Announcing the Winners of the 39th National Magazine Awards

It was a night to remember! The NMAF has announced the winners of the 39th annual National Magazine Awards, concluding an exciting evening celebrating Canadian creators at the Arcadian Court in Toronto–hosted by author Chris Turner–with more than 400 of Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers and others in attendance. The NMAF presented Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards in 39 categories. More than $50,000 in cash prizes has been awarded to Canadian creators.

La version française: magazine-prix.com
Press release: English | Français
Complete list [pdf] of all winners
Twitter highlights: @MagAwards | #NMA16
The Judges
Award Seals
Read the complete articles of all nominees and winners

SPECIAL AWARDS

Magazine of the Year

Maisonneuve

Jennifer Varkonyi, Publisher
Haley Cullingham, Daniel Viola, Editors
Anna Minzhulina, Art Director
Published by Maisonneuve Magazine Association

Maisonneuve fulfills its bold mandate of “banishing boring,” clearly striving to engage, inform and inspire. From its refreshing and imaginative art direction to its passionate editorial voice, the magazine feels like its constantly evolving, yet at the same time seems to connect with a sense of familiarity with its readers.
National Magazine Awards jury


Best Magazine Brand
Ricardo


Best New Magazine Writer
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation
Desmond Cole
The Skin I’m In
Toronto Life


Best New Magazine Photographer
Marta Iwanek
The Maidan
Maisonneuve


Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Kim Pittaway

Renowned journalist, editor, teacher and mentor Kim Pittaway is the recipient of the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing career excellence and service to the Canadian magazine industry. 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.


AWARDS TABLE


INTEGRATED AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Best Single Issue
Sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc

Sportsnet

John Intini, Editor
Brianne Collins, Art Director
What it’s like to be Connor McDavid right now
Sportsnet


 Best Magazine Cover
Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation
Stephen Gregory, Art Director
Mark Stevenson, Editor
Hurry Up and Die, Already
Maclean’s


  Words & Pictures
Sponsored by CDS Global
Our Ever-Changing Moods
The Walrus
Jillian Tamaki
, Author & Illustrator
Jonathan Kay
, Editor
Brian Morgan
, Art Director


Single Service Article Package
VÉGÉ Inspiré
Ricardo
Brigitte Coutu, Editor
Caroline Blanchette, Art Director
Mélanie Roy, Émilie Folie-Boivin, Sarah Lalanne, Authors
David de Stefano, Photographer
Caroline Nault, Heidi Bronstein, Contributors


Infographics
David Chau, Creator
Craig Battle, Editor
GR!#K
Sportsnet


“The most important mission of the National Magazine Awards is to celebrate Canadian creators. And tonight we have reached a new milestone in recognizing and rewarding excellence to more than 300 nominees and 70 gold and silver winners at the 39th annual NMA gala. The National Magazine Awards are one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, and even as we celebrate our 39th year we are looking forward to our 40th anniversary and beyond.”
Joyce Byrne, president of the NMAF


WRITING AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Arts & Entertainment
Drew Nelles
Howl
The Walrus

Best Short Feature
Hon Lu
Spirited Away
Toronto Life

Business
Valérie Borde
Le virage vert de la Chine
L’actualité

Columns
Sponsored by Impresa Communications Ltd.
Anne Kingston
Thank you, Margaret Wente, for exposing rape culture
Maclean’s

Editorial Package
Maclean’s Staff
The Space Issue
Maclean’s

Essays
Lisa Gregoire
Breathing Holes
Eighteen Bridges

Fiction
Presented by Ontario Arts Council
Russell Smith
Raccoons
CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries

Health & Medicine
Alison Motluk
Worth the Risk
Maisonneuve

Humour
Jacob Pacey
Your Daily Life As A Failing Comedian
The Feathertale Review

Investigative Reporting
Virgil Grandfield
The Cage
Eighteen Bridges

One of a Kind
Richard Kelly Kemick
Playing God
The Walrus

Personal Journalism
Sasha Chapin
Dreams Are Boring
Hazlitt

Poetry
David McGimpsey
The High Road
Vallum

Politics & Public Interest
Alec Castonguay
Les partis politiques vous espionnent
L’actualité

Profiles
Marci McDonald
The Fixer
Toronto Life

Science, Technology & Environment
Philip Preville
It’s A Hard Knock Life
Cottage Life

Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance
Sarah Liss
The Shame Game
Chatelaine

Service: Lifestyle
Andrew Braithwaite
Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2015
Air Canada enRoute

