Call for Judges: The 37th annual National Magazine Awards

This year the Canadian magazine industry will celebrate the 37th annual National Magazine Awards. Submissions open on December 1 for awards in 48 categories, and we are looking for volunteer judges to serve on our juries for these categories.

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the generously donated time and expertise of over 200 volunteer judges, who sit on three-member peer juries for our written, visual, integrated and special awards.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards (naturally you cannot serve as a judge in a category where your magazine is entered, but potentially in other categories);
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian magazines (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award yourself);
  • Journalist with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA categories (such as health, business, science, sports, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, poetry, etc);
  • Bilingual (obviously not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all written categories are judged by both unilingual and bilingual juries, and most other categories include one or more bilingual members on their juries).

For more information, review the NMAF’s Judging Process on our website, as well as the Eligibility & Rules and Previous Judges.

To submit yourself or a colleague as a candidate to judge, please contact the NMAF at staff [at] magazine-awards.com. Please include your name, contact information and a brief bio or summary of your expertise.

Paul Webster wins Dave Greber Freelance Award

This past weekend at Edmonton’s LitFest, the winners of the 2013 Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards were announced.

In the magazine category, the prize went to four-time National Magazine Award winner Paul Webster, for his article “Adverse Reactions,” about the controversial dismissal by the government of British Columbia of several scientists studying the province’s prescription-drug policies, published in the April 2013 issue of Vancouver Magazine.

Mr. Webster has won National Magazine Awards writing for Report on Business, Canadian Geographic and The Walrus. Earlier this year he won the Canadian Bar Association award for excellence in journalism, and has been a freelance writer and filmmaker for more than twenty years.

In the book category, the award went to freelancer Chris Benjamin of Halifax for his forthcoming book The Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, an investigative history of Atlantic Canada’s only residential school for First Nations children.

The Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards were established to honour Dave Greber of Calgary, a long-time freelance writer, and they are unique in two ways: they provide support to working Canadian freelance writers
when they most need it in their work cycle; and they give special regard to those working in the area of social justice. Excellence of writing, research and storytelling are a benchmark of the awards.

National Magazine Awards Foundation seeking Communications Coordinator

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is seeking qualified applicants to apply for the contract position of part-time Communications Coordinator for the National Magazine Awards (NMAs) and Kenneth R. Wilson Awards (KRWs). The successful applicant would start immediately and the contract runs through June 30, 2014, with the possibility of continued and expanded contract work thereafter. The part-time Communications Coordinator position requires an average of 30 hours per week of work, with a rate of pay at $18 per hour.

Responsibilities of the Communications Coordinator:

  • Respond to general inquiries to the NMAF & KRWs office by phone and email;
  • Assist in the coordination of the submissions, judging and ticket-selling processes;
  • Coordinate the work of interns and volunteers;
  • Write, edit and proofread communications and other documentation, including reports, website, newsletters, publicity materials, press releases, gala program copy, etc.;

Requirements:

  • Capacity to work independently, manage multiple tasks and work on tight deadlines;
  • Fluency or strong conversational/correspondence skills in French;
  • Though most work will be done remotely, must be able to work in office regularly in January, February and March;
  • Computer skills (MS Office, cloud computing, CMS database);
  • Copy-editing and proofreading skills;
  • General administrative and office management skills.

 Assets:

  • Familiarity with the Canadian magazine industry;
  • Familiarity with Content Management System type databases;
  • Communications and/or public relations experience;
  • Leadership / personnel management experience.

Contact:

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume including references to:
Richard A. Johnson, Special Projects Manager, NMAF
richard.johnson [at] magazine-awards.com

Deadline for Applications:
November 1, 2013

National Magazine Awards named one of Toronto’s top events

The NMA Gala at The Carlu. (Photo by Dean Bradley)

Bizbash, the monthly magazine and event-industry resource, has named this year’s 36th annual National Magazine Awards one of the top 100 events in Toronto for 2013.

The National Magazine Awards gala, held on June 7 at The Carlu and hosted by Zaib Shaikh, drew more than 500 guests from the Canadian magazine industry for dinner and a presentation of awards in 47 categories.

Bizbash named the NMA gala as the #4 event among media and literary events, and #45 overall for 2013. Read more.

Related posts:
The Winners of the 36th annual National Magazine Awards
Photos from the 36th annual National Magazine Awards
Opening video from the 36th annual National Magazine Awards

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.

CSME event promises to help you supercharge your email skills

[Update: CSME has cancelled this event per a note on their website, but invites members to drop them a note to request the topic again in future.]

The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is hosting a mixer next Tuesday, October 22, at the CSI Annex Cafe in Toronto. The event promises to help you “supercharge your email management skills” and features William Tully, a Technical Business Analyst for Metroland Media Digital Commerce.

Join CSME and speaker William Tully for our first mixer of the season to socialize, have some drinks and snacks and get secrets to owning your inbox once and for all. Topics to be covered include how to use folders and filters, deleting vs. archiving, email etiquette, and how to never again lose a message or attachment.

Details:
When: Tuesday, October 22, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St. (south of Bloor), ING presentation room
How much: $10 for members, $25 for non-members ($15 and $30 at the door) – includes one drink ticket and hors d’oeuvres

More info and tickets at CSME.

Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award winner announced

[This post has been updated] Congratulations to Ryerson University student Angie Mattison, winner of the second annual Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award for excellence in magazine and web publishing. The $1000 prize was created in 2011 by the friends and family of Charles Oberdorf, for eighteen years a teacher at Ryerson and the coordinator of the magazine and web publishing program at the Chang School for Continuing Education.

Mr. Oberdorf was the recipient of the 2010 2007 National Magazine Awards Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement award, for his career of service to the Canadian magazine industry.

Hat tip: Canadian Magazines blog.

On balancing freelance writing and the “labour of love”

Helping my students with this e-zine that they do, I find we’re talking about social media and driving traffic and all of that and I try to say, okay that’s great but we really want the content to be what makes people want to come and read and stay. So that, I hope, does not change. And I think there is still a hardcore group of readers who still appreciate the old style longform article. I have the Longform app on my iPad and encourage my students to subscribe to that. But I also tell them that to do that sort of writing… I figure if I can do one of those a year, a labour of love, and it gets published somewhere, then that’s okay. Because they take so much work and thought and effort and time. And they are worth it, but there’s no way you could sustain yourself by writing those.

img_0064Moira Farr, in an interview posted on Story Board’s series “The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A.” Ms. Farr is a seven-time National Magazine Awards finalist, winning Honourable Mention this past year for “Confronting Asperger’s in the Classroom” (University Affairs).

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)

We need your feedback: Complete the 2-minute NMA survey

Have you ever attended the National Magazine Awards gala? Do you love it? Do you think it could be even better? What are the most important elements of this once-a-year gathering of the Canadian magazine industry?

Please take two minutes to complete our survey.

The National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the feedback and support of its stakeholders to fulfill our mandate to promote and support creators in the Canadian magazine industry.

Thank you for your time! Click here to access the survey.

Magazine Awards blog celebrates anniversary #2!

It’s that time of year again to say a huge THANK YOU! to the subscribers, readers and supporters of the Magazine Awards blog. Our mission has always been simple: to recognize and promote National Magazine Award winners, celebrate the magazines who publish them, support the industry that sustains them, and foster a community with the readers who love them.

To mark our second anniversary, here’s a look back at the highlights of the past two years:

Plus our ongoing coverage of hot magazine industry topics like books written by former NMA winners, other awards & opportunities in the magazine industry, cool magazine covers, magazine-related events, and more.

Thanks for your support over these past two years. And now, on with the blogging…

Ryerson Journalism School marks 60th anniversary

rrj-3Ryerson University’s venerable School of Journalism will celebrate its 60th anniversary this weekend in Toronto, with a reception Friday evening and a conference of panel sessions on Saturday.

The Friday event, called Journalism on the Rocks, will honour 12 alumni of the journalism program, including 3-time National Magazine Award winner and longtime Ryerson faculty member Don Obe. Other inductees into what the school is calling its Journalism Headliners include the late sports journalist Randy Starkman, Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie, and Shelley Ambrose, co-publisher of The Walrus.

Saturday’s panel sessions will focus on Ryerson and Journalism: The Next 60 Years, featuring National Magazine Award-winning Ryerson alums Julia Belluz and Elizabeth Renzetti, as well as a number of other remarkable journalists.

It would be almost impossible to calculate how many Ryerson alumni and faculty have won National Magazine Awards or edited NMA-winning stories, but there’s no doubt the program has had a deep and meaninful impact on the Canadian magazine industry. Its highly regarded, student-run Ryerson Review of Journalism has won 6 National Magazine Awards from 30 nominations since it was founded in 1984.

Congratulations Ryerson School of Journalism on 60 great years and many more to come.

MagsBC offers workshops on video production

MagsBCLast year’s National Magazine Awards introduced a new category for Online Video, open to any single video produced by a magazine companion website or online only magazine. As more magazines look to boost online audiences and support creators through diverse digital projects, the new award recognizes these innovations in the Canadian magazine industry.

Similarly, the Magazine Association of British Columbia is offering two workshops — the first tonight, the second next Thursday, October 10 — on “Shooting, editing and uploading to the Web,” targeting magazine professionals who are “interested in attracting more readers and viewers, and expanding your skills and your magazine’s online presence by providing media content.”

The evening workshops, held at Langara College, are open to all magazine professionals, either as a staff member or a freelancer, as well as post-secondary students in publishing and journalism programs.

More info here.

Covet, Prairie Fire, Canada’s History top winners at Manitoba Magazine Awards

Covet, the new lifestyle magazine tagged as “modern living with a Prairie twist,” won the award for Magazine of the Year at last week’s Manitoba Magazine Awards, a.k.a. the Maggies. Covet, which launched in 2012, also won the People’s Choice Award.

The literary periodical Prairie Fire, winner of 13 National Magazine Awards since 1995, took home the most Maggies with four, including Best Poem, Best Short Fiction, Best Editorial Feature or Creative Non-Fiction, and Best Single Issue.

Canada’s History magazine won for Best Column or Department and Best Digital Initiative, the latter for its Young Students program which encourages students to make short documentary films for online publication.

Also winning Maggies were The Huddle, Interlake Arts, Manitoba Home & Gardener Living, Rhubarb, Outwords Inc, and the Canadian Journal of Green Building & Design.

The the Maggies were introduced in 2009 by the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association to recognize achievement in all areas of the magazine publishing business: editorial excellence, design, marketing, online development and public events and programming. The Awards also provide an opportunity to celebrate the exceptional range and diversity of magazine titles produced in the province.