Tag Archive | Books

National Magazine Awards Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for last-minute stocking stuffers and holiday gifts? A subscription to an award-winning Canadian magazine is a great place to start. Magazines Canada’s digital newsstand offers subscription deals on dozens of great magazines. A literary magazine would make any lover of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction squeal with delight.

Perhaps someone on your gift list would love a subscription to Corporate Knights, the magazine of clean capitalism and the winner of this year’s prestigious Magazine of the Year award.

After magazines, books are every reader’s favourite gift, so here at the National Magazine Awards Foundation we’ve compiled a short list of great new books, all by National Magazine Award-winning writers.

Non-fiction

The Dogs Are Eating Them Now, by Graeme Smith
The winner of this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust prize for non-fiction, The Dogs are Eating Them Now is a comprehensive reportage of Canada’s role in the Afghanistan War, by 3-time National Magazine Award winner Graeme Smith.

The Once and Future World, by J.B. MacKinnon
Longlisted for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize for Non-fiction, this powerful meditation on how we can re-imagine and restore the wilderness around us, by 11-time National Magazine Award winner J.B. MacKinnon, is a must-read for anyone who lives, works or plays in Canada’s great outdoors. (Read our interview with J.B. MacKinnon.)

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, by Alison Wearing
In a compelling memoir about growing up with a gay father in 1980s rural Ontario, National Magazine Award-winning travel writer Alison Wearing weaves a moving coming-of-age story with the challenging social and political climate of the struggle for gay rights in Canada.

Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, by Marcello Di Cintio
Winner of the 2013 Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, this gripping collection of travel narratives and reportage from divided lands–Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the U.S.-Mexico border, and more–is truly inspiring.

An Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King
Once a National Magazine Award winner for Fiction in Saturday Night (1991), aboriginal writer Thomas King (Cherokee nation) tells a comprehensive and witty history of North America’s indigenous people’s encounters with Europeans.

Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark, by Mary Janigan
Also on the long list for the RBC Taylor Prize, this investigation into the regional rivalry between Western and Eastern Canada over issues of energy strategy and economic policy is scintillating. Mary Janigan is a former journalist with Maclean’s and a winner of a National Magazine Award in 1992.

Little Ship of Fools, by Charles Wilkins
A story that began on an innovative rowboat attempting a first-of-its-kind crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and continued in the pages of Explore magazine, where it won a 2011 National Magazine Award, Little Ship of Fools, by one of Canada’s premier adventure writers, Charles Wilkins, is the complete chronicle of Big Blue, the record-breaking rowboat, and the incredible crew that propelled her across the sea.

Fiction

Hellgoing, by Lynn Coady
The winner of this year’s Giller Prize as Canada’s best work of fiction, Hellgoing by Edmonton’s Lynn Coady needs almost no introduction. Lynn Coady is a 5-time National Magazine Award nominee, including this year for the story “Dogs in Clothes” (Canadian Notes & Queries), which is part of the collection Hellgoing.

The Sky is Falling, by Caroline Adderson
Caroline Adderson won the Gold 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction, for “Ellen-Celine, Celine-Ellen” (Canadian Notes & Queries). She is the author of three novels and several children’s books. Her work has received numerous prize nominations including the the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Ablutions, by Patrick deWitt
Patrick deWitt won the Silver National Magazine Award for fiction in 2012, for “The Looking Ahead Artist” (Brick). Originally from Vancouver, he is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The World, by Bill Gaston
Victoria native Bill Gaston won the 2011 Gold National Magazine Award for fiction, for “Four Corners” (Event). His short-story collection Gargoyles was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and won the ReLit Award and the City of Victoria Butler Prize.

Easy Living Stories, by Jesus Hardwell
Jesus Hardwell won the 2010 Silver National Magazine Award for fiction, for “Sandcastles” (Event). The story was also short-listed for the prestigious Journey Prize and featured in the Journey Prize Anthology. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Ballistics, by D.W. Wilson
Born and raised in British Columbia, D.W. Wilson won 2008 Silver National Magazine Award for fiction, for “The Elasticity of Bone” (Malahat Review). He is the author of Once You Break a Knuckle, a collection of short stories. He was shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai
Toronto’s Shyam Selvadurai won the 2006 Gold National Magazine Award for fiction, for “The Demoness Kali” (Toronto Life). He is the acclaimed author of the novels Funny Boy, which was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award and was a national bestseller, and Cinnamon Gardens, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Award.

Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
The winner of this year’s First Nations Book Award, Indian Horse, by Ontario Ojibway author Richard Wagamese, tells the story of the journey that Saul Indian Horse, a northern Ontario Ojibway man, takes back through his life, as he is dying.

The O’Briens, by Peter Behrens
Montreal-born Peter Behrens won the 2006 Silver National Magazine Award for fiction, for “The Smell of Smoke” (The Walrus). He is the author of the Governor General’s Literary Award-winning novel, The Law of Dreams, published around the world to wide acclaim, and a collection of short stories, Night Driving.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2013 National Magazine Awards. Deadline for entries: January 15.

Off the Page, with J.B. MacKinnon

Off the Page appears regularly on the Magazine Awards blog. Today we catch up with writer J.B. MacKinnon, winner of 11 National Magazine Awards and author of The Once and Future World (Random House Canada).

NMAF: In an essay titled “A 10 Percent World” (The Walrus, September 2010), you argued that humanity’s vision of an idyllic past is myopic; that in seeking to temper the impact that we have on our environment, our purpose “is not to demand some return to a pre-human Eden, but rather to expand our options”; that “our sense of what is possible sets limits on our dreams.” What did you mean by expanding our options beyond the limits?

J.B. MacKinnon (photo by A. Smith)

J.B.: “A 10 Percent World” looks at the natural world of the historical past—a much richer and more abundant state of nature than we know today. We’ve largely forgotten this more plentiful world, and that limits our sense of the possible.

Yes, it’s depressing to find out that grizzly bears used to live on the Canadian Prairies and they don’t any more, or that Vancouver waters were home to a year-round population of humpback whales that were all slaughtered by 1908. But if we aren’t aware of these facts, then the absence of the bears and the whales seems normal. When we do become aware of them, we’re able to set a higher bar for our vision of what nature can be.

NMAF: That essay won a National Magazine Award in 2011. What impact did the magazine publication and the award have on your decision to pursue a book project, resulting in your recently published The Once and Future World

J.B.: In this case, a book idea became a magazine story. In 2011, I was already thinking about The Once and Future World, but I needed to explore whether it had the potential I thought it did.

“A 10 Percent World” was that initial foray into the depths. The story had an impact on readers, and when it also won a magazine award I was able to move forward on the book with a lot more confidence.

NMAF: You’ve been a professional writer for more than a decade, with 11 National Magazine Awards (and 31 nominations). What role do Canadian magazines play in your career, and what significance do you put on winning awards?

J.B.: I became a writer during the largely overlooked great recession of the early 1990s, and the limited opportunities of that time made a deep impression on me. Fortunately, a few Canadian editors took a chance on my work, and I’ve been able to build from there. But I’m always trying to sharpen my teeth—to push toward deeper themes or better writing. It doesn’t always work, and I appreciate that Canadian magazines are still giving me chances. They don’t always expect me to show up with all my t’s crossed and i’s already dotted.

Awards are one way to measure whether or not what I’m doing on the page is working—the awards themselves matter less to me than the nominations. Consistent nominations tell me that I’m continuing to do work that is recognizably among the best in the country. Actually taking home a gold or silver is a much less predictable matter. Of course, when it happens, well… it never gets old, let’s say that.

Read "A 10 Percent World" (Gold, Essays, 2010)

Read “A 10 Percent World” (The Walrus, Gold, Essays, 2010)

Read "Becoming an Optimist" (Gold, Science, Technology & Environment, 2008)

Read “Becoming an Optimist” (Explore, Gold, Science, Technology & Environment, 2008)

J.B. MacKinnon is the award-winning author of The Once and Future World, The 100-Mile Diet and Dead Man in Paradise. His writing has appeared in great Canadian magazines including Explore, The Walrus, This Magazine and more. He was the writer for the documentary Bear 71, which explores the intersection of the wired and wild worlds through the true story of a mother grizzly bear. Discover more at jbmackinnon.com

More Off the Page
J.B. MacKinnon in the NMA Archive

Several NMA laureates among Writers’ Trust Prize finalists

Invite-HeaderTomorrow the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize will be announced at a ceremony in Toronto. The five shortlisted novelists and short-story writers are among Canada’s most celebrated authors, and four of them are previously National Magazine Award honorees:

  • Lynn Coady, a Writers’ Trust finalist (and winner of the Giller Prize) for Hellgoing, is a five-time National Magazine Award finalist, most recently in 2012 for two stories, “Publish then Perish” (Eighteen Bridges) and “Dogs in Clothes” (Canadian Notes & Queries); the latter is one of the stories included in Hellgoing.
  • Lisa Moore, shortlisted for Caught, is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist, most recently for “Notes from Newfoundland” (2011, The Walrus).
  • Cary Fagan, shortlisted for A Bird’s Eye, was nominated for a National Magazine Award for fiction in 2007, for his story “Shit Box” (Taddle Creek).
  • Krista Bridge, shortlisted for The Eliot Girls, was nominated for a National Magazine Award for fiction in 2002, for “Crusade” (Toronto Life).

The fifth Writers’ Trust finalist is Colin McAdam, for A Beautiful Truth, which was also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award earlier this year.

The winner will be revealed on Wednesday, November 20 at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, which also includes the Journey Prize for Short Fiction.

The 3 finalists for this year’s Journey Prize include Eliza Robertson, whose entry “My Sister Sang” (Grain magazine) was a finalist for this past year’s National Magazine Award for fiction.

The other two finalists are Doretta Lau (“How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?”; Event magazine) and Naben Ruthnam (“Cinema Rex”; The Malahat Review).

More information about the Writers’ Trust Awards.

NMA laureates vie for Governor General’s Awards

Canadian book award season continues today with the presentation of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, better known as the GGs, in Ottawa, and several former National Magazine Award winners are among the finalists.

This most comprehensive of literary awards programs honours excellence in book-length fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, children’s text, children’s illustration and translation, with awards for both English- and French-language entries.

In the Fiction (English) category, the finalists include former National Magazine Award winner Shyam Selvadurai, for his novel The Hungry Ghosts. Mr. Selvadurai won NMA gold for fiction in 2006, for “The Demonness Kali” published in Toronto Life.

Former NMA finalist Kenneth Bonnert is also up for a GG in fiction, for The Lion Seeker. The rest of the GG shortlist includes Eleanor Catton, Joseph Boyden and Colin McAdam.

In the Children’s Illustration (French) category, two-time National Magazine Award winner Isabelle Arsenault is among the finalists, for Jane, le Renard et moi. Ms. Arsenault won a National Magazine Award earlier this year for her work in Quebec Science magazine.

In the Poetry (English) category, the shortlist includes two-time National Magazine Award finalist Don Domanski, for his collection Bite Down Little Whisper. Mr. Domanski’s most recent National Magazine Award nomination came in 2009, for the poem “Radiance and Counterpoint” published in Grain.

Read up on all the GG finalists here. For each category, a jury, comprised of fellow authors, translators and illustrators, makes the final selection. Each GG winner receives $25,000 and a specially-bound copy of their winning book. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to help promote the book. The total annual value of the GGs is close to $450,000.

NMA winner Richard Wagamese wins First Nations book award

National Magazine Award-winning writer Richard Wagamese, a member of the Ojibway Wabasseemoong First Nation of northern Ontario and author of 13 books, has won the inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, presented by the non-profit CODE and the Canada Council for the Arts.

He won for his latest novel, Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre), a story about the journey Saul Indian Horse, a northern Ontario Ojibway man, takes back through his life, as he is dying. The runners up were novels by Tara Lee Morin and James Bartleman.

Richard Wagamese was a National Magazine Award winner in 2010 for his story “Walking by the Crooked Water,” part of an Editorial Package called “Border Lines” published by Canadian Geographic magazine.

The Burt Award’s book purchase and distribution program will ensure that a minimum of 2,500 copies of each of the three winning titles will be delivered to First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada through community libraries, schools, Friendship Centres and summer literacy camps.

The Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning in Canada and around the world for over 50 years – in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation. The Award is the result of a close collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, Frontier College, GoodMinds, the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Canada Council for the Arts. Read more.

More: Richard Wagamese in the National Magazine Awards archive.

NMA winner Carol Shaben to accept prize at Laurier University

National Magazine Award winner Carol Shaben, whose recent book Into the Abyss began as an award-winning story in The Walrus, will speak at two public events this Wednesday, November 13, at Wilfrid Laurier University, and will receive the 2013 Edna Staebler Prize which was announced earlier this year.