Society
Carissa Halton
A Different Kind of Simakanis
Eighteen Bridges

Sports & Recreation
Jonathan Trudel
Laurent chez les grands
L’actualité

Travel
Isabelle Grégoire
Le vrai train du nord
L’actualité



VISUAL AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Sponsored by TC Transcontinental Printing
Domenic Macri
Fallout
Report on Business


Art Direction of a Single Article
Sponsored by The Office of Gilbert Li
Marcey Andrews
The Future of Everything
New Trail


Fashion
For my 10th birthday…
ELLE Canada
Owen Bruce
, Photographer
Brittany Eccles
, Art Director
Juliana Schiavinatto
, Stylist
Contributors: Denis Desro, Liisa Winkler, Stella Winkler, Juliann H, Hannah D, Sam F, Judith Maria Bradley, Susana Hong, Simone Otis, Suzanne Campos


Homes & Gardens
Martin Tessler, Photographer
Paul Roelofs, Art Director
Nicole Sjöstedt, Stylist
The Comeback
Western Living


Illustration
Sponsored by Very Good Studios
Adrian Forrow
My Prescribed Life
The Walrus


Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Sponsored by CNW Group
Marta Iwanek
The Maidan
Maisonneuve


Portrait Photography

Raina + Wilson
Future Perfect
Globe Style Advisor


Spot Illustration
Jay Dart
The Things He Carried
Globe Style Advisor


Still-Life Photography
Hudson Hayden
Butcher Crop
Globe Style Advisor


To view the complete list of Gold and Silver winners and Honourable Mentions, visit magazine-awards.com/39winners


ABOUT THE 39th ANNUAL NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
More than 400 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the Arcadian Court for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, presented by CDS Global.

Special guests were in abundance at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards. Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly delivered a tribute via video to the evening’s nominees and winners, acknowledging the important role of Canadian magazine creators in nurturing Canadian culture. Member of Parliament Adam Vaughan of Toronto attended and delivered a welcome message to the guests, celebrating the nominees in attendance. And Member of Parliament and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, radio host Gillian Deacon and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi each delivered messages via video congratulating the nominees and winners.

The NMAF was also honoured to welcome Carolyn Vesely of Ontario Arts Council, who presented the award for Fiction; Matt Hilliard-Forde of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, who presented the award for Magazine Covers; Natalie Turvey of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, who presented the award for Investigative Reporting; Karen Luttrell of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, who presented the award for Society; and Derek Finkle of the Canadian Writers Group, who presented the award for One of a Kind.

This year, 184 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design to the National Magazine Awards, submitting the work of more than 3000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. The NMAF’s 232 volunteer judges nominated a total of 309 submissions from 84 different Canadian magazines for awards in 39 written, visual, integrated and special categories. A record 12 magazines were nominated for the first time. More than $50,000 in cash prizes has been awarded to Canadian creators.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support its sponsors, partners and suppliers.

 

THANK YOU CHRIS TURNER!
The NMAF (and all guests of the National Magazine Awards) are grateful to Chris Turner for his wonderful performance tonight as host of the 39th National Magazine Awards!

Chris Turner is the author of five books and one of Canada’s leading writers and speakers on energy and sustainability. His bestsellers The Leap and The Geography of Hope were both National Business Book Award finalists. His most recent book is How to Breathe Underwater, an essay collection, which won the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize. His feature writing has won nine National Magazine Awards.

PHOTOS, VIDEOS, INTERVIEW & MORE
Check back next week for photos, videos and more from the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS FOUNDATION
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. The annual awards are presented in June and are followed by a year-long national publicity effort and professional development opportunities. Our mandate is to support Canadian creators. Since 1977, the NMAF has helped build and sustain the careers of thousands of creators—the writers, editors, creative directors and visual artists who contribute to the vast ecosystem of Canadian culture. On June 9, the NMAF presented the first annual Digital Publishing Awards recognizing excellence in Canadian digital publications. Discover more at magazine-awards.com.

See you next year!

Meet the Finalists for Best New Magazine Writer | NMA 2016 Nominees

We’re just three weeks away from the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, where among other surprises and delights we will find out who is named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer, an award sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation.

[Tickets & Gala Info]

Earlier this week we introduced you to the nominees for Best New Magazine Photographer. From pictures to words, let us now acquaint you with the four individuals whom the National Magazine Awards jury has declared to be the best emerging writers in Canada.

Tweet us your comments @MagAwards | #NMA16


Richard Kelly Kemick
Playing God
The Walrus

He has sold his wife, Litia’s, clothing and has snuck dried rice into his dog, Maisy’s, kibble to save money, to spend that saved money on his miniature, Victorian Christmas village. His mother thinks it is a fascination with scale, his cousin a ritual of collection. Richard, he doesn’t even really like Christmas.

