Best Canadian Essays 2014 features NMA winners

BestCanadianEssays2015The 2014 edition of Best Canadian Essays has been released this month from Tightrope Books, edited by Christopher Doda and Natalie Zina Walschots.

Like previous years, the book of Best Canadian Essays 2014 features many National Magazine Award-winning writers from last year’s gala, as well as earlier years.

Sarah de Leeuw’s incredible story of abnormal childbirth, “Soft Shouldered,” featured in Prism International magazine, received an Honourable Mention in One of a Kind at last year’s gala.
Margo Pfeiff has won four NMA Honourable Mentions since 2001, and her essay “When the Vikings Were in Nunavut” was published in Up Here magazine, which won five Honourable Mentions at last year’s gala.

Dan Tysdal’s fiction piece, “Year Zero,” was published in the multiple NMA-winning magazine, Prairie Fire.

D.W. Wilson has received four awards within the fiction category, with three Honourable Mentions at the 2010 gala and a Silver Award for his piece The Elasticity of Bone in 2008.

Naomi K. Lewis’ essay, The Assault on Science, was published in NMA-winning magazine, Alberta Views. In 2011, she won an Honourable Mention in Health & Medicine for The Urge to Purge (Alberta Views).

Check out the complete list of essays by ordering the 2014 book from Tightrope Books.

Special thanks to Leah Jensen for compiling this post.

Vote: Alberta’s Best Magazine Cover

The Alberta Magazine Awards are coming up on March 5 and the finalists have been announced. Here’s a look at the five nominees for the award for Best Magazine Cover. They’re all spectacular and one will be the winner announced next Thursday in Calgary. Vote for your favourite below.

Avenue Edmonton, Stephen Mandel, April 2014. Curtis Trent, photographer; Pete Nguyen, art director.

 

Georgie, issue No. 2 F14. Nathan Marshall, art director; Aaron Pedersen, photographer.

 

New Trail, Who Will Lead Us Next? Autumn 2014. Marcey Andrews, art director.

 

Up! MagazineThe Food Guide, October 2014. Jill Foran, editor.

 

Western Living, Designers of the Year, September 2014. Paul Roelofs, art director; Evaan Kheraj portrait photographer.

Which is your favourite?

The Alberta Magazine Award winners will be announced on March 5, 2015 at the Alberta Magazines Conference in Calgary.

Legion, Canada’s History, Style at Home among winners at Canadian Cover Awards

Last night Magazines Canada and Circulation Management Association of Canada co-presented the 2015 Canadian Cover Awards at the Courtyard Toronto Downtown.

Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were presented in 8 categories for this year’s awards.

And the  Gold winners are…

General Interest, Arts, Lifestyle & Regional: Legion Magazine
Home & Décor: Style at Home
News, Business & Celebrity: Hello! Canada
Sports & Leisure: The Hockey News
Women’s Service: Elle Quebec
Family & Kids: chickaDEE
Small Magazines: Canada’s History
SIPs & New Magazines: Ignition

 

The final award of the evening, for Newsstand Marketer of the Year, was presented to Anita Baldwinson of TNG.

Check out all the results on Twitter and at coverawards.ca.

 

enRoute, United Church Observer, Fairmont among magazine winners at NATJA Awards

"Canada's Best New Restaurants 2013" won 2 National Magazine Awards last year before winning a NATJA earlier this month.
“Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013” won 2 National Magazine Awards last year before winning a NATJA earlier this month.

enRoute, the Air Canada magazine published by Spafax of Montreal, won the gold medal for best in-flight magazine at the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) awards announced earlier this month. The mag bested competitors like Delta Sky, U.S. Airways Magazine and Celebrated Living for the honour.

enRoute‘s popular “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013” guide, by National Magazine Award-winning writer Andrew Braithwaite, won a silver medal in the category culinary travel.

The magazine also took home a bronze medal for best travel series (“The Frequent Flyer” by Sarah Staples), and was a finalist in 3 other categories as well.