First, an interview with Ms. Shaben, conducted by Bruce Gillespie, assistant professor of Journalism, will take place on Laurier’s Brantford campus from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in RCW203. Then, the presentation of the Edna Staebler award will take place on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber.

Carol Shaben is a freelance writer who lives in Vancouver with her husband and son. In 2005 she left a business career to focus on her long-time passion for writing, and in 2009 she was nominated for three National Magazine Awards, winning two: a Gold Medal for Investigative Reporting and a Silver Medal for Politics and Public Interest. Into the Abyss is her first book. She was also a finalist for Best New Magazine Writer of 2009.

Related posts: 
Off the Page, with Carol Shaben (interview)
New book by NMA winner looks at the safety of our skies

More: Carol Shaben in the National Magazine Awards archive

ScotiaBank Giller Prize features former NMA winners

Tomorrow night’s presentation of the 2013 ScotiaBank Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in Canadian fiction, will feature the work of five celebrated Canadian authors, three of whom have previously been nominated for National Magazine Awards.

Five-time NMA finalist Lynn Coady made the Giller shortlist for her short-story collection Hellgoing. The native of Cape Breton is also the founding editor of the magazine Eighteen Bridges, launched in 2011 and already the recipient of 20 National Magazine Award nominations and 4 medals. She was a double nominee at this year’s National Magazine Awards for her fiction (“Dogs in Clothes“) in Canadian Notes & Queries and her Arts & Entertainment essay “Publish then Perish” (Eighteen Bridges).

A National Magazine Award winner earlier this year for his essay “Precious Cargo” (Avenue magazine), Craig Davidson is shortlisted for the Giller prize this year for his novel Cataract City. The Ontario native has been nominated for 5 NMAs during his career.

Newfoundland’s Lisa Moore, twice an NMA finalist for her journalism and fiction, made the Giller shortlist for her novel Caught. Her most recent NMA nomination was for her story “Notes from Newfoundland” (The Walrus, 2011), and she was nominated in 2001 for her fiction in The Malahat Review.

Rounding out the Giller shortlist are Dan Vyleta (The Crooked Maid) and Dennis Bock (Going Home Again).

The 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner will be announced at a gala ceremony on Tuesday, November 5, during a live broadcast on CBC Television at 9:00 p.m. EST. The announcement will be available simultaneously via email press release, newswire, Scotiabank Giller Prize web site and related social media channels. The winner recieves a $70,000 $50,000 cash prize.

New Charles Wilkins book arose from NMA-winning story

A few years ago, Ontario native and veteran freelance writer Charles Wilkins joined the crew of an experimental rowboat expedition: 16 paddlers in the strangest-looking craft rowed across the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Barbados, becoming the first mariners to cross the ocean without the aid of sail or motor.

Mr. Wilkins published a chronicle of the voyage in Explore magazine, “The Big Blue,” which went on to win a Gold National Magazine Award for travel writing in 2012–the fifth NMA in Wilkins’ distinguished career as a writer. We featured the astounding story in our Summer Reading Series that year.

Following that success at the National Magazine Awards, Mr. Wilkins has published Little Ship of Fools: Sixteen Rowers, One Improbable Boat, Seven Tumultuous Weeks on the Atlantic (Greystone Books), a “rich and fascinating story of courage, community, the importance of risk in our lives, and the resilience and depth of the human spirit.”

A fascinating and hilarious read from one of Canada’s most celebrated adventure writers. Check it out at Greystone Books.

National Magazine Award winner Alice Munro finally a Nobel laureate

She is a three-time National Magazine Award winner for fiction, including the first-ever such prize awarded back in 1977. She has won three Governor General’s Literary Awards, two Giller Prizes, and the Man Booker International Prize. Widely regarded as one of the greatest short-story writers the English language has ever known, at last Alice Munro has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The native of Wingham, Ontario, published her first collection of short stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, in 1968, and promptly won the Governor General’s Literary Award. In 1977, she won her first of three National Magazine Awards, for her story “Accident” originally published in Toronto Life and later with her fifth collection, The Moons of Jupiter (1982).

Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Kidd,” published in the Tamarack Review, won her a second National Magazine Award for fiction in 1982.

And her story “Jakarta,” published in Saturday Night in 1998, won Ms. Munro a third National Magazine Award. Jakarta later appeared in the collection The Love of a Good Woman, which won the Giller Prize that year.