An account of Kemick’s continuing obsession with creating a Victorian Christmas tableau, “Playing God” turns over any assumptions you might have had going in, and convincingly wrests the sublime from the trivial. He manages, astonishingly, a tone both earnest and ironic, with details and insights that are lively, unexpected, funny, and poignant.
– National Magazine Awards jury

Richard Kelly Kemick completed his MA at the University of New Brunswick. His debut collection of poetry, Caribou Run (2016), was included on the CBC’s list of 15 must-read poetry collections, while his poetry, prose, and criticism have appeared in The WalrusMaisonneuve, The Fiddlehead, and Tin House. He lives in Calgary with his dog, Maisy.

It’s hard to think of a more unpromising premise than model Christmas villages. But Kemick managed to turn that material into a compelling portrait of creative obsession. Marked by astonishing hallucinatory flights and moments of unsparing and hilarious self-reckoning, the writing feels fresh and unique.
– Carmine Starnino, senior editor, The Walrus

Read the full article.


Desmond Cole
The Skin I’m In
Toronto Life

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Desmond Cole has been stopped, and often carded, at least 50 times by the police in Toronto, Kingston, and across Southern Ontario. An exhaustive set of narratives — interrogations have occurred, for instance, while walking his bike along Bathurst St.’s sidewalk and while smoking a cigarette outside of a local community centre — highlights the exhausting task of having to justify one’s freedom.

In an intimate portrait of systemic discrimination and how it erodes one’s sense of self, Cole has written in “The Skin I’m In” a powerful exposé of Canada’s justice system with clarity and integrity, holding up a mirror to readers of any ethnicity and making them rue what they see.
– National Magazine Awards jury

Desmond Cole is an activist and freelance journalist in Toronto. He began his journalism career writing about housing, public transit, policing and Toronto City Hall for the news website Torontoist. His work also appears in the Toronto Star, The Walrus, Toronto Life, VICE, NOW Magazine, and Ethnic Aisle.

In crisp, evocative prose, Cole discussed his long and thorny history with police, the psychological effects of constant surveillance, and how his racialized identity causes him to him question every decision he makes.
– Emily Landau, senior editor, Toronto Life

Read the full article.


Kat Shermack
The Tenant from Hell
Toronto Life

When Wilf Dinnick and Sonia Verma moved from Toronto, Canada to Doha, Qatar, they rented out their west-end house to Jesse Gubb, who turned the residence into an illegal rooming house. The 20-25 young females living in the rooming house were bound by strange rules (storing shoes only at the back of the house and a floor mopping schedule, for instance), while Gubb’s fraudulently secured leases allowed him to rake in roughly $200,000 a year.

A gutsy and thorough exercise in investigative journalism, Shermack’s demonstration of how unscrupulous landlords bilk both property owners and tenants is as fascinating as it is utilitarian. “The Tenant from Hell” is a many-faceted exploration, educating its readers about the flaws in the system and the often life and death dangers of illegal rentals.
–  National Magazine Awards jury

Kat Shermak, a native of Thunder Bay, completed a degree in social sciences and political science at the University of Ottawa and a post-graduate diploma in print journalism at Humber College. She is a freelance journalist based in Toronto, with work appearing in Toronto Life and Investment Executive.

Shermack elegantly connected Jesse Gubb’s story (a landlord with an ethically dubious rental scheme, sub-subletting rental houses) to the larger issue at play: the fact that Toronto faces an affordable housing crisis, and landlords hold immense power over their tenants.
– Malcolm Johnston, senior editor, Toronto Life

Read the full article.


Karen Ho
A Daughter’s Revenge
Toronto Life

Jennifer Pan never graduated high school, doctored her report cards, lied about attending Ryerson and U of T’s pharmacology program, and concocted a harrowing plot to have her parents —Bich Ha and Huei Hann Pan — killed. Karen Ho’s telling of the story is complicated by the fact that she was once friends with the people involved, and by her own experience of growing up with strict, disciplinary parents.

Using interviews, court documents, and other research, Karen Ho masterfully reconstructs Jennifer Pan’s journey from precocious elementary school student to a chronic liar who, eventually, hired hit men to kill her parents. “A Daughter’s Revenge” is inherently gripping, with a deliberately neutral tone, strong storytelling throughout, and a timely look at a cultural obsession with achievement.
– National Magazine Awards jury

Karen Ho is a University of Toronto graduate, and earned a journalism diploma from Centennial College. Currently, she is a Toronto-based independent writer and editor specializing in business journalism, with work published in (among others) Toronto Life, The Billfold, Canadaland, Torontoist, Masthead Magazine, the Ethnic Aisle and Longshot Magazine.

