Call for Entries: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to present a bold new lineup of awards for 2017—our 40th anniversary of Celebrating Canadian Creators.

We are now accepting submissions. Deadline January 20.

This year’s National Magazine Awards will feature 25 categories structured to emphasize the unique forms and functions of magazine journalism. Writing and Visual Awards include a cash prize of $1000 to the Gold Medal winners.

“For our 40th anniversary year, the NMAF challenged itself to make our awards programs more valuable and more prestigious to Canadian creators. I’m grateful to our participants, partners and stakeholders for consistently reminding us how important the NMAF brand is as a leader in our industry, and for guiding us towards a stronger and better National Magazine Awards. We look forward to honouring your work this year, and establishing new benchmarks of excellence in journalism.”
– Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF

In most categories, there will be a maximum of 10 finalists determined by the jury, and the top two will win the Gold and Silver medals. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
Read more about these awards and category definitions.

How and why did the NMAF decide to eliminate certain categories this year?
Check out our FAQ for all the answers.

GUIDE TO THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NMAs
Download our Guide to the 40th National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, criteria, submissions guidelines, rules, deadlines and more.

FREELANCER SUPPORT FUND
Last month the NMAF announced a new program for freelancers to save 50% on entries to the National Magazine Awards. Find out more.

SMALL MAGAZINE REBATE
Magazines with under $200,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate, equal to 1 FREE ENTRY. Apply by January 13. Find out more.

JUDGING PROCESS
The NMAF has announced changes to its judging process, including more robust criteria and scoring procedures, and an amalgamation of the two-tiered judging system for written categories.
Read about the new NMAF Judging Process.

Find out how to get involved as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.

Read about our new International Judges.

HOW TO SUBMIT
1. Review the Categories, Rules, FAQ, & Instructions
2. Register online at submissions.magazine-awards.com
3. Enter the details of each submission
4. Upload a PDF of each submission
5. Pay the required entry fees ($95 for most entries)
6. Courier hard copies (if required)

DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS
Last month the NMAF announced an expanded program for the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, featuring 22 categories recognizing excellence by the creators of Canadian Digital Publications, including online and tablet magazines. Submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2.

DEADLINES
January 13: NMA Early Bird Deadline
January 20: NMA Final Deadline
January 27: Magazine of the Year Deadline
January 31: Digital Publishing Awards Deadline

40th ANNIVERSARY GALA
We’ll be announcing the details of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala later this winter. Stay tuned right here on the NMA blog.

READY TO SUBMIT?
Click here and get started

Apply for the Small Magazine Rebate from the National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation strives to ensure that the awards recognize the best work from all Canadian magazines. To help ensure a broad base of participation and support Canada’s diverse small and cultural magazines, we are offering one (1) FREE ENTRY to the National Magazine Awards to all magazines whose annual revenue is $200,000 or less. Enter once, and your second entry is free.

Applications are being accepted now. Submissions for the 2017 National Magazine Awards will open on December 1.

Why should you take advantage of the Small Magazine Rebate?

  • New Readers: Award-winning magazines attract new readers who are hungry for great stories.
  • Bragging Rights: Tell your readers and supporters that you are delivering the best and most credible content, recognized by your peers in the magazine industry.
  • Get Noticed: With a National Magazine Award, writers and artists find new audiences for their creative work.
  • Celebrate Your Creators: Editors, publishers and art directors have the opportunity to reward creative talent.
  • We Promote You: The NMAF works year-round to promote award-winning magazines and creators through mass media publicity, social media channels, newsstand promotions and more.

HOW TO APPLY
Download, complete and return this application form to us by email no later than January 13 (the sooner you submit, the sooner we can let you know you’ve been approved).

Submit your entries to the National Magazine Awards via the Online Submissions Form (opens December 1, 2016 and closes January 20, 2017); you must pay for your submissions in full (by cheque or credit card using PayPal).

We will send you a rebate cheque or refund your PayPal payment for one entry (lesser value of the two entries if the fees are not equal), no later than February 15, 2017.

Eligibility – Small Magazine Rebate

  • Annual revenue includes all operating revenue as well as grants, subsidies and funding from foundations, associations or corporations.
  • Small Magazine Rebate applies to the Early-Bird entry fee only; applicants who submit at the regular rate will receive their rebate at the Early-Bird rate.
  • Small Magazine Rebate applies to magazine submitters only; not to individual (freelance) submitters. However, freelancers may apply for the Freelancer Support Fund.
  • All magazines must comply with the NMAF’s Rules & Eligibility for entering the National Magazine Awards.
  • The NMAF reserves the right to deny the Small Magazine Rebate to incomplete applications or those applicants found to be in violation of the rules.

Apply for the Small Magazine Rebate today. Deadline for applications is January 13. Find out more at magazine-awards.com/small-mag-rebate.

