Early-Bird Deadline: National Magazine Awards

Today, January 11, is the “Early-Bird” deadline for National Magazine Awards submissions. Save 20% on entry fees if you complete your online submissions application (including payment) by midnight (ET) tonight.

“The early bird catcheth the worm.”
A collection of English proverbs, by John Ray, 1670

To be eligible for the early-bird discount, submitters should:

  • Complete application Step 1, indicating all of the details about each submission (name, email, date, title, magazine, etc) and upload a PDF version of each entry;
  • Complete application Step 2, confirming payment (by credit card or cheque).

Hard copies (for these 6 categories that require them) and cheques do NOT need to be received by today to be eligible for the discount. Courier your cheques and hard copies to the NMAF office by the final deadline of Friday, Jan 15.

National Magazine Awards Foundation
2300 Yonge St, Suite 1600
Toronto, ON
M4P 1E4

For assistance, please email us at staff@magazine-awards.com.

Digital Publishing Awards
Submissions to the 14 categories of the Digital Publishing Awards are due by February 16.

Good luck to all submitters!

Image via WikiCommons

Launching Today: 2016 Digital Publishing Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce the Call for Entries for the inaugural Digital Publishing Awards, a bilingual national program recognizing excellence in Canadian digital content and creation.

Beginning Thursday, January 7, submissions for work published in 2015 will be accepted until February 16, 2016. The Early-Bird deadline for submissions is February 8.

Visit www.digitalpublishingawards.ca for details on rules, categories, deadlines and fees.

This new awards program will provide a platform to promote and reward the achievements of those who create digital publishing content in Canada—the writers and editors, designers and developers, video and podcast producers, photographers and illustrators, and others.

Digital publishers with established brands in magazine, newspaper, broadcast and other journalism, as well as publishers that serve their audiences exclusively on digital platforms will be eligible to enter, including those that publish in either English or French.

For the inaugural year, creators and publishers will have the opportunity to have their work recognized at the national level in fourteen awards categories :

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

Finalists will be announced on May 4, 2016 and winners unveiled at the inaugural awards soirée, which will take place on June 9, 2016 in Toronto. Enter today!

submissions.digitalpublishingawards.ca

About the DPAs
The Digital Publishing Awards are produced by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, a not-for-profit, registered charity that has administered Canada’s annual National Magazine Awards since 1977. With a reputation for facilitating a rigorous, fair and transparent awards program in which content creators are recognized and rewarded for outstanding achievement in magazine journalism, the NMAF is proud to present the Digital Publishing Awards in consultation with Canada’s leading producers and creators of digital publishing.

Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards.

 

Off the Page, with Dan Rubinstein

DanRubinstein
Dan Rubinstein (photo by Lisa Gregoire)

This week on Off the Page, our interview series with National Magazine Award winners, we chat with author and NMA-winning journalist Dan Rubinstein, whose 2015 book Born to Walk emerged from a National Magazine Award-nominated story in The Walrus.

NMAF: Congratulations on the recent publication of your book Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act (ECW Press). You’re a self-described obsessive walker, meditating on the many benefits walking offers. How did your obsession with walking begin?

Born to WalkDan Rubinstein: I’ve always been interested in walking, both for fun and as a way to get from A to B. I like how the act allows me to intimately explore places or routes we typically don’t experience on foot. You never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet, and you gain a deeper sense of how you fit into the natural and human ecosystem in which you live.

But this interest became an obsession in 2012. My “dream job,” as a magazine editor, had become a nightmare, and the long lunch-hour runs I took to escape the stress led to a blown knee. So I started going for walks at lunch, which offered a similar physical and psychological release.

And when I was back at my desk, I kept stumbling over news stories and research studies online that spoke to the many curative properties of walking, from physical and mental health to social cohesion and economic sustainability. I was hooked!

NMAF: Your article “The Walking Cure” — published in The Walrus and winner of two National Magazine Honourable Mentions in 2013 in the categories Society and Health & Medicine — seems to be the starting seed for Born to Walk. Can you talk a bit about the expansion of the article and the development of the book?

Dan Rubinstein: One of the first conversations I had about the myriad benefits of walking was with Stanley Vollant, the medical doctor at the heart of the “The Walking Cure.” He’s an Innu from eastern Quebec — the province’s first aboriginal surgeon — and had started a multi-year walking project, a series of group treks between First Nations communities in which dozens of participants experience the power of this healthy activity and re-establish connections to the land and to one another.

