The National Magazine Awards Foundation is pleased to announce that renowned journalist, editor, teacher and mentor Kim Pittaway will be the recipient of the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing career excellence and service to the Canadian magazine industry. The NMAF will present Kim with this prestigious honour at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10. The nominees in all other categories will be announced on May 2.
As a mentor, Kim has inspired my own path in magazine publishing with simple advice: Get involved, volunteer, mentor a young person, have an opinion, lead an organization.
––Joyce Byrne, president of the NMAF and publisher, Avenue Calgary
Kim Pittaway began her magazine career as a writer and columnist of exceptional insight for Chatelaine in the early 1990s, and soon earned herself a staff position as managing editor, where she oversaw the development of the magazine’s early digital platforms in an era when few saw the true publishing potential of the web. “Kim quickly earned a reputation for leadership on many fronts,” said Chatelaine’s former editor-in-chief Rona Maynard. “Among her readers for her forthright column; among her peers for generous mentoring; and among corporate decision-makers for her strategic sense.”
When Kim succeeded her mentor as editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, she continued to nurture emerging writers. “With her guidance,” said Beth Hitchcock, who wrote her first magazine story for Kim, “I learned the art of structure, the importance of word choice, and most importantly for the editing process, the language of collaboration and respect.” Writers who’ve worked with Kim frequently praise her commitment to building a strong relationship that can lead to the kind of challenging questions that bring out the best in a writer and a story.
Over the years, I’ve read Kim’s many powerful stories in Canadian magazines, and often used them in my advanced feature-writing course at Ryerson. And I know her as a tireless promoter of the best in magazine journalism. I have witnessed her inspired approach to teaching, and students laud her for her generosity and dedication when working with writers.
—David Hayes, National Magazine Award-winning magazine writer, teacher and director of the NMAF
After moving on from Chatelaine in 2005, Kim returned to freelance journalism—she’s been published in Today’s Parent, More, Homemakers,Cottage Life, Best Health, Reader’s Digest and others, earning 8 National Magazine Awards nominations—and teaching. She taught journalism at Ryerson University, went on to earn her MFA in creative non-fiction from Goucher College, and joined the faculty at the University of King’s College, mentoring students in its journalism and MFA programs. As a teacher, said 2014 King’s graduate Nicole Halloran, “Kim taught us that a magazine is like a puzzle; it’s a matter of playing with the pieces until you get it right. She emphasized the value of teamwork and how to make stories come alive.”
“Kim Pittaway is not only a gifted writer and editor,” added Stephen Kimber, professor of journalism at King’s. “She is also an exceptionally generous and thoughtful mentor and teacher. We are honoured to have her at King’s, especially as part of our new MFA in Creative Nonfiction program.”
As a respected leader in the Canadian magazine industry, Kim has long been an advocate for inclusivity, volunteerism, brand building and knowledge sharing. She served on the editorial board of THIS Magazine, demonstrating a commitment to small, independent magazines where many young writers and editors get their start. For many years she has served as a consultant for Magazines Canada and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, travelling the country to engage in dialogue with her peers about how to improve our craft and work collaboratively. “As a magazine and digital consultant,” said Lisa Murphy, creative services director of House & Home Media, “Kim has been an invaluable help to countless publishers and brands—always offering innovative, creative, honest and challenging advice delivered with warmth and humour.”
As a consultant, Kim brings not only a wealth of magazine knowledge, but also an understanding of small magazines and the challenges they face. Always patient and inspiring, she ensures that professional development activities represent the needs and interests of the entire Canadian magazine community.
—Lisa Whittington-Hill, publisher, THIS Magazine
Long a champion of the rights and recognition of magazine creators, Kim assumed the presidency of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 2006 and helped guide the organization—and the industry—to strengthen its mandate to support and promote the work of the teams and individuals who create the award-worthy content that magazine readers across Canada love.
For her enduring dedication to the Canadian magazine industry, for the principled leadership and mentorship that has impacted the careers of many, and for her unfailing support of magazine creators, the NMAF is proud to recognize Kim Pittaway with its highest individual honour, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
I am so proud to share a last name with my sister Kim. She is foremost a gifted writer and editor. She has been endlessly generous in sharing her gifts of finding the heart of a story, and plotting a path towards telling it, with countless writers whom she has worked with and mentored. Her understanding of the business side of publishing and how to best serve readers and the bottom line is something I, as a freelancer, have sought advice on frequently as well. I am completely thrilled for her, and join all of you in celebrating her incredible contributions to journalism and Canadian publishing.
—Tina Pittaway, freelance journalist
Kim Pittaway in the National Magazine Awards archive:
- “5-Star Tribute” (More, 2012, Honourable Mention, Words & Pictures)
- “For Goodness’ Sake” (More, 2009, Honourable Mention, Single Service Article Package)
- “The Game of Risk” (More, 2008, Honourable Mention, Service: Health & Family)
- “Sudden Impact” (Today’s Parent, 2008, Honourable Mention, Health & Medicine)
- “Too Young for Breast Cancer” (Homemakers, 2008, Honourable Mention, Best Short Feature)
- “The Last Time” (More, 2007, Honourable Mention, Words & Pictures)
- “A Call to Arms” (Chatelaine, 2003, Honourable Mention, Columns)
- “Sex Offenders: What You Need to Know” (Chatelaine, 1995, Honourable Mention, Service Journalism)
ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize is the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that 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, creators, designers, production managers–in short, to anyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. Nominations are welcome from everyone in the industry and are due each year by March 1. The recipient is selected by the Board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. No entry fee is required. Applicants not selected will be kept under consideration for two (2) additional years.
For more information visit magazine-awards.com/oa
The winners will be announced at the 2016 National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 in Toronto. Tickets go on sale May 2 at magazine-awards.com.
Photo of Kim Pittaway by Aaron McKenzie Fraser