Two other Spafax titles won NATJAs. Fairmont Magazine won the gold medal for cover photo (“Big Bold Baku” by Gunnar Knechtel) and a silver medal, tied with enRoute, for culinary travel (“Perfecting Pinoy” by Remy Scalza). Experience Magazine won gold in the luxury & leisure travel category (“Fantasy Island,” by Neal McLennan).

In the category destination travel, the United Church Observer, the oldest continuously published magazine in North America, based in Toronto, won a silver medal for “Camels and Karma” by Peter Johansen.

In the byline travel column category, Vancouver’s Georgia Strait magazine won the gold medal for “Gondola lifts lazybones high above Squamish” by Carolyn Ali.

Check out all the NATJA winners here, which include triumphs by Canadian newspapers including the Winnipeg Free Press, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Canadian Jewish News, and Metro News Toronto.

H/T Masthead.

Off the Page, with Emily Urquhart

Off the Page is a regular interview series produced by the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In today’s conversation we chat with Emily Urquhart, folklorist, mother and winner at last year’s National Magazine Awards gala. Her incredible memoir on raising a daughter with albinism, “The Meaning of White,” published in The Walruswon Silver in the Personal Journalism category.

Two years after being published in The Walrus, her story is being revisited with her upcoming, debut book Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins), which will be in bookstores on March 31.

NMAF: Your background in folklore brought an interesting perspective to understanding human differences in your story “The Meaning of White.” How would you describe the creative process of writing this piece, in which you combined your study of folklore, experience as a mother and passion as a writer into a single story?

Emily: I knew right away that I wanted to document the early stages of my daughter’s life as we went through the process of discovering that she has a rare genetic condition. She was three months old when she was diagnosed with albinism—which is a lack of pigment in the hair, skin and eyes, and causes low vision. I started taking notes shortly after she was born. Back then, it was a way to process and understand what was happening.

I recorded the details of events and encounters, as well as my feelings and observations, on lined recipe cards that I stashed in my purse and around my house. I had a newborn, so sometimes I could only manage a few words, or a list, but as I found more quiet moments, the words became sentences and eventually paragraphs.

At that time I was in the final stages of my PhD in folklore at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. I’d been studying folk tales, legends, beliefs, rumours, ballads and tall tales — the stories people tell to explain and illustrate their world. I realized that human differences were at the heart of many of these genres. I looked specifically at albinism and discovered worldwide beliefs and stories about this condition. Some were beautiful and I wanted to relate these tales to my own. Some were terrible and I wanted to turn away. Ultimately, exploring both good and evil helped me to come to terms with my own feelings about disability and difference, and what it means to be a parent. I wanted to write about how I came to this conclusion, both through my research and the story of our life.

After a year passed I pitched the idea to John Macfarlane at The Walrus. We worked on the idea together through a series of emails. He accepted the story and gave me far more space than I’d originally asked for. I’ll never forget receiving that message. I was so excited I couldn’t tell my husband, Andrew. I just handed him my phone so he could read it himself.

"The Meaning of White" by Emily Urquhart (The Walrus, April 2013). Illustration by Byron Eggenscwhiler.
“The Meaning of White” by Emily Urquhart (The Walrus, April 2013). Illustration by Byron Eggenschwhiler.

NMAF: Due to be released at the end of March is your debut non-fiction book, Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes. Your name appears on countless lists for books to look forward to in 2015 (alongside your mother and celebrated novelist, Jane Urquhart). Did you always intend to write a book, or was this something that came after publishing your story in The Walrus? What was the process in turning a 5,600-word memoir into a full-length book?

Emily: By the time I turned in my first draft of “The Meaning of White” I’d cut it by one third and it was still over my allotted 5,000 words. That was in June 2012. The next month we travelled to St. Louis to attend a National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) conference. I’d never seen another person with albinism besides my daughter. Suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds of white-haired people of all ages and everyone had a story to tell. I also learned a lot more about the discrimination and violence against people with albinism in East Africa, particularly Tanzania.