The Call for Entries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will launch on December 1. Later this week we’ll announce our exciting new lineup of awards for 2017.

Announcing the NMAF Freelancer Support Fund

For the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards the NMAF is offering a special discount to freelance writers, photographers and illustrators who enter their own work for consideration.

The NMAF Freelancer Support Fund allows freelancers to submit their first two (2) entries at the discounted rate of $50 per submission.

The Freelancer Support Fund applies to entries for Writing and Visual Awards, for which there is a cash prize to the winning creator of $1000.

An eligible “Freelancer” is a person:

  • who is not a staff member of a publication whose work they are submitting, and
  • whose byline (as a writer, photographer or illustrator) appears on the work they are submitting.

When registering for the National Magazine Awards submissions process, all freelancers must register as an Individual (rather than a Magazine) submitter, in order to be eligible for the Freelancer Support Fund.

The Freelancer Support Fund applies to your first two entries. The regular rate of $95 will apply to any submission entered in addition to the first two.

The NMAF is a registered charity, so all fees paid for submissions are tax-deductible. There are more reasons than ever to enter your work for a National Magazine Award!

Submission open for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards on December 1.

Stay tuned for updates on this year’s new categories and judging procedures, to be announced soon.

Sneak Peek at the NMA40 Design

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is pleased to announce a partnership with Studio Wyse for the creative design of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. Art Director Vanessa Wyse and her team are the talent behind the new NMA40 logo, and will be creating the look and feel for the anniversary year creative, including the gala program and event material.

We are thrilled to have Vanessa overseeing the creative direction for our 40th anniversary. She’s an NMA winner and has a superb eye for design excellence. The NMAF is fortunate to have someone with such a great feel for Canadian magazine creation working with us for this milestone year.
— Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF

Vanessa has been nominated for 21 National Magazine Awards for her distinguished work at Chatelaine, Report on Business and, of course, The Grid. In 2012 she became the first Canadian art director in a dozen years to win the triple gold in Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Art Direction of a Single Article, and Best Magazine Cover. She has won 5 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals at the NMAs since 2004.

Check out StudioWyse.com for more.

“Studio Wyse has a long history with the NMAs and are thrilled to be involved in celebrating 40 years of editorial excellence. For this years visual direction we went back through the archives and took design cues from when the NMAs were established in 1977. We couldn’t resist the fun, colourful and quirky nature of magazines in this era. We built the design around Philip Kelly’s font, Pump, drawn for Letraset around this time, which had the perfect amount of character and sophistication for this special anniversary.”
–Vanessa Wyse

The NMAF is getting ready for a huge year celebrating Canadian creators. We’ve announced our Call for Judges. And coming up on November 16, it’s Winners’ Circle–a networking event exclusively for NMA winners and nominees. RSVP to attend.

Stay tuned for updates on what’s new this year, and the Call for Entries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

National Magazine Awards Special Event: Winners’ Circle

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The National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to present Winners’ Circle, an exclusive event for National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards winners and nominees to meet, mingle, pitch and learn. This year’s event is in partnership with Twitter Canada.

Wednesday, November 16
5:30-8:30pm
Twitter Headquarters
901 King St West, Suite 401
Toronto

Part 1 – Learn & Leverage
Learn insider tips on how to grow your Twitter presence with Twitter Canada’s new head of news and government, Jennifer Hollett. Thinking beyond hashtags, attendees will discover how to build community and optimize your tweets with images, videos, live video, moments, and more.

Part 2 – Fast Pitch
After the Twitter Canada presentation, it’s time to mingle and network with your peers. We’ll be facilitating introductions between writers, artists, editors and art directors. If you’re planning to attend and would like to have a chance to sit down with an award-winning writer/artist or an award-winning publication’s editor or art director, let us know: staff@magazine-awards.com.

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In addition to the Twitter presentation and Fast Pitch sessions, there will be ongoing opportunities throughout the night to connect and network with your magazine industry peers. Snacks & drinks are provided.


The event is open to all 2016 National Magazine Award and Digital Publishing Award winners and nominees. There are capacity limits at the event space, so please RSVP as early as possible. Those who are unable to come to Toronto, we may be able to provide teleconference participation.

View the event recap and photo album from last year’s Winners’ Circle event.

Guests are requested to RSVP to staff@magazine-awards.com no later than November 11. We also encourage you to join the Facebook Event Page.

International Judges: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

In a first for any Canadian publishing awards, the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is helping to raise the profile of Canadian creators on the international stage. As outlined in our 2016-17 Strategic Initiatives, the NMAF will be introducing more judges from the international magazine community to help recognize and honour the work of Canadian creators.