The piece required a staggering amount of research: thousands of pages of court transcripts, countless days in court, and a long list of interview subjects. Ho shows an impressive ability to objectively assess events and personalities.
– Malcolm Johnston, senior editor, Toronto Life

Read the full article.


Congratulations to our 4 finalists for Best New Magazine Writer. Tweet us your comments @MagAwards | #NMA16

The winner will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10. Tickets

About the Award for Best New Magazine Writer:
The award for Best New Magazine Writer is open to students and writers with a maximum of two years’ experience in professional journalism. The intent is to restrict this award to emerging writing talent in Canada. Eligible work must be non-fiction and a minimum of 1000 words in length, and must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the awards year in a Canadian print or online magazine. Articles published in university/college magazines are eligible. Submissions are due each year by January 15.

Meet the National Magazine Awards nominees for:
Best New Magazine Photographer
Single Service Article Package
Illustration

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Portrait Photography
Words & Pictures

Complete nominations coverage

Special thanks to Leah Edwards for her reporting. 

Announcing the nominees for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is honoured to announce the finalists for 39th annual National Magazine Awards, recognizing excellence in Canadian magazines for 2015.

Version française
Complete list of nominees [pdf]

Gala info & tickets
Nominees press release [pdf]

This year, 184 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design to the National Magazine Awards, submitting the work of more than 3000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. The NMAF’s 232 volunteer judges have nominated a total of 310 submissions from 84 different Canadian magazines for awards in 39 written, visual, integrated and special categories. A record 12 magazines have been nominated for the first time.

Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on June 10, at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala presented by CDS Global. More than $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to Canadian creators. Tickets are on sale at magazine-awards.com.

And the nominees are…

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

 

TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES

FIRST-TIME NOMINEES
Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Awards include 1968 Magazine, Buzzfeed Canada, Caribou, Chloe Magazine, DTK Men, Hakai Magazine, Humber Literary Review, One Throne, Oxygène, Reel West, The Rusty Toque, and SAD Mag.

TOP NOMINEES
Writer Nicholas Hune-Brown leads all individuals with 5 nominations for his work published in Hazlitt, Reader’s Digest, Sharp and Toronto Life. Valérie Borde (L’actualité), Desmond Cole (Toronto Life) and Emily Landau (Toronto Life, The Walrus) are each nominated 4 times for 4 different stories. Alec Castonguay (L’actualité) and Charles Wilkins (Outdoor Canada, Report on Business) earned 3 nominations each.

View the complete list of nominees [pdf].

 

BEST MAGAZINE BRAND

 

BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation

Richard Kelly Kemick
Playing God
The Walrus
Also nominated in the category One of a Kind

Desmond Cole
The Skin I’m In
Toronto Life
Also nominated in the categories
Essays, Personal Journalism, and Politics & Public Interest

Karen Ho
A Daughter’s Revenge
Toronto Life
Also nominated in the category One of a Kind

Kat Shermack
The Tenant from Hell
Toronto Life
Also nominated in the category Investigative Reporting

 

BEST NEW MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHER

Ted Belton
Fringe & Fluff
FILLER Magazine

Marta Iwanek
The Maidan
Maisonneuve
Also nominated in the category Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Luis Mora
The Sex Ed Revolution
Toronto Life

Hannah Eden
Face Time
Up Here

 

FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Announced on April 28th, this year’s recipient of the NMAF Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, renowned journalist, editor, teacher and mentor Kim Pittaway. A writer, editor, teacher and mentor with more than 25 years’ experience in Canadian magazines, former editor-in-chief of Chatelaine and an eight-time National Magazine Award nominee, Kim has touched the lives of many in our industry with her generosity, wisdom and skill.

Read more about Kim Pittaway and the Outstanding Achievement Award.

 

BEST MAGAZINE COVER
Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation

 

BEST SINGLE ISSUE
Sponsored by Rolland Enterprises

 

ART DIRECTION OF AN ENTIRE ISSUE
Sponsored by Transcontinental Printing

 

COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES
View and download the complete list of nominees [pdf] in all 39 written, visual, integrated and special categories.

CREDIT CHANGES
Email staff@magazine-awards.com to make any credit changes to your nomination. The deadline for credit changes is Monday May 9.

TWITTER
Follow the buzz on our Twitter feed (@MagAwards) and use the hashtag #NMA16 to keep up with the conversation about this year’s National Magazine Awards.

GALA TICKETS
The Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on June 10, at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala presented by CDS Global. More than $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to Canadian creators. Tickets are on sale now.

