for Creative Photography in 2012.

The colourful feature “Toronto’s Waterfront Is…” won a Silver in Words & Pictures in 2011.

 

Finally, Danielle Groen’s impressive story on public-school sex ed won a Silver National Magazine Award in 2012. Read the entire article and view more award-winning work from The Grid in the National Magazine Awards Foundation’s online archive.

Our best wishes to the talented staff and contributors who made The Grid so wonderful, informative and beautiful.

A Look at Canada’s Best Magazine Websites

At this year’s 37th annual National Magazine Awards, macleans.ca–the website of Canada’s 103-year-old venerable news magazine–won the award for Magazine Website of the Year.

The award goes to the magazine website (either a companion site or an online-only magazine) that most successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of web-based publishing. A jury convened by the National Magazine Awards Foundation evaluates all entries and comes to a consensus on three finalists and a single winner.

With more than 2.1 million total weekly readers, Maclean’s magazine continues to be a major force in Canadian news and opinion. Online, macleans.ca is a compelling destination for political commentary and discussion, feature stories, social debate and cultural musings. Visitors get full access to exclusive online features, interactive media and the latest from its award-winning bloggers.

The Maclean’s web team presents a platform that can look great on any screen, big or small. Their grid-like display allows for easy translation to a scrollable list format on your mobile device. Functionality and content prominence are what make their simplistic design work.

“For Maclean’s, we are now presenting more information than ever before, while at the same time occupying less screen real estate until you need it,” says senior director and publisher Ryan Trotman.

Their layout choices create a site that is easily digestible and remains consistent with the way we currently consume information through social media. Our surfing habits have changed and macleans.ca has addressed this new social characteristic.

 

HONOURABLE MENTION

The judges awarded Honourable Mention in the category Magazine Website of the Year to Hazlitt and Torontoist.

Five of Hazlitt‘s most recent and popular features play on a slideshow atop the site, which was founded in 2012 as an online literary and cultural affairs magazine by Random House Canada. Sections chosen for Hazlitt’s menu bar communicate their unique role in the world of literary fiction.

Features, Blog, A/V, Comix, Fiction and Hazlitt Originals line the top of their homepage, echoing their core value in exhibiting great writing on diverse subject matter while contributing to cultural at all levels. A grid-like image and title display sits to the right of a list of their ‘most popular’ articles. Their most recent publications and twitter feed follow, appearing atop a freeform of content links organizes in blocks.

Users can scroll titles referring to subsection headings for anything that may be of interest. The style does not present the visitor with rigid sections, but rather allows the content to be displayed in a way that gives all subsections equal treatment.

“Hazlitt aspires to publish great writing on everything,” its editors told the NMAF in a statement submitted with its application. “Politics, art, the environment, film, music, law, business. Books and writers, their ideas, insights and stories, are at the heart of what we do, because books and writers are at the heart of culture, both high and low.”

Displaying a cover photo and a lead to impress visitors to ‘read more,’ the Torontoist site exhibits a format similar to what we see when we open a newspaper to scan for stories. Editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan says this was done intentionally to challenge the idea that online magazines are somehow less informative or not as well-researched as hard copy, printed articles.

“We aim to be the home for people who really care about Toronto, who want to engage in its development and evolution, but who don’t equate formality of tone with substance,” she says.

Regular features, such as ‘Extra, Extra’ and ‘Newsstand’ are Torontoist’s way of offering curated content in what Dotan calls “a downright commitment to sharing work that other publications, including our competitors, are producing.”

In an editorial mandate received by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, the Torontoist editors referred to the site as “compulsively readable and up-to-the-minute… Torontoist is a digital magazine for the modern, edgy urbanite, eschewing categorization in order to serve and reflect a dynamic city full of people who want to learn more about the place they call home.”

Make macleans.ca, Hazlitt and Torontoist part of your summer online reading.

And congratulations to all the winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her research and conducting interviews for this post.

