Poetry and Pain, as told by NMA winner Patrick Lane

“The outward pain and the inward pain. If you learn the inward pain inside you, you’ll grow as a human. Fine poetry gives us a look at the inward world.”

That’s esteemed Canadian poet and two-time National Magazine Award winner Patrick Lane, speaking to a class at the University of Toronto last week, on why we read poetry.

Mr. Lane, who won an NMA Silver in 1986 for his poetry in Canadian Forum and a Gold award in 1988 for his poetry in Border Crossings, recently published a new collection of poetry, aptly titled The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing).

According to the article in the Toronto Observer, he also offered the students a few witty reflections on the legacy of Steve Jobs (“The person who invented the [birth control] pill… changed the course of history more than him”) and how he once delivered a baby in a logging camp (“Next thing I knew I was holding a slippery football shape in my arms”).

NMAF welcomes 4 new members to its Board of Directors

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to welcome four new members of its Board of Directors for 2011-2012:

Gary Campbell is the Executive Producer of TorontoLife.com, the digital portal of the award-winning Toronto Life magazine. In 2010 he was nominated for two National Magazine Awards for Digital Design and Digital Magazine of the Year.

David Hayes is a National Magazine Award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Report on Business, Toronto Life, The Walrus, Chatelaine, Saturday Night and other publications, and he also teaches advanced magazine writing at Ryerson University’s Continuing Education program.

Sarah Moore is Managing Editor at More magazine, where she was nominated for a National Magazine award in 2009, and was formerly Senior Editor and Managing Editor at Today’s Parent.

Brian Morgan is Creative Director of The Walrus and formerly worked as Editorial Designer at Saturday Night and Deputy Art Director at Maclean’s. A three-time National Magazine Awards nominee, he won Gold in 2009 in the Best Single Issue category.

New members are nominated and approved by the NMAF Board of Directors for two-year, renewable terms.

Charles Oberdorf remembered

On a day when his friends and loved ones will gather at Glebe Road United Church in Toronto to honour the life of the late Charles Oberdorf, we take a moment to recollect how the Canadian magazine industry knew him back in June, 2008, when Charles was presented with the NMAF’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Charles, who passed away on September 16, served for nine years on the board of directors of the NMAF and was board president in 1993-1994. He was also twice a National Magazine Award winner for his writing, and was known to many in the industry as an editor, columnist, consultant, volunteer, teacher, mentor and friend.

As an editor and a writer, he always hewed to the best traditions in magazine journalism, enriching the lives of Canadian readers and setting an example for Canadian journalists.
–John Macfarlane

As a teacher, writer, volunteer, mentor, manager and friend, he touched more people in the Canadian [magazine] industry than seems possible for one guy.
–D.B. Scott

Charles has always been a fighter, for what I believe are all the right reasons – justice, equality, quality.
–Jessica Ross

Everyone has two or three truly effective teachers: Charles is one of mine.
–Martin Zibauer

[Charles] has performed his duties as an educator with his usual good humour, considerable charm, kind mentorship and impressive vocabulary.
–Margaret Webb

I don’t know how to express this other than to say he simply “got it” when so many others didn’t.
–Catherine Osbourne

When I think about Charles, the first thing that pops to mind is his distinctive, rolling laughter – the delight of a man connecting his fine mind with ideas and other people.
–Penny Williams

[E]verywhere he has worked, he has been a civilizing, sophisticated influence in the office and on the page.
–James Chatto

I found Toronto Life’s Epicure column so clever, so wonderfully literary. I marveled that someone could do this. I soon learned it was a fellow named Oberdorf.
–David Hayes

I’ve seen him take a room of desultory people and have them all wanting to be editors by the time he sits down.
–Gwen Dunant

Charles is a sophisticated writer; a thoughtful editor; a specialist in a magazine staple – the fine-living subjects of travel, design, food and wine; a man with a keen intellect and curiosity who has a knack for finding stories that engage; a magazine-lover.
–Stephen Trumper

Colleagues have been depositing more of their fondest memories of Charles over at the Canadian Magazines blog.