Stanley’s walks are hundreds of kilometres long, often in the winter, and people realize that the only way to reach the end of such a daunting journey is to approach it one step at a time — and they realize if they can do this, they can attempt to overcome any challenges they face. Stanley had the vision that inspired him to begin this project while doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.

He didn’t know why he had to start walking with aboriginal youth and elders in Canada, but as he told me when we first spoke, “When you begin a journey, you don’t know why. The trail will show you the way.”

Writing this article was a natural first step for me, and expanded into the opening chapter of my book, it establishes the main themes and sets the tone. It also introduces Stanley, a recurring voice of wisdom in the book.

Read "The Walking Cure" (The Walrus)
Read “The Walking Cure” (The Walrus)

NMAF: Walking clearly influences the content of your writing, but does it influence how you write? Does the physical endurance built by walking long distances transfer to the long-term focus and dedication one needs to complete a book? Moreover, has walking influenced the form or pace of your writing?

Dan Rubinstein: I find it easier to walk for hours and hours than to sit and write for hours and hours. Walking is invigorating and inspiring — writing, for me, is hard work. But I did keep reminding myself, while working on the book, to take a “one step at a time” approach.

And the book, like many great walks, is a meandering journey, with a lot of side trails, that ultimately leads to a satisfying conclusion. At least I hope it does for readers.

NMAF: Do you have a familiar, favourite walk? Where is the strangest place walking has led you?

Dan Rubinstein: I don’t really have a specific favourite walk. I like walking from the place I am to the place I have to be. I like utilitarian transects that force me to go somewhere unexpected — say, an industrial park, or a subdivision that’s still under construction.

When I lived in Edmonton, I loved walking along the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park, or along the North Saskatchewan River in the city’s river valley. In Ottawa, where I now live, there are some beautiful trails along the Rideau River or in nearby Gatineau Park.

But really, I prefer the more unusual places where I’ve walked, such as the four-day hike I did from my parents’ house in Toronto to their cottage near Algonquin Provincial Park (which became an article for Cottage Life).

You don’t have to travel somewhere exotic to have a profound experience. You can literally walk out the front door and keep going.

NMAF: Since 2003, you’ve won a number of National Magazine Awards for work published in a variety of magazines (The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Western Living, and Alberta Views). What is the role of magazine work — and magazine award nominations and wins — in the life of a freelancer?

Dan Rubinstein: Magazine assignments help freelancers explore ideas that they’re curious and passionate about. I’ve written about walking, for instance, in a dozen different publications.

This is the fun part of a freelancer’s life. Other gigs, like communications work, help beef up your income, but it’s the magazine assignments that provide the freedom that makes it all worthwhile. And if you write a story that wins an award, that makes it easier to pitch ideas to editors you haven’t worked with before.

Awards and nominations are a good calling card. They can help get you in the door. But at the end of the day, they’re not why most of us do this. It’s the stories that matter.


Dan Rubinstein is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist and author of Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act (ECW Press). Read more about the project at borntowalk.org/about/. Follow Dan on Twitter @dan_rube

Very special thanks to Leah Edwards for researching and conducting this interview with Dan. 

The 2016 National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions until January 15. Awards will be presented in 39 categories at the 39th annual NMA gala on June 9. Digital publications and magazine content can also enter the Digital Publishing Awards (deadline Feb 16).

More “Off the Page” interviews with award-winning writers
Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals
Emily Urquhart
, author of Beyond the Pale
Arno Kopecky, author of The Oilman and the Sea
Joshua Knelman, author of Hot Art

Happy Holidays from the National Magazine Awards

From all of us at the National Magazine Awards Foundation, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Our offices are closed from Dec 23 – Jan 3, though you may still submit your entries for the National Magazine Awards online.

Check out all the categories, including Best New Magazine Writer, Best New Magazine Photographer, Best Magazine Brand, and Magazine of the Year.

The deadline for all entries is January 15. (Enter by January 11 for the early-bird discount.)

See you in 2016!

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer will go to a writer whose early work in Canadian magazines (Print Magazine, Tablet Magazine or Magazine Website) 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. The intent is to restrict this award to emerging writing talent in Canadian magazines.

Eligible work must have been published between January 1 and December 31, 2015, must be non-fiction and a minimum of 1,000 words in length. The candidate must not have a published article longer than 1,000 words in any magazine prior to 2014. Articles published in university/college magazines are eligible. Only 1 entry per person.

Submission requirements: Hard copies are not required. Entrants must upload a PDF of the article and a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the submitted work. The entry fee is only $25 for this category.

The deadline for entries is January 15, 2016.

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced on May 2. The winner will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10, 2016. The winner receives a cash prize of $500. The runners-up receive Honourable Mention. All three finalists receive certificates.