We arrived home and I sat down with my husband and told him two things: I’m going to Tanzania, and I’m going to write a book. Either statement didn’t surprise him. He said, “OK, I’m coming with you.”

The book follows the first three years of my daughter’s life, so the narrative expands on the article published in The Walrus and also picks up where it left off.

NMAF: Your memoir certainly received international attention. It was featured in Reader’s DigestLongform, Byliner and The Dish, and was even translated for an Italian magazine. How has recognition, such as your award from the NMAF, helped to propel your writing career and bring this story to a larger audience?

Emily: The National Magazine Award was a huge thrill. I’d finished writing the book based on the magazine memoir by the time I attended the award ceremony. Getting that kind of recognition at that point in the creative process was extremely validating. Winning a National Magazine award is up there with defending my PhD as one of my major career highlights, and I can only see it helping my career going forward.

When “The Meaning of White” went online I started receiving several emails a day. Some of the messages came from people with albinism, but a lot were from parents who related to the story and shared stories of their own with me. I’ve heard from people across North America, as well as Europe, Africa and Asia. Messages continue to trickle in now, almost two years after the memoir first appeared in The Walrus. My community expanded after publishing this story. I’ve met a lot of great people and received a lot of support. It’s been amazing. I see all of this as having a positive impact on my daughter’s future.

NMAF: You’ve written for many other award-winning Canadian magazines, such as Azure, Flare and The New Quarterly. Did you always have aspirations of being a magazine writer, perhaps during your days as an undergraduate student at the Ryerson School of Journalism? Or was this a career path that came as a result of your passion for writing? 

Emily: Magazines are definitely my first love. When I was a teenager I read an article in Sassy magazine where the journalist wrote about touring with a heavy metal band. I wasn’t into heavy metal, but the writer crafted such an engaging tale that it didn’t matter. The story was fascinating, but so was the journalist’s career choice. She was paid to go on tour with these guys and write about her experience. I wrote a story about this experience in 2009 for The New Quarterly.

My mom is a writer so I understood that you could be a novelist, but I hadn’t seen non-fiction as a career choice until reading that piece.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing and it was during my two years in the graduate program at the Ryerson School of Journalism that I saw a professional outlet for this passion. I also loved—still love—the act of reporting. It gives me a rush to approach a stranger and then ask them to tell me their story. I’m still nervous before every interview and I still feel a sense of elation afterwards.

NMAF: Undoubtedly, 2015 will be a milestone in your career with the release of your debut book. As a Canadian writer, what else is on your list of things you hope to accomplish? What might readers expect to see from you in the future? Do you want to write more novels, continue with magazine writing or pursue any other creative endeavours?

Emily: I wrote a memoir ten years ago, but shelved it because the material was too difficult for me to revisit at that time. It concerns a period in my mid-twenties following the death of my oldest brother. I went to great lengths to escape my life—a reporting internship amidst the chaos of post 9/11 New York City, a soggy winter in Vancouver, and nine months at an English language newspaper in Kyiv, Ukraine during the lead-up to the Orange Revolution. Some of the material is dark, but revisiting it from a safe distance I can see that there’s also a lot of potential for humour. Transforming the original memoir into a more cohesive narrative is my next project. At the same time I hope to keep writing for magazines. There are a few ideas that have been waiting in the wings while I finished my book and it’s time to set those stories free.

Emily Urquhart is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and author of the forthcoming non-fiction book Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes. Find out more at emilyurquhart.ca and on Twitter @emilyjurquhart.

This interview was produced by Leah Jensen for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

To read the full text of “The Meaning of White” and hundreds of other National Magazine Award-winning stories, visit our online archive at magazine-awards.com/archive.

To read other Off the Page interviews–with writers including Sierra Skye Gemma, Heather O’Neill, Arno Kopecky and Byron Eggenscwhiler, who illustrated Emily’s Walrus story–visit blog.magazine-awards.com/off-the-page.

Reader’s Digest wants your Summer Camp Stories

Are the unbearable forces of winter causing you to look ahead–or back–to the warm, endless promise of summer?