This year’s Master of Ceremonies will be announced next week.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. The NMAF would like to thank its sponsors including Air Canada MediaCDS GlobalCNW GroupImpresa CommunicationsVery Good StudiosO&B Events and CateringThe Office of Gilbert LiRolland Enterprises Inc., Reader’s Digest FoundationRedPoint Media Transcontinental Printing, and Yellowhouse Agency.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise.

For sponsorship enquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at staff@magazine-awards.com.

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer

The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer will go to a writer whose early work in Canadian magazines (Print Magazine, Tablet Magazine or Magazine Website) shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

The award is open to students and magazine writers with a maximum of two years’ experience in professional journalism. The intent is to restrict this award to emerging writing talent in Canadian magazines.

Eligible work must have been published between January 1 and December 31, 2015, must be non-fiction and a minimum of 1,000 words in length. The candidate must not have a published article longer than 1,000 words in any magazine prior to 2014. Articles published in university/college magazines are eligible. Only 1 entry per person.

Submission requirements: Hard copies are not required. Entrants must upload a PDF of the article and a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the submitted work. The entry fee is only $25 for this category.

The deadline for entries is January 15, 2016.

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced on May 2. The winner will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10, 2016. The winner receives a cash prize of $500. The runners-up receive Honourable Mention. All three finalists receive certificates.

Last year’s winner, Genna Buck, recently chatted with us about her award-winning story she wrote for Maisonneuve, and about the impact of the award on her young career as a magazine journalist.

Professionally, it has opened so many doors. I think it has put me on the path to being able to support myself as a freelancer, if that’s something I eventually choose to pursue. It has also opened editors’ ears and made them more willing to take a chance on a pitch from me that is a bit out-there or weird.

Read the complete interview.

Other previous winners of the Best New Magazine Writer award include Sierra Skye Gemma, Catherine McIntyre, Danielle Groen and Jonathan Trudel.

READY TO SUBMIT? Click here to enter

Off the Page, with Genna Buck

Genna Buck (photo by Jessica Darmanin)

This week on Off the Page, our interview series with National Magazine Award winners, we chat with journalist Genna Buck, who won the 2015 NMA prize for Best New Magazine Writer, given annually to an emerging journalist whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. 

NMAF: Congratulations on the award for Best New Magazine Writer. Your winning piece, “Finding a Place,” found a place in Maisonneuve. Can you talk a bit about how you discovered Savannah’s story, and why you decided to pursue it?

Genna Buck: I was a super green reporter on a summer contract at the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, N.B., assigned to cover the provincial court. This was 2012. Savannah, a young woman with severe autism, was brought in for a hearing — I tell that story in the piece — and it was memorable because a representative from Social Development was supposed to be there and had failed to show. The normally very taciturn judge got a bit miffed about it, so I wrote it up for the paper.

Read Genna Buck's award-winning story in the Winter 2014 issue of Maisonneuve
Read Genna Buck’s award-winning story in the Winter 2014 issue of Maisonneuve

The next day I got this heartbreaking phone call from Joy Sullivan, Savannah’s foster mother of many years, who had no idea that her kid was in this situation. She’d been looking for answers but had gotten discouraged by that point.

I learned that this young person who was totally alone, who had no one to speak for her, who was a child of the system, actually had people. She had a family who loved her. And an institution that was supposed to be all about supporting families to stay together had dropped the ball in a really profound way. So the story had a narrative element — the arc of Savannah’s life — and a public-interest element.

I’d seen similar cases, sadly, many times in my short period covering the court, but I’d never found a way into the story until Joy reached out and let me into her life and opened up.

It was extremely brave and I will always be thankful to her for that.

NMAF: In your award-winning piece, readers are given a portrait of woman with autism who quotes Shrek, who crouches by a puddles and pretends to drown a doll, who is bounced from one “holding tank” to another. While you were writing the piece, what were the challenges you faced in trying to accurately represent Savannah’s story to your readers?

Genna Buck: There are a lot of things I would do differently if I could do this story over. I made the choice to share most of Savannah’s life story through Joy’s voice, which wasn’t ideal. I felt very uneasy about questioning Savannah because I didn’t know her well, and I wasn’t totally sure that I would be able to adequately inform her about what I was doing so that she could give her true consent.

I wanted to follow legal and ethical rules to the letter, because when I was doing the initial reporting, it was for my Master’s project, and I didn’t know if it would ever be published.

For practical reasons, I wasn’t able to visit Savannah in hospital. And I really, really did not want to make her think that I had the power to change her situation.