Joining us for our 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be a fresh roster of international editors, art directors, writers, publishers and more, with experience at publications such at The New York Times, Monocle, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, Bloomberg Businessweek, Quartz and The New Yorker. This initiative aims to put Canadian-made work directly into the eyes of some of our industry’s top experts, helping to give recognition to Canadian creators that extends beyond our borders.

The NMAF is thrilled to announce the following international judges for the 40th anniversary year, with more on the way.


jane-francisco

Jane Francisco is the editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping at Hearst Magazines, and was previously editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, Style and Home, and Glow Magazine.


adam-sternbergh

Adam Sternbergh is a contributing editor at New York magazine and Vulture, and the former culture editor of The New York Times Magazine. His first novel, Shovel Ready, is a future-noir thriller about a garbageman-turned-hitman set in a dystopian New York City.


kevin-delaney

Kevin Delaney is the editor-in-chief of Quartz, a digital business publication of Atlantic Media, and was previously the managing editor of WSJ.com, the Wall Street Journal’s website.


emily-nussbaum

Emily Nussbaum is the television critic for The New Yorker, and in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Previously, she worked at New York for seven years, editing the Culture Pages (and creating the Approval Matrix) and writing both features and criticism.


david-michon

David Michon is an editorial and creative consultant and a print and radio journalist based in London, UK. He was previously an editor at Monocle, Winkreative and Icon magazine.


gillian-dobias

Gillian Dobias launched Monocle Films for Monocle magazine and has directed video and radio productions for CBC’s The Journal, PrimeTime News, On The Arts and Fashion File, as well as for the BBC.


laurie-kratochvil

Laurie Kratochvil is a photography dealer and appraiser, as well as a consultant on visual projects that include magazines, books, the internet and film. She began her career at the Los Angeles Times as a photography editor, spent 12 years as photo editor at Rolling Stone Magazine, and has also worked with In Style Magazine, Self, O the Oprah Magazine, Bloomberg Personal, Men’s Health and Essence.


jeremy-keehn

Jeremy Keehn is the features editor at Bloomberg Business Week, and was previously the editor of NewYorker.com, digital director of Harper’s, and senior editor at The Walrus.


todd-falkowsky

Todd Falkowsky is the publisher of The Canadian Design Resource, the main connector and exporter of brand Canada, and the founder and creative director of Citizen Brand and Motherbrand. He is also a professor of architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, Italy.


antonio-de-luca

Antonio de Luca is the lead product designer & Upshot art director at The New York Times. He is also co-publisher and art director of Self Publish, Be Happy. He was previously the creative director of The Walrus.


jessica-rose

Jessica Rose is the art director of Wallpaper at TIME Inc, based in London, UK. Previously she was the art director at The Sunday Times and Toronto Life.


The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals–whether based in Canada or abroad–to serve on the juries for this year’s awards programs. Come join the great tradition of recognizing achievement by the creators of Canadian magazines and digital publications.

Please contact us at staff@magazine-awards.com to nominate yourself or someone you’d like to recommend. You can also find more information about our Call for Judges here.

National Magazine Award honourees headline fall book awards season

Here at the National Magazine Awards we’re humbled to see so many familiar names in line for some of Canada’s most notable literary awards.

Earlier this month, the Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlist was announced, with four former National Magazine Award winners and nominees in the running for one of the country’s most prestigious prizes. They join fellow Canadian authors and poets on the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Award shortlists — both of which also boast great work by recent NMA honourees.

Mona Awad has come a long way from her two-week stint on the then-famed Beverly Hills Diet in 1988, at age nine. Her raw depiction of the commonplace pursuit of slenderness, in 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Canada), was shortlisted for the Giller Prize last month. The compilation of short stories follows the tribulations of a young Mississauga girl, struggling with her appearance and self-worth, into womanhood. Back in 2005, Awad’s Maisonneuve piece, “The Shrinking Woman” — which shared a common theme with 13 Ways — was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. The essay ushered the reader through Awad’s journey of growing up with a mother who, despite loving and supportive, couldn’t shield her daughter from an addiction to dieting and weight loss.

“Later on I’m going to be really…beautiful. I’m going to grow into that nose and develop an eating disorder. I’ll be hungry and angry all my life but I’ll also have a hell of a time.”
Mona Awad, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Awad has written for numerous publications including McSweeney’s, The Walrus, and Joyland, among others.

Gary Barwin is a Canadian poet, composer and professor at York University. In 2015, his poem Winter, published on Hazlitt was a finalist in the poetry category at this year’s NMAs. His most recent novel, Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada), has been shortlisted for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. From the point-of-view of a 500-year-old parrot, the story takes a humorous yet philosophical tone in telling the tale of Moishe, a young Jewish vagabond eager to escape to the sea. S. Bear Bergman, in the Globe and Mail’s Book Review, sang its praises, emphasizing Barwin’s unique and often hilarious use of language(s).