Your Guide to Summer 2014 Magazine Writing Contests

If this year’s National Magazine Awards taught us anything, it’s that devoting yourself passionately to literary excellence has its rewards. Kim Jernigan, longtime editor of The New Quarterly, said as much when she accepted her Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. “When it comes to matters literary, it is better to follow your own instincts than to give the reader what you presume she wants… Perseverance counts.”

Also, this nugget of wisdom: “Caring deeply about literature is not at odds with a sense of fun.”

Apropos of which, we present our annual Summer Guide to Canadian magazine writing contests.

As always, the list below may be incomplete. Leave a comment here or pull us aside on Twitter @MagAwards #WritingContest if you know of any we missed.

 

One Throne Joust 24-Hour Writing Contest
Sections: Short (750-word) fiction
Deadline: June 25, 2014 (competition is held on June 28)
Prize: Half the pot to the winner; publication for the top 3
Entry Fee: $20
Detailshttp://www.onethrone.com/#!joust/c19mu

The Walrus Poetry Prize
Sections: Poetry, juried prize and people’s choice prize
Deadline: June 30, 2014
Prize: $4000 and publication (juried winner); $1000 and publication (people’s choice winner)
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://thewalrus.ca/projects/poetry-prize/

Alberta Views Short Story Contest
Section: Fiction
Deadline: June 30, 2014
Prize: $$1000 + publication (winner)
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Detailshttps://www.albertaviews.ab.ca/contests/

Antigonish Review Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize
Sections: Poetry
Deadline: June 30, 2014
Prize: $600 (1st); $400 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.antigonishreview.com/

Matrix Magazine LitPop Awards
Sections: Poetry; Fiction; Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: July 1, 2014
Prize: For winners in each section, round-trip ticket and accommodation to POP Montreal Festival in September; publication in Matrix
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.matrixmagazine.org/litpop/

Vallum Award for Poetry 2014
Section: Poetry
Deadline: July 15, 2014
Prize: $750 (1st); $250 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

Tethered by Letters Writing Contests
Section
: Poetry; Short Fiction; “Flash Fiction”
Deadline: July 15, 2014
Prize: $250 (Short Fiction winner); $50 (Flash Fiction winner); $100 (Poetry winner); publication
Entry Fee: $4-12, depending on category and entries
Detailshttp://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission
Note: Tethered by Letters is a US literary journal but its writing contests are open to Canadian writers; hence we have included it here.

Malahat Review Constance Rooke Nonfiction Prize
Sections: Creative nonfiction
Deadline: August 1, 2014
Prize: $1000; publication in Malahat Review; interview with winning author
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $15 for additional entries
Detailshttp://web.uvic.ca/malahat/contests/creative_non-fiction_prize/info.html

Passion Poetry Contributor’s Contest
Section: Poetry
Deadline: August 1, 2014
Prize: $100 (1st); $50 (2nd); $25 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $5; includes issue of magazine
Detailshttp://www.passionpoetrymag.com/#/contest/4583551123

Northern Public Affairs Emerging Northern Writers Fund
Sections: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, Visual Arts
Deadline: August 1, 2014
Prize: 3 awards of up to $200 each
Entry Fee: None
Details: northernpublicaffairs.ca

Up Here Sally Manning Award
Section: Aboriginal Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: September 30, 2014
Prize: $1000 + publication (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd)
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://uphere.ca/post/88968179608

Did we miss something? Email staff[at]magazine-awards[dot]com or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards.

See also:
Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2014 Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Fall 2013 Magazine Writing Contests
Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines

Check out the Contests section of this blog for frequent updates on opportunities from Canadian magazines.

Photo: Kim Jernigan accepting the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards, June 6, 2014. Photography by KlixPix for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

Photo Gallery of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards

Images of last Friday’s 37th National Magazine Awards gala are now online. Photography by KlixPix for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

The NMAF wishes to thank all of its sponsors, judges and guests for another wonderful event. Congratulations again to the winners of the 37th National Magazine Awards.

Click to view the photo gallery.

Thank You to our National Magazine Awards Sponsors

The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and partners that help us achieve our mission to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

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