But if I were to do this again, I would spend extensive time with her and get everything from her perspective. It’s important that marginalized people are given a chance to express agency and speak on their own behalf. And that element was lacking in my piece.

There were also just the regular struggles to piece together things that had happened ten or twenty years before — names, places, dates, government agencies, all that.

“[Genna Buck] exhibits patience and grit in this magnificent profile. ‘Finding a Place’ has everything a good magazine piece needs: a gripping story, strong research and poignant writing that is balanced and sensitive.”
National Magazine Awards jury

NMAF: Your piece ends on an ambiguous note — with Savannah still in a psychiatric hospital. What was the impact (if any) of bringing Savannah’s story to the public’s attention? More generally, what do you hope to accomplish with your investigative reporting?

Genna Buck: Well, someone offered to mail a copy of the magazine to the relevant government minister in New Brunswick, so I know that the story got at least a few people fired up over the serious lack of housing and support for people with high needs in that province and across the country.

But to my knowledge — as of a couple of months ago — Savannah’s still in hospital to this day. She’s not sick. And she’s isolated from her family and friends and people who love her. So not a whole lot has changed.

Most of the momentum around this issue in New Brunswick seems to be about making what are essentially institutional environments, hospitals and group homes, nicer and bigger and better-equipped. There’s a real belief, and a stated goal, of supporting people to have a meaningful life in the community. But making that happen for someone like Savannah requires a huge investment of money and expertise.

What do I want to achieve? Well I don’t necessarily want to change the world, that’s not my role and it’s not in my power. My goal is always to get readers to imagine themselves in another person’s situation, to see their lives in a new and complex and visceral way.

Once you help cultivate genuine, sincere empathy, change flows from that. At least you hope so.

Genna Buck accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.
Genna Buck accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.

 

NMAF: Professionally and personally, what the impact of winning a National Magazine Award? How do you see your career as a magazine writer continuing to develop?

Genna Buck: Professionally, it has opened so many doors. I think it has put me on the path to being able to support myself as a freelancer, if that’s something I eventually choose to pursue (I might, one day; it’s TBD).

It has also opened editors’ ears and made them more willing to take a chance on a pitch from me that is a bit out-there or weird. I have a forthcoming piece in Flare about thrift shopping, and I’m working on a long form project that incorporates elements of Canadian history, women’s history and the story of how my own great-great-grandmother came to Canada.

Personally, it’s a big motivator. I think everyone in this business has moments where they’re just like, “WHAT WAS I THINKING? I CAN’T DO THIS. THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!” And I’m able to tell myself, “You can do this. Look, you have done it!”

I’m an editor full-time now, and I’m currently working as part of a team to make another MJ grad’s thesis into an investigative series. So what goes around comes around!

National Magazine Award winners Genna Buck and Richard Greene at Winners' Circle, a special networking event for NMA nominees and winners, on Nov 25
National Magazine Award winners Genna Buck and Richard Greene at Winners’ Circle, a special networking event for NMA nominees and winners, on Nov 25

NMAF: What advice would you give to emerging magazine writers?

Genna Buck: I know this is lame, but seriously, be manic about organization. Keep all your notes in one place. Scan and upload your documents. Label all your audio and store it in one place. Don’t shove a bunch of super important loose pieces of paper into a bunch of different folders and binders and notebooks and what-have-you. I learned that the hard way. Evernote is your friend!


Genna Buck is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, the recipient of 2015 NMA award for Best New Magazine Writer, and a section editor for Views at Metro News Canada. She earned her Masters of Journalism at Carlton University, in 2013. Her work has appeared in Maclean’s Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve Magazine, and other publications. Genna’s Twitter handle is @genna_buck.

Very special thanks to Leah Edwards for researching and conducting this interview with Genna Buck. 

The 2016 National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer is open to any emerging Canadian journalist or creative non-fiction writer whose first feature-length magazine story (1000+ words) was published in a Canadian magazine (including university/college magazines) during 2015. Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague. The submission fee is $25. Three finalists will be named and the winner receives a cash prize of $500. The deadline for entries is January 15, 2016. Enter at magazine-awards.com.

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, winner of the 2013 award for Best New Magazine Writer
Jeremy Klaszus, winner of the 2008 award for Best New Magazine Writer
Carol Shaben, 2-time NMA winner & 2009 finalist, Best New Magazine Writer
Suzannah Showler, 2013 finalist for Best New Magazine Writer
Liz Windhorst Harmer, NMA winner & 2013 finalist, Best New Magazine Writer

Announcing the winners of the 38th annual National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) presented the winners of the 38th annual National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at the Arcadian Court, presented by CDS Global, and hosted by Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen of CTV’s The Social. Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards were presented in 43 categories.