Now 82 and officially retired, Ms. Munro had been considered one of the favourites for the prestigious award, though only twelve women before her, in the Nobel Prize’s 113-year history, had won.

Using an epithet often ascribed to her, the Swedish Academy in announcing its decision referred to Ms. Munro as the “master of the contemporary short story.”

Upon learning of her win, she told the CBC, “I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.”

More:
Alice Munro in the National Magazine Awards archive
Margaret Atwood on the life and works of Alice Munro (The Guardian)

New book from NMA Winner Ann Dowsett Johnston on Women & Alcohol

A new book by seven-time National Magazine Award winner Ann Dowsett Johnston examines the history and sociology of women and alcohol, confronting recent developments in female drinking behavior, corporate marketing and feminist theory while layering in her own story of abuse and recovery.

According to its publisher, HarperCollins Canada, Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol “combines in-depth research with [the author's] own personal story of recovery, and delivers a groundbreaking examination of a shocking yet little recognized epidemic threatening society today: the precipitous rise in risky drinking among women and girls.”

With the feminist revolution, women have closed the gender gap in their professional and educational lives. They have also achieved equality with men in more troubling areas as well. In the U.S. alone, the rates of alcohol abuse among women have skyrocketed in the past decade. DUIs, “drunkorexia” (choosing to limit eating to consume greater quantities of alcohol), and health problems connected to drinking are all rising—a problem exacerbated by the alcohol industry itself.

Ms. Johnston is a former editor at Maclean’s, where she edited the annual University Rankings for 14 years, garnering NMA nominations every year from 1992-2004. Her new book grew out of a 13-part series she produced for the Toronto Star on women and alcohol.

The MagAwards blog is back! Latest news…

The Magazine Awards blog is fueled up and ready to roll again after a summer hiatus. Hope you, too, enjoyed your summer, perhaps part of which was spent curled up with the 36th National Magazine Awards Gold Book, a digital collection of this past year’s NMA Gold Winners.

And now for a little Magazine Awards news to get us back in the swing…

Belated congrats to two-time NMA winner Carol Shaben, whose 2012 book Into the Abyss was named the winner of this year’s prestigious Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-fiction, an award bestowed by Wilfred Laurier University that includes a cash prize of $10,000. Read our profile of the book Into the Abyss as well as our interview with Carol Shaben about her incredible story and her path to becoming a writer. Ms. Shaben will receive her award in a ceremony on November 13.

Former National Magazine Award winner David Baines has been named this year’s winner of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Jack Webster Foundation honoring career excellence in British Columbia journalism. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Vancouver on October 30. Mr. Baines has been a reporter at the Vancouver Sun for more than 25 years. He won a Gold National Magazine Award in 1994 for his work in Vancouver Magazine.

This year’s winner of the first National Magazine Award for tablet publishing - Canadian House & Home - caught the attention of the high-profile blog of the software giant Adobe, which featured House & Home‘s tablet edition in a post in August. They noted, “every issue of this magazine is interesting, inventive and takes full advantage of the DPS features that enable an immersive, interactive experience.”

Legion, a periodical of Canadian military history, has been named one of three finalists for this year’s Pierre Berton Award, known more formally as the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Popular Media. Legion won an honourable mention at the 2010 National Magazine Awards for its special issue “World War I: The War that Shaped a Nation.” The other two finalists for this year’s Pierre Berton Award are military historians Tim Cook and Mark Zuehlke. The winner will be announced at the Governor General’s Awards ceremony in Ottawa on November 19.

The award-winning fashion title Flare has unveiled a redesign as of this month’s issue, the product of the magazine’s new creative director Michèle Champagne, and featuring custom calligraphy with a retro feel by Olivia Grandperrin. Editor Amanda Purves explains in her latest note to Flare‘s readers: “When I first met Michèle, she was sustaining herself, after spending several years in Amsterdam, with interesting contract gigs and making her own magazine about graphic design. I instantly knew she had the true vision of an artist. A fashion magazine needs that—the Alexander Libermans, the Fabien Barons—or it’s not special.”

And, Up Here magazine just announced the winners of its Robert Service Poetry Contest, with Gus Barrett of Qualicum Beach, B.C., winning the top prize for “Willy the musher.”

Good to be back on the blog. Stay with us for regular updates this year on National Magazine Award winners, events, news and more, including, of course, updates on this coming year’s National Magazine Awards submissions, slated to open on December 1.