A boychik with big ideas, his kop—his head—bigger than his body. He would travel beyond the scrawny map of himself, and beyond the shtetl. He’d travel the ocean.There were Jews—he’d heard stories—that were something. Not rag-and-bones shmatte-men like his father, Chaim, always following the dreck of their nag around the same small world. Doctors. Court astronomers. Spanish lords. Tax farmers. Learned men of the world. The mapmakers of Majorca. They were Jews.”
Gary Barwin, Yiddish for Pirates

Barwin has written over a dozen books, including writing for children and young adults as well as poetry compilations.

Kerry-Lee Powell got nods from the three big literary awards this year for her debut collection of short stories, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush (Harper Avenue/Harper Collins). The east coast poet was longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for both the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction and GG’s Fiction awards. Back in 2011, Powell was a finalist at the NMAs for two poems, “The Lifeboat” and “The Emperor.” The poems — scrawled down one night in a harrowing stupor — were in response to her father’s post-WWII PTSD and ultimate suicide, and her own struggles with mental illness.

“One of the after-effects of working in a busy bar is that you never really leave. It could be four o’clock on a Sunday morning. The pigeons are ruffling their oily feathers on the windowsill and the bedroom pales to a washed indigo as you launch into the slow drift towards oblivion. But it’s no use. The insides of your eyelids burn with visions of Saturday night. It’s a scene from the Inferno. Red shapes beckon and bang their glasses on the bar. They reel into shadows and surge forward again, a many-headed monster throwing punches in the air. The only thing is to wait for them to disappear. Except they never do.”
— Kerry Lee Powell, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

In addition to her debut collection of shorts, Powell has also written two poetry collections, Inheritance and The Wreckage.

Michael Helm’s apocalyptic fourth book, After James (McClelland & Stewart), is on the shortlist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. The collection of novellas, with three intertwining settings, characters and plots, has been called “genre-defying.” Perhaps a not so surprising feat for Helm, who has served as an editor and contributor for Brick, the beloved Toronto-based literary journal, for over a decade. In 2014, Helm earned a NMA honourable mention for his tribute to esteemed Montreal writer Mavis Gallant. Helm’s short feature — published in Brick (93) — was deeply thoughtful. The reader, regardless of affiliation with Gallant, soon becomes mourner, naturally reflecting on lost loves — literary or otherwise.

And then, a last idea, one she couldn’t suppress. It was that she was still inside the cave. She had fallen out of time, even as she descended through the woods as present in the world as she always had been. In thought, memory, body, she was nearly exactly herself. The feeling began to fade, to seem fanciful, at lower altitude, as her blood became better oxygenated, but she understood that it would never entirely leave her. It was somehow familiar, the idea that she was two places at once, or one place in two overlapping times. She must have read it in a junk novel, seen it in movies, things that everyone consumed without really remembering and that she found it harder and harder even to pretend to believe.
— Michael Helm, After James

Helm’s past bibliography includes: Cities of Refuge (2010), In the Place of Last Things (2004) and The Projectionist (1997).

Steven Heighton has been on our radar at the NMA’s since the late ‘80s when he was first nominated for his poem “Approaches to Lhasa” in The New Quarterly. Now a five-time NMA winner, Heighton holds four gold awards and one silver for both his poetry and fiction, published in the likes of Arc Poetry MagazineThe Fiddlehead, Prism International and The Walrus. His newest collection, The Waking Comes Late (House of Anansi Press), has been shortlisted for the GG Poetry Awards. This much anticipated collection, by critics and fans alike, touches on the themes of contemporary life and death, and what a seemingly troublesome future might hold for us all.

Steven Heighton has written numerous short stories, essays, poetry and novels over the course of his career. He has won or been nominated for over a dozen literary awards.

Rachel Rose was nominated for her first NMA in 2015 for “Three Poems,” published in Fiddlehead. Her fourth collection of poetry, Marry & Burn (Harbour), has been shortlisted for the GG Poetry Award. The poems, all revolving around themes of love and loss (of people and dogs), evoke a correspondingly sad and familiar fond feeling in the reader. In Rose’s newest collection, she explores similar themes with new subject matters, including the devastation of losing a beehive in our current climate, to Canadian racism and the mistreatment of our First Nations.

Rose has won awards for her poetry, fiction and nonfiction works. Her chapbook, Thirteen Ways of Looking at CanLit, was published last year by Toronto-based publisher BookThug.


The GG Literary Award presents $25,000 each to both an English and French finalist. Check the GG’s website on October 25 when the winner will be announced.

The Writers’ Trust Awards, comprised of different categories, with awards funded by various sponsors, will be announced at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on November 2.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize winner will be awarded $100,000, while finalists walk away with $10,000. You can watch the live stream of the event at CBC Books on November 7.

Read and download hundreds of