La version française: magazine-prix.com
Complete list [pdf] of all winners
Press release [pdf]: English | Français
Twitter highlights: @MagAwards | #NMA15
The Judges
Award Seals

SPECIAL AWARDS

Magazine of the Year
Nouveau Projet

“Nouveau Projet is a near-perfect symbiosis of subject matter, expert writing and exceptionally original design. It sets itself apart thanks to inspiring themes and bold covers. The magazine offers a fresh take on the genre and dares to cover topics that are virtually absent in other media. The energy of the editorial team is tangible page after page. Nouveau Projet embodies the spirit of print magazines.” — National Magazine Awards jury


Magazine Website of the Year
Hazlittmag.com (Hazlitt)


Tablet Magazine of the Year
Today’s Parent

Best Magazine Brand
Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation
Cottage Life

 

Best New Magazine Writer
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation
Genna Buck


Best New Illustrator or Photographer
Sponsored by RedPoint Media
Hudson Christie


Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Sponsored by Alliance for Audited Media
Michael Fox


AWARDS TABLE


INTEGRATED AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS
 
 

Best Single Issue
Sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc
Back to School Issue (September 2014)
Today’s Parent


Magazine Covers
Hunter Is At It Again
Report on Business


Editorial Package (Web)
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss
Today’s Parent


Infographics
Fare Warning
Report on Business


Online Video
Ukraine in Crisis
Maclean’s

Single Service Article Package
30 Awesome Cupcakes
Today’s Parent

Words & Pictures
Sponsored by CDS Global
La pointe des utopies
Nouveau Projet

“Tonight the National Magazine Awards Foundation recognized the outstanding work of Canada’s magazine writers, editors, designers, photographers and illustrators. The nominees and winners of this year’s awards have set new standards of excellence in Canadian media, and on behalf of those working in our wonderful industry and magazine readers across the country, we congratulate them.” — Joyce Byrne, President, NMAF

WRITING AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Arts & Entertainment
Nicholas Hune-Brown
For Kids, By Kids—But Not For Long
Hazlitt

Best Short Feature
Michael Friscolanti
My Hitchhiker, the Parliament Hill Gunman
Maclean’s 

Business
Stephanie Nolen
High and Dry
Report on Business

Columns
Sponsored by Impresa Communications Ltd.
Eric Reguly
Jobs: Optional
Report on Business

Editorial Package (Print)
Mark Stevenson, Sue Allan, Stephen Gregory, Alison Uncles
Ottawa Shooting
Maclean’s

Essays
Andrea Bennett
Water Upon the Earth
Maisonneuve

Fiction
Tamas Dobozy
Kransnagorsk-2
The New Quarterly

Health & Medicine
Marie-Pier Elie
Immunothérapie. Le nouvel espoir
Québec Science

Humour
Richard Light
Reviews of My Dreams from Last Night
The Feathertale Review

Investigative Reporting
Alec Castonguay, Noémi Mercier
Crimes sexuels dans l’armée
L’actualité

One of a Kind
Noah Richler
The Trials of Philip Halliday
The Walrus

Personal Journalism
Lauren McKeon
Save Me from My Workout
Toronto Life

Poetry
Richard Greene
You Must Remember This
Hazlitt

Politics & Public Interest
Alec Castonguay, Noémi Mercier
Crimes sexuels dans l’armée
L’actualité

Profiles
Jason McBride
The Captive
Toronto Life

Science, Technology & Environment
Jeremy Keehn
The Toilet Papers
The Walrus

Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance
Danielle Groen
Where Do We Put All the Babies?
The Grid

Service: Lifestyle
The Editors
25th Annual Restaurant Awards
Vancouver Magazine

Society
Mylène Tremblay
Intersexualité : Rencontre du troisième sexe
Châtelaine

Sports & Recreation
Dan Robson
Home and Really Far Away
Sportsnet

Travel
Marie-Soleil Desautels
Au paradis des thés
L’actualité

 

VISUAL AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Sponsored by The Lowe-Martin Group
Jean-François Proulx
Le Canada dont nous ne voulons pas (printemps – été 2014)
Nouveau Projet

Art Direction of a Single Article
Sponsored by Monnet Design
Marcey Andrews
Best Summer Ever
New Trail
17333_26

Fashion
Chris Nicholls, Photographer
Eng Lau, Art Director
Zeina Esmail, Stylist
Human Touch
Fashion Magazine

Homes & Gardens
Karen Simpson, Art Director
Naho Kubota, Photographer
Catherine Osborne, Will Jones, Contributors
On Canal Lake
Azure

Illustration
Raymond Biesinger
The Well-Oiled Machine
Precedent

Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Sponsored by CNW Group
Larry Towell
In Attawapiskat
The Walrus

Portrait Photography
John Ulan
Bigger Than Barriers
Cornerstone

Spot Illustration
Sébastien Thibault
The Rising Tide
The Walrus

Still-Life Photography
Clinton Hussey
Origin Story
Western Living

To view the complete list of Gold and Silver winners and Honourable Mentions, visit magazine-awards.com/38winners.