And follow us on Twitter @MagAwards.

NMA winners crowd shortlists for BC Book Prizes

The shortlists for the 29th annual BC Book Prizes were announced today, with five finalists in each category for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s book, illustrated children’s book, and best BC book.

Carol Shaben, whose non-fiction book about Canada’s bush pilot industry (Into the Abyss) was partly based on her investigative article published in The Walrus that won two National Magazine Awards, is one of the finalists for non-fiction.

National Magazine Award-winning poets Evelyn Lau (A Grain of Rice) and Patricia Young (Night-Eater) are both nominated in the poetry category.

Anne Fleming (Gay Dwarves of America) and Bill Gaston (The World) are former NMA winners nominated for their works of fiction.

Read the complete shortlists for the BC Book Prizes here. The winners will be announced at the 29th annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Government House in Victoria, BC.

Visit the NMA Archives to read the award-winning stories by these and other great writers.

More book news from the National Magazine Awards.

UPPERCASE Magazine raising donations for typewriter book

If you haven’t ever picked up a copy of UPPERCASE magazine, there’s never been a better time. The Calgary-based quarterly periodical of creative arts won the National Magazine Award for Art Direction for its inaugural issue in 2009, and has been a finalist in that category three years running.

Billed as a magazine “for the creative and curious” in the spirit of DIY, UPPERCASE has devoted issues and articles to the creative and innovative side of such crafts as graphic design, letterpress printing, home decor, culinary arts, miniature dollhouses, set decoration, book binding, wardrobe accessories and more.

Under the direction of publisher/editor/designer Janine Vangool, UPPERCASE has also published a collection of books, and its newest project, for which it is raising funds through reader donations, is The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine.

What will become a richly illustrated book of typewriter memorabilia is being produced with the financial support of readers. The magazine hopes to raise $25,000 to cover the printing costs of 3000 copies of the book, which will launch on June 23 — International Typewriter Day.

Donations of $45 and higher secure a copy of the book when it is published. Larger amounts yield other rewards, including prints of typewriter art and memorabilia, vintage typewriter artifacts, lifetime subscriptions and (for $5000) your own personal design consultation. More info here.

{ Tip o’ the hat: Canadian Magazines blog }

Writers’ Trust Political Writing Prize Shortlist includes NMA Winners

The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced the shortlist of finalists for the 2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The shortlist includes work by these former National Magazine Award winners and finalists:

  • Marcello Di Cintio for Walls: Travels Along the Barricades
  • Taras Grescoe for Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
  • Noah Richler for What We Talk About When We Talk About War
  • Jeffrey Simpson for Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century

Peter F. Trent is also nominated for The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal.

Read more about all the finalists and the Writers’ Trust prizes.

The winner of the $25,000 prize will be announced on March 6.

Shortlist for the Charles Taylor Prize includes former NMA finalist

The shortlist for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction was announced this morning at a ceremony at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

This year’s shortlist includes a book by former NMA finalist Ross KingLeonardo and The Last Supper. The shortlist also includes books by Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Tim Cook, Sandra Djwa and Andrew Preston.

Click here for the complete announcement and shortlist. The winner will be announced on March 4, and receives a prize of $25,000. The runners up each receive $2000.

Past winners of the Charles Taylor Prize include National Magazine Award winners Andrew Westoll, Charles Foran, Ian Brown, J.B. MacKinnon and Richard Gywn.

Related Posts:

Great Books for the Holidays, all by NMA Winners

“Monkey Ranch” by Julie Bruck won the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry

While stuffing stockings and gift baskets with magazine subscriptions (Buy 2, Get 1 Free!; don’t forget Maisonneuve, Canada’s magazine of the year) may be your first priority this holiday season, we present our second annual holiday book guide to tempt you with yet more literary treats. (And perhaps our first annual guide may still be of interest.)

All of these books are by National Magazine Award finalists and winners.

Non-Fiction

Fiction

Poetry

Illustration

eBooks

Did we miss any 2012 books by NMA winners? Drop a comment or tweet at us.

Related posts:
Booking up for Winter: Great Reads by NMA Winners
National Magazine Awards > Books

Best Canadian Essays 2012 features 7 National Magazine Award winners

The 2012 installment of The Best Canadian Essays has been released from Tightrope Books, edited by Ray Robertson and Christopher Doda.