Readers’ Digest magazine is looking for your summer camp stories in a new contest open to the public.

Do you have a funny, quirky or heartfelt story of transformation to share with us? We would love to hear from campers and ex-campers about how your time at camp changed you. In our July issue, Reader’s Digest will publish a selection of memoirs about defining camp moments.

Entries should be short memoirs, not more than 450 words, of your noteworthy summer camp experiences. Photos are encouraged. The deadline for submissions is March 23. Winning stories will be published in the July edition of the magazine.

More info here: readersdigest.ca/summer-camp-stories

Last Call for Entries: Kenneth R. Wilson Awards

Today is the final deadline for submissions to the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian business-to-business magazines.

One of the Canadian media industry’s most cherished institutions since its founding in 1954, the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards each year celebrate and promote the work of hundreds of publications, writers, editors, and artists dedicated to supporting Canada’s vibrant professional and trade industries.

The most prestigious prize, Magazine of the Year, is offered in 2 divisions: Professional Magazines and Trade Magazines.

At last year's KRW Awards, the winners of Magazine of the Year were BCBusiness (Professional Division) and Retail News (Trade Division).
At last year’s KRW Awards, the winners of Magazine of the Year were BCBusiness (Professional Division) and Retail News (Trade Division).
Winner of Best Cover at the 60th anniversary Kenneth R. Wilson Awards in 2014.
Winner of Best Cover at the 60th anniversary Kenneth R. Wilson Awards in 2014.

Other special awards at this year’s KRWs include Best Issue, Best Cover and Best New Journalist.

Gold and Silver awards will be presented in additional categories for B2B magazine excellence, including 13 categories for magazine writing, 4 categories for design and visual creation, 3 categories for digital content and design.

Find out more and enter online at krwawards.ca.

 

Winners announced for Alberta Magazine Achievement Awards

Steven Sandor, editor of Avenue Edmonton magazine, was named Alberta Magazine Editor of the Year yesterday in an announcement from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

Steven cares about his community and is dedicated to creating stories, in print and online, that will engage and challenge readers to have a greater stake in their city. Steven is known for his leadership, his innovation, his thoughtful and challenging mentorship of writers and his dedication to maintaining their unique voice as he provides editorial guidance. In addition to his editorial leadership, Steven is a strong advocate for the larger publishing industry. He serves as an AMPA board member, and represents the periodical industry to Access Copyright, talks about industry opportunities to students from junior high to post-secondary, and is called upon regularly for his commentary in the broadcast media.

Steven Sandor has also served as a juror for the National Magazine Awards.

Avenue Edmonton was also named as one of three finalists for Alberta Magazine of the Year, joining Avenue Calgary and Glass Buffalo on the shortlist for the award, the winner of which will be announced at the Alberta Magazine Awards on March 5.

Other Alberta Magazine Achievement Awards announced yesterday include:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Jennifer Schmidt-Rempel, Lethbridge Living Magazine
  • Achievement in Publishing: Chris BirdKootenay Business Magazine and Fly Fusion Magazine.
  • Best New Magazine: Grains West

Read more about the finalists and winners at http://albertamagazines.com/awards

Related post:
Swerve, Alberta Venture, New Trail lead nominees for 2015 Alberta Magazine Awards

The Walrus travels to London & Winnipeg for public events

Having won more National Magazine Awards than any other publication since 2003, The Walrus knows a thing or two about successful audience engagement.

Next month the magazine is hosting two compelling events: “The Walrus Talks Creativity,” on Thursday March 12 at Western University in London, Ontario; and, perhaps dearer to its namesake’s ecosystem, “The Walrus Talks Arctic” at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on March 26.

The London event will feature poet Mustafa Ahmed, authors Emma Donoghue and Elaine Lui, actor Juggun Kazim, Blackberry’s lead designer Brian Paschke, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Cameron Bailey, musicians Saukrates and David Usher,  and Joel Faflak, director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities, Western University.