ABOUT THE 38th ANNUAL NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
More than 450 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, presented by CDS Global.

This year more than 200 Canadian magazines submitted their work to the National Magazine Awards. Magazines from all three coasts—in both official languages, print and digital—participated this year, entering work created by more than 3000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. This year saw growth in participation from Quebec and Alberta magazines, as well as remarkable participation from Canada’s literary and arts magazines through the help of the NMAF’s Small Magazine Rebate program.

The NMAF’s 241 volunteer judges have nominated a total of 326 submissions from 80 different Canadian magazines for awards in 43 written, visual, integrated and special categories. More than $53,000 in cash prizes have been awarded to Canadian creators.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and suppliers.

THANK YOU LAINEY & JESS!
The NMAF (and all guests of the National Magazine Awards) are grateful to Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen for their incredible performance tonight.

PHOTOS, VIDEOS, INTERVIEW & MORE
Check back next week for photos, videos and more from the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS FOUNDATION
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts. Discover more at magazine-awards.com.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Meet the 3 finalists for Best New Magazine Writer

The nominees have been announced for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, and this year’s jury has nominated three finalists for the award for Best New Magazine Writer, sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation. This award goes to an emerging Canadian magazine writer who published their first major magazine story in 2014.

The winner will be announced at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 in Toronto.  [Tickets & Gala Info]. You can read more about this award and previous winners at magazine-awards.com/bnmw.

Get to know this year’s three finalists for Best New Magazine Writer. Click on each image to read the complete article.

Genna Buck
Genna is nominated for a piece which follows the story of an autistic woman’s journey through the institution of adoption, detention centres and current supportive-living options in New Brunswick. Her in-depth exploration of these issues communicates the costs and realities of a system that is unprepared to handle demands made upon it. The reader leaves informed about how those with higher needs often slip through the cracks of social programs in this empathetically told biographical tale.

The National Magazine Awards jury said that Genna Buck “exhibits patience and grit in this magnificent profile. ‘Finding a Place’ has everything a good magazine piece needs: a gripping story, strong research and poignant writing that is balanced and sensitive.”

“Genna manages to bring policy-heavy history and bureaucratic bungling to life, expressing a deeply flawed system through the ups and downs of [her subject]’s search for a safe place to live.” ~ Haley Cullingham, editor-in-chief, Maisonneuve magazine

“Finding a Place” is also nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Investigative Reporting category.

Nicholas Cameron
Nicholas’s nominated piece looks at the idea of life after death and what it means to live through a disease that was expected to kill you. Many come out of this situation in poor financial and mental health, experiencing post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt while attempting to live in a world where more people with terminally ill diseases survive longer, but there is little out-patient support.

The National Magazine Awards jury called “Life Sentence” a “carefully crafted and well-researched narrative about long-term survivors of HIV, saying that Nicholas Cameron approached it with both fascination and tenderness. This is health reporting with humanity; equally compassionate and captivating.”

“Talking about death isn’t exactly easy, but Cameron was able to connect with his sources, getting them to open up about the most difficult times of their lives. The result is a detailed and passionate account of life after near death as it really happens – not the Lifetime movie version.” ~ Daniel Viole, associate editor, Maisonneuve magazine

“Life Sentence” is also nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Health & Medicine category.

Emily McKibbon
Emily’s literary skill is apparent as her use of detailed imagery, repetition and elevated diction in creating a tone and rhythm in “Latencies” that contributes to an entrancing storytelling style. Using her own knowledge of 19th-century photographic methods matched with her heightened ability to set scenes, her story merges the truth of human condition within history and her own experience.

The National Magazine Awards jury called her writing “simply ravishing, with a style that is at once poetic and precise.” They see “Latencies” as a “powerful memoir of love, death and photography, pointing to McKibbon’s talent for weaving storylines and leaving a haunting impression on the reader.”

“Emily McKibbon is a thoughtful, insightful writer, with a sophisticated approach to her writing that will serve her well as her career develops.” ~ Pamela Mulloy, editor, The New Quarterly

 


Spread the word about these 3 great young Canadian magazine writers. Tweet at us: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can read the complete articles of these and all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her reporting.