Like previous editions of the book, The Best Canadian Essays 2012 features a number of National Magazine Award-winning stories by some remarkable authors celebrated at the 35th NMA gala earlier this year, and from previous years:

  • Alexandra Molotkow, whose article “My Cybersexual Education” (Toronto Life) was part of a series that won Gold in Editorial Package for 2011;
  • Paul Wilson, whose article “Adrift on the Nile” (The Walrus) about the Arab Spring won Gold in One-of-a-Kind;
  • Eric Andrew Gee, whose article “Our Tar Sands Man in Washington” (Maisonneuve) won Honourable Mention in Politics & Public Interest;
  • Chris Turner, whose article “Paradigm Shift” (Alberta Views) won Honourable Mention in Essays.

The book also features essays by former National Magazine Award winners and finalists Monte Paulsen, Ryan Bigge, and Jeet Heer.

Check out the complete list of essays from the 2012 edition and buy it at Tightrope Books.

NMA winner Geoff Powter to be honoured at Banff Festival

Geoff Powter

This Saturday the 37th annual Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival will open in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountain country for nine days of events featuring authors, filmmakers and speakers from around the world.

National Magazine Award-winning writer Geoff Powter–a psychologist and alpinist from Canmore, Alberta–will be formally honoured by the Banff Centre for his long career of mountaineering expeditions, literary achievements and fostering community awareness of environmental issues.

The former longtime editor of the Canadian Alpine Journal and frequent contributor to Explore magazine (where he has won 7 National Magazine Awards) is the author of the 2006 bestseller Strange and Dangerous Dreams: The Fine Line Between Adventure and Madness, a former Banff festival winner.

Read some of Geoff Powter’s National Magazine Award-winning work at the NMA archives (magazine-awards.com/archive).

New book by NMA Winner Carol Shaben looks at the safety of our skies

National Magazine Award-winning writer Carol Shaben, whose debut magazine feature “Fly at Your Own Risk” (The Walrus) was a double NMA winner in Investigative Reporting and Politics & Public Interest in 2009, has published a new book the evolved from that original magazine story.

Into the Abyss: How a Deadly Plane Crash Changed the Lives of a Pilot, a Politician, a Criminal and a Cop (Random House Canada) is in bookstores tomorrow, October 16.

We profiled Carol in our Off the Page interview series last spring, where she talked about how she latched on to the investigation of Canada’s aviation safety regulation and was inspired by the story of a particular plane crash in which her father was one of the survivors. [Read "Off the Page, with Carol Shaben"]

From the publisher, about Into the Abyss:

On an icy night in October 1984, a Piper Navajo commuter plane carrying 9 passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing 6 people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges.

Despite the poor weather, Erik Vogel, the 24-year-old pilot, was under intense pressure to fly–a situation not uncommon to pilots working for small airlines. Overworked and exhausted, he feared losing his job if he refused to fly. Larry Shaben, the author’s father and Canada’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature.

After Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant, boarded the plane, rookie Constable Scott Deschamps decided, against RCMP regulations, to remove his handcuffs–a decision that profoundly impacted the men’s survival. As they fought through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth and status were erased and each man was forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence.

The survivors forged unlikely friendships and through them found strength and courage to rebuild their lives. Into the Abyss is a powerful narrative that combines in-depth reporting with sympathy and grace to explore how a single, tragic event can upset our assumptions and become a catalyst for transformation.

For more on Carol Shaben’s new book, watch this video of Random House Canada vice-president Anne Collins talking about Into the Abyss.

Photos from the Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival

Manitoba Theatre for Young People (photo by Leif Norman)

Wish we could have been in Winnipeg last month for the Thin Air International Writers Festival. Fortunately photographer Leif Norman captured the event with a suite of beautiful photography.

This year’s event, held on September 26 at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, featured National Magazine Award-winning writers Pasha Malla (People Park), Seán Virgo (Dibidalen) and Mike Barnes (The Reasonable Ogre), as well as acclaimed novelists Rawi Hage (Carnival) and Esmé Claire Keith (Not Being on a Boat).

Visit LeifNorman.net to check out all the photos. Check out the National Magazine Awards archive to read stories by these and other great writers.