Tickets to the event are $20 for general; $15 for students.

Two weeks later in Winnipeg, The Walrus will welcome Erin Freeland Ballantyne of Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, artist and sculptor Ruben Komangapik, historian Whitney Lackenbauer, Michael Maltzan, architect of the WAG’s new Inuit Art Centre, explorer and author James RaffanLola Sheppard, Arctic Adaptations project lead, Tanya Tagaq, performer and Polaris Prize winner, and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, environmental and human rights advocate.

Tickets to the event are $20 for general; $15 for students.

Call for Nominations: National Magazine Award for Outstanding Achievement

 

The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is the highest individual honour bestowed by the National Magazine Awards. [français]

The NMAF is currently accepting nominations from the Canadian magazine industry for this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The deadline is March 1, 2015.

The Foundation Award recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, writers, illustrators, photographers, designers, production managers–in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously.

Nominations for this award are welcome from everyone in the industry.  The nomination consists of a letter from the nominator indicating the candidate’s name, title and career achievements, with supporting letters from at least two (2) other individuals.

The Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will consider the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of Directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will select the winner. No entry fee is required. Applicants not selected will be kept under consideration for two (2) additional years.

Nominations may be submitted via email to staff[at]magazine-awards.com.

Previous winners include Kim Jernigan, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, D.B. Scott, Terry Sellwood, John Macfarlane and more.

For more information visit magazine-awards.com/oa

The deadline for nominations is March 1.

Swerve, Alberta Venture, New Trail lead nominees for Alberta Magazine Awards

 

It looks (and certainly reads) like 2014 was a wonderful year for Alberta magazines, with nearly two dozen titles garnering nominations for the Showcase Awards and Swerve leading the way with 11.

Alberta Venture (10), New Trail (10), Avenue Calgary (8) and Glass Buffalo (7) follow next; the latter is a literary magazine that won Best New Magazine at last year’s awards, which are presented by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

National Magazine Award-winning writers and artists are prominent among the Alberta nominees this year:

  • Omar Mouallem: Essay (Avenue Edmonton); Essay (Swerve); Feature Writing (Swerve); Profile (Avenue Edmonton)
  • Jeremy Klaszus: Alberta Story (Swerve)
  • Paul Roelofs: Covers (Western Living)
  • Martin Tessler: Photograph (Western Living)
  • Curtis Gillespie: Profile (New Trail)

Other finalists include former NMA nominees like Naomi K. Lewis, Marcello Di Cintio, Arno Kopecky and Max Fawcett.

There are 15 Showcase Awards for creators (writers, illustrators, photographers, art directors and digital designers). Among them…

Cover

  • Avenue Edmonton Stephen Mandel – Curtis Trent, photographer; Pete Nguyen, art director
  • Georgie Issue No 2 F14 – Nathan Marshall, art director, Aaron Pedersen, photographer
  • New Trail Autumn – Marcey Andrews, art director
  • Up!Magazine The Food Guide -Jill Foran, editor
  • Western Living September – Paul Roelofs, art director; Evaan Kheraj portrait photographer

Fiction

  • Freefall The Bull of Heaven – Paddy Scott
  • Glass Buffalo Pearl – Bruce Cinnamon
  • Marker Utility – Caleb Caswell
  • On Spec Handcrafting – Anita Dolman
  • Prairie Journal The Royal Visit – Vivian Zenari

Poetry

  • Freefall A Kindness of Bees – Cassy Welburn
  • Freefall But I’m No One – Weyman Chan
  • Glass Buffalo Frog Lake – Erika Luckert
  • Glass Buffalo Mink – Fatima Fayad
  • Glass Buffalo What Do I know? – Liam Kay

Emerging Writer

  • Avenue Calgary From Calgary to Calcutta Without a Calendar – Andrew Guilbert
  • Avenue Calgary Volunteer Year – Madeline Smith
  • Glass Buffalo A Paragraph – Josh Greschner
  • Glass Buffalo  A Tale of Two Forms – Peter Takach
  • Glass Buffalo On Living: A second draft – Andrew Moore

Check out all the finalists here.