Last year’s winner, Genna Buck, recently chatted with us about her award-winning story she wrote for Maisonneuve, and about the impact of the award on her young career as a magazine journalist.

Professionally, it has opened so many doors. I think it has put me on the path to being able to support myself as a freelancer, if that’s something I eventually choose to pursue. It has also opened editors’ ears and made them more willing to take a chance on a pitch from me that is a bit out-there or weird.

Read the complete interview.

Other previous winners of the Best New Magazine Writer award include Sierra Skye Gemma, Catherine McIntyre, Danielle Groen and Jonathan Trudel.

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Photographer

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Photographer* will go to a photographer whose early work in Canadian magazines (Print Magazine, Tablet Magazine or Magazine Website) shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

The award is open to students and magazine photographers with a maximum of three years’ experience in professional journalism. The intent is to restrict this award to emerging creative talent in Canadian magazines.

Eligible work must have been published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 and consists of a single or series of related photographs published in a Canadian magazine. Photographs published in university/college magazines are eligible. Only 1 entry per person.

Submission requirements: Hard copies are not required. Entrants must upload a PDF of the photograph(s) and a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, art director or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the submitted work. The entry fee is only $25 for this category.

The deadline for entries is January 15, 2016.

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced on May 2. The winner will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10, 2016. The winner receives a cash prize of $500. The runners-up receive Honourable Mention. All three finalists receive certificates.

Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)
Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)

Last year’s winner, Hudson Christie, recently chatted with us about his award-winning creative work in Maisonneuve, and about the impact of the award on his young career as a magazine illustrator

Winning a National Magazine Award in my first year out of OCAD was a really huge honour. Being named in the same breath as other renowned members of the Canadian magazine community made me feel like a real contributor to a larger creative goal.

Read the complete interview.

*In alternate years, the NMAF will present distinct awards for Best New Magazine Illustrator and Best New Magazine Photographer

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

Enter the National Magazine Award for Best Magazine Brand

The National Magazine Award for Best Magazine Brand recognizes the general excellence of a publisher in growing their brand and reaching their audience in new and innovative ways.

This 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, website, SIP(s), mobile app(s), tablet, social media, television shows or video, radio broadcasts or podcasts, live events, innovations in print or digital media, and other forms of audience engagement.

How to submit: Publishers should submit four (4) copies of a submissions package, which includes:

  • Any print edition of the magazine from 2015;
  • A cover letter (max two pages) summarizing the strength of the publication’s brand identity against its editorial mandate, and the achievements and innovations during the past year;
  • Any supporting documentation, including links to social media and digital initiatives, event materials, special editions or publications, products, media kits, etc.

Important: Keep in mind that your cover letter may be the jury’s introduction to your brand, and thus should contain all relevant information on your brand identity and extensions, and links to supporting material online (see the example of last year’s winner below).

READY TO ENTER? Click here to submit

How Best Magazine Brand is judged: Three judges, composed of peers and leaders in Canadian magazine publishing, including at least one member from French Canada, will evaluate all material individually over a four-week period, and then meet in person to deliberate on a shortlist of 3 finalists and from them a single winner.

Entry Fee & Deadline: The cost to enter is $150 (early-bird, by January 11) or $175 (by the final deadline of Jan 15).

Nominees & Winner: Three finalists will be announced on May 2, and the winner will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10, 2016.

How was last year’s winner successful?
The inaugural winner of the award for Best Magazine Brand, in 2015, was Cottage Life.

Cottage Life submitted the Winter 2014 issue of the magazine along with copies of its two SIPs from that year, its media kit, and its annual Cottage Trivia Calendar. Its cover letter included a page outlining the editorial mandate of the magazine, its history and a summary of previous innovative engagements, and a summary of initiatives in 2014—including the launch of a Western Canada regional version of the magazine, the success of its annual consumer shows, the expansion of its television channel programs, and a move to licensed merchandise.

Download Cottage Life’s 2014 cover letter [PDF] for Best Magazine Brand, which may be of help as a guide for your publication. (Thanks for letting us use your letter, Cottage Life.)

The jury concluded the following about Cottage Life in bestowing the award for Best Magazine Brand:

Cottage Life demonstrates a level of innovation that bodes well for the industry, representing how a magazine can live beyond print with dynamic and thriving platforms. Its extensions—digital, broadcast, events, e-commerce—are perfectly aligned with the brand DNA, dominating the niche the magazine created while continuing to grow, refresh itself and take risks.”
National Magazine Awards jury

The deadline for National Magazine Awards entries is January 15.