[Photo credit: Eugene Beck]

Canzine Festival is this Sunday

The annual Toronto Canzine festival–a celebration of zine culture aimed at young and innovative magazine creators and enthusiasts, but of course open to all–is coming up on Sunday, October 23 from 1-7pm at the 918 Bathurst Centre (so named for its address, 918 Bathurst Street).

Organized by two-time NMA-nominated magazine Broken Pencil, the festival lineup includes an array of fun, crowd-pleasing events such as speed pitching (contestants have two minutes to pitch a book proposal to a panel of judges), author readings and a panel discussion on mental health and zine making. See the full line-up on the Pencil website or on Facebook.

And hey, the Vancouver Canzine edition is also on the horizon, November 13 at the Ukrainian Hall.

Like the National Magazine Awards on Facebook

We’re on Facebook, and let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance you are, too! So let’s get together. Give us a like so you can get moderately frequent updates about NMA submissions, categories, judging, events, opportunities, previous winners and other bits of tid, right there on your wall.

Oh yeah, we’re on Twitter and LinkedIn, too. C’mon, let’s get social.

“Magazines Matter” video available to Canadian magazine industry

The opening montage from the 34th annual National Magazine Awards gala, June 10, 2011.

This video was produced by Wolfson Bell in partnership with the National Magazine Awards Foundation, and with the generous support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

The NMAF is proud to make this video available free of charge for promotional purposes in the Canadian magazine industry, courtesy OMDC. Contact the NMAF office for more information on using this video.

Congratulations again to all our winners at the 34th National Magazine Awards. The submissions process for this year’s awards opens on December 1.

Former NMA winners land on Giller shortlist

Zsuzsi Gartner, who won the 2005 Silver National Magazine Award for Fiction (“Investment Results May Vary,” Vancouver Review), has been named to the shortlist for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives.

Fellow Giller nominee David Bezmozgis (tapped for his novel The Free World) also won a Silver National Magazine Award for Fiction, in 2003 for “Minyan” in Prairie Fire. Also on the Giller shortlist for his latest book The Cat’s TableMichael Ondaatje has twice won a Gold National Magazine Award in the Poetry category (1979 and 1981). For a complete list of nominations and wins, visit the NMA Winners Archive.

The 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced on November 8, 2011.

Sports journalist and NMA winner Earl McRae passes away

According to a story in The Gazette, award-winning Ottawa Sun journalist Earl McRae has passed away at the age of 69. Mr. McRae was nominated for 9 National Magazine Awards for sports writing, winning Gold twice, in 1977 and 1978 for his work in The Canadian magazine. He also wrote two books and three film documentaries. The Sun and Ottawa Citizen also have obituaries. Earl McRae and his impressive, inspiring commitment to sports writing will be missed.

[Update: More on Earl McRae at the Canadian Magazines blog and The Star.]

34th National Magazine Awards artwork

Thanks again to National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Jason Schneider for providing the artwork for the 34th NMA gala in June.

To see a list of Jason Schneider’s National Magazine  Awards, visit the NMA Winners Archive or visit http://www.jasonschneider.com/.

View the official NMA gala artwork over at ourFacebook page.

NMA winner Joshua Knelman publishes new book on art crime

“That was another stroke of good luck. The NMA attracted the attention of an agent, Samantha Haywood, and that paved the way to a book deal.”

–Joshua Knelman, who won a NMA Gold prize for his article, “Artful Crimes” (The Walrus, November 2005) at the 30th National Magazine Awards, on how his success at the NMAs helped secure a book deal. Knelman’s new book, Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives through the Secret World of Stolen Art, was just published last month by Douglas & McIntyre. Read the full text of Knelman’s interview at The Walrus Blog. Find out more about Joshua Knelman’s success at the NMAs over at our Winners Archive.

Welcome to the National Magazine Awards blog

Friends, supporters and admirers of Canadian magazines, welcome to the new National Magazine Awards blog. We’ve tumbled into this particular nook of social media in order to better serve and promote the achievements of NMA-winning writers, photographers, illustrators, editors, publishers and other content creators, both past and future.

Stay connected with us for news and updates on the National Magazine Awards program, from submissions and categories to event tickets and gala buzz. Read about the achievements of NMA winners. Find out how to get involved with the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And send us your comments and feedback.

We hope you’ll stay with us and continue to support the wonderful people who create Canadian magazines.