Call for Judges: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is getting ready to honour the best in Canadian magazine and digital journalism at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards and 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards. The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s awards programs, and join the great tradition of recognizing achievement by the creators of Canadian magazines and digital publications.

One of the reasons I volunteer as a judge for the NMAs is that the process is very well organized, completely transparent and fair. I really enjoy the discussion with my fellow judges. It’s collegial, and I almost always learn something. And every year I discover a few outstanding new writers who have produced great work. That’s a gift.
Kelly Toughill, Director, School of Journalism, University of King’s College, Halifax, NS

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

  • Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its new strategic mission to Celebrate Canadian Creators wherever they publish.
  • 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 or Digital Publishing Awards;
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award or Digital Publishing Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA or DPA categories (such as health, business, photojournalism, science, service, politics, fiction, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • BilingualNot all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

Judging will take place during February and March 2017, and the NMAF is currently hard at work revising our judging procedures and awards criteria thanks to your feedback and participation in our surveys and working groups. We’ll be announcing our new Judging Procedure soon.

Contact us at staff@magazine-awards.com for more information and to nominate someone to the jury.

The NMAF is proud to have some of Canada’s most respected journalists and experts serve on its past juries.

stevesI judge for the NMAs because I want to give back to the magazine industry and contribute its health. It also gives me the chance to see where other magazines in the country are having their successes.
Steven Sandor, Editor, Avenue Edmonton, AB


The NMAs focus on creators, the people who are create the work that makes everything else possible. Given all of the challenges that creators face in earning a living, participating in a process that recognizes and rewards their efforts is, I think, important and valuable work.
Kim Pittaway, former editor, Chatelaine, and journalism teacher, Dartmouth, NS


I think the NMAs themselves are a valuable measure of the accomplishments of Canadian magazine writers and editors. As to the process, we were given sufficient time and a workable structure both leading up to and in the conversation itself. My fellow judges offered interesting insights into the work considered and the process was both engaged and congenial.
Kim Jernigan, former editor, The New Quarterly, Waterloo, ON



I enjoy being part of any process that involves visual communication. It helps me to learn more about my work as well as connect with others in the industry.
Brent Morrison, Art Director, Swerve magazine, Calgary, AB


I enjoy the process because it gives me the opportunity to contribute both individually and collectively. Entering my own scores for each entry validates the time I spend reviewing and assessing each submission; discussing my assessments with the other judges during our conference call provides the opportunity to weigh the value of those assessments against the opinions of other industry experts and (on occasion) to argue in favour of work which I feel may have been undervalued.
Dawn Chafe, Executive Editor, Atlantic Business Magazine, St. John’s, NL



Having been involved since the 1980s, as a board member, president (1991) a member of a special review committee (Strategic Speculation) and a frequent judge, I have a real investment in the event. What I like most of all is the emphasis the awards have nurtured of rewarding the effort of individual creators (rather than the publications, which get to bask in the reflected glory anyway.) Some no longer seem to value, or understand, this. But it is one of the things which makes the MagAwards special.
D.B. Scott, publisher, Canadian Magazines blog, Cambridge, ON


I enjoy the chance to dive deep into excellent work that I might have missed the first time around. It’s also a chance to (literally) cast my vote for storytelling that serves the reader and the material, not just the reputation of the writer or magazine.
Susan Catto, editor, Hello! Canada, Toronto, ON


The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in November for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines and digital publications in 2016. The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala and the 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards soiree will be held in the spring of 2017.

For more information, please contact staff@magazine-awards.com.

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