The 2015 Alberta Magazine Award winners (for the Showcase Awards) will be announced on March 5 at a gala during the annual Alberta Magazines Conference in Calgary.

The winners of the Achievement Awards–Achievement in Publishing, Best New Magazine, Editor of the Year, Magazine of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year–will be announced next Wednesday, February 11.

Vogue, New York, New Yorker big winners at US National Magazine Awards

Photo Credit: Albert Chau/ASME

Vogue magazine took home the grand prize, while perennial favourites and rivals New York and the New Yorker won the most honours in a night of surprises at the US National Magazine Awards, aka the Ellies, in–where else?–New York City.

Vogue was named Magazine of the Year by the jury, topping fellow finalists New York, The Hollywood Reporter, Better Homes & Gardens and Cosmopolitan. The award for Magazine of the Year recognizes general excellence in print and digital media as well as other facets including branded content and events.

New York, which has the most nominations with 10, and The New Yorker each took home 3 awards. New York took the top honours for design, for columns and commentary, and for magazine section.

The New Yorker won for essays and criticism, for fiction, and for general excellence as a general interest magazine.

Despite nominating a record number of digital-only publications this year, the Ellies only recognized one–The Atavist–with an award, for feature writing.

First-time nominee Nautilus, a science magazine launched in 2013, surprised many by grabbing 2 Ellies, for best website and for general excellence in literature, science and politics magazines.

The fine folks at Longreads have created a Reading List of Ellie-winning stories from this year’s competition.

Also honoured was TIME photojournalist James Nachtwey, who received the Creative Excellence Award for his career-long contributions to magazine media. The awards dinner was hosted by David Muir, anchor and managing editor of ABC News’ “World News Tonight.”

Known as the Ellies, for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant” given to each winner, the National Magazine Awards are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia Journalism School.

Complete list of winners at the 2015 US National Magazine Awards.

General Excellence

General Interest Magazines: New Yorker
Service and Lifestyle Magazines: Glamour
Style and Design Magazines: Garden & Gun
Active Interest Magazines: Men’s Health
Special Interest Magazines: The Hollywood Reporter
Literature, Science and Politics Magazines: Nautilus

Other Categories

Design: New York
Photography: National Geographic
Single-Topic Issue: San Francisco for “The Oakland Issue,” June
Magazine Section: New York for “Strategist”
Website: Nautilus
Tablet Magazine: National Geographic
Multimedia: The Texas Observer in Partnership With Guardian US for “Beyond the Border,” by Melissa del Bosque, Aug. 6
Video: Vice News for “The Islamic State,” by Medyan Dairieh, Aug. 15
Public Interest: Pacific Standard for “Women Aren’t Welcome Here,” by Amanda Hess, January/February
Personal Service: O, The Oprah Magazine, for “Ready or Not: The Caregiver’s Guide,” November
Leisure Interests: Backpacker for “The Complete Guide to Fire,” edited by Casey Lyons, October
Reporting: GQ for “Inside the Iron Closet,” by Jeff Sharlet, February
Feature Writing: The Atavist for “Love and Ruin,” by James Verini, February
Feature Photography: Time for “Crime Without Punishment,” photographs by Jerome Sessini, July 24
Essays and Criticism: The New Yorker for “This Old Man,” by Roger Angell, Feb. 17 and 24
Columns and Commentary: New York for “Zombies on the Walls: Why Does So Much New Abstraction Look the Same?,” June 16-29; “Taking in Jeff Koons, Creator and Destroyer of Worlds,” June 30-July 13; and “Post-Macho God: Matisse’s Cut-Outs Are World-Historically Gorgeous” Oct. 8, by Jerry Saltz
Fiction: The New Yorker for “The Emerald Light in the Air,” by Donald Antrim, Feb. 3

Magazine of the Year: Vogue

More coverage at AdAge.

Photos via ASME Flickr.