Authors Pasha Malla and Esmé Claire Keith (photo by Leif Norman)

8 former NMA Winners land on GG Awards shortlists

The shortlists for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards–with categories in both English and French for Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Non-fiction, Children’s Text, Children’s Illustration, and Translation–have been announced by Canada Council for the Arts, and eight former National Magazine Award winners have garnered nominations.

In Fiction, former NMA winners Robert Hough (Dr. Brinkley’s Tower) and Vincent Lam (The Headmaster’s Wager) are among the 5 finalists.

In Poetry, two-time National Magazine Award winner Julie Bruck (Monkey Ranch) and former NMA finalists A.F. Moritz (The New Measures) and David McGimpsey (L’il Bastard) made the GG shortlist.

In Non-fiction, two-time NMA winner Noah Richler (What We Talk About When We Talk About War) and former nominee Ross King (Leonardo and the Last Supper) were named GG finalists.

And in Children’s Illustration, former National Magazine Award winner Isabelle Arsenault received a GG nomination for Virginia Wolf.

Check out all the GG Awards finalists.

Visit the National Magazine Awards archive to view the works of these great writers and artists.

The winners of the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards will be announced on November 13 at the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec in Montreal. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the winners with their awards, which include a cash prize of $25,000, at a gala at Rideau Hall on November 28.

New book by NMA finalist Arno Kopecky investigates anti-mining activism

Two-time National Magazine Award Honourable-Mention honouree Arno Kopecky has written a book about the impact of mining among indigenous communities in South America.

The Devil’s Curve (Douglas & McIntyre), follows politicians, native communities, mining companies and anti-mining activists through a series of events, protest movements and harrowing experiences that culminated in the deaths of dozens of Peruvian natives in a place called The Devil’s Curve in June 2009.

From D&M’s site:

Arno Kopecky picks up the story where the news left off. Travelling to Peru and Colombia, he follows radical left-wing politicians on the campaign trail, discusses black magic with villagers, winds up in gunfights and hallucinates in dark huts. Superbly crafted and full of complex and captivating characters, The Devil’s Curve is a story that speaks to universal themes of the dislocation of Aboriginal people, the inequitable distribution of wealth globally and the abdication of responsibility from governments to corporations. Kopecky’s remarkable debut is a haunting tale, brilliantly told, of how affluent Western lifestyles impact distant societies.

Kopecky has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards for his writing in The Walrus. He’s also been published in The Tyee, Maclean’s and Foreign Policy. This is his first book. You can check out a review of the book in the fall issue of Maisonneuve, Canada’s Magazine of the Year.

NMA Winner Joshua Knelman wins Edna Staebler Prize

National Magazine Award-winning writer Joshua Knelman, whose book Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives through the Secret World of Stolen Art began life as a NMA-winning investigative story in The Walrus, has been named the 2012 winner of the prestigious Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction from Wilfried Laurier University in Waterloo.

We profiled Joshua and his remarkable book in our Off the Page interview segment last spring, outlining the story of how his NMA success helped pave the way for the book project.

The Edna Staebler Award was established in 1991 by writer and literary journalist Edna Staebler. It recognizes a Canadian writer of a first or second published book with a Canadian locale and/or significance. The annual winner receives a prize of $10,000.

The Tyee launches event series with America: But Better

The award-winning and National Magazine Award-nominated The Tyee magazine is launching a speaker series called “A Tyee’d Talk” with the first event a book launch of America: But Better.

The authors, Chris Cannon and Brian Calvert, will present their unique interpretation of how to cure the ails of our neighbour to the south at the Wise Hall in Vancouver.

The event is this Thursday, September 27 at 7pm. Ticket info at the BCAMP website.

NMA Winners among 2012 Giller Long List

Yesterday the ScotiaBank Giller jury announced its long list for the 2012 prize, and we’re pleased to see National Magazine Award winners among them.

Katrina Onstad (2009 NMA winner for “The Jesus Show” in Toronto Life; also a 9-time NMA finalist) made the Giller long list for her novel Everybody has Everything (Emlem Editions).

Robert Hough (1999 NMA winner for “Prisoner of Love” in Saturday Night; also a 10-time NMA finalist) is Giller long-listed for his novel Dr. Brinkley’s Tower (House of Anansi).

Also among the Giller hopefuls are former National Magazine Award nominees Cary Fagan (My Life Among the Apes), Will Ferguson (419), and Annabel Lyon (The Sweet Girl).

Check out the entire long list at the Giller website, and add these great Canadian novels to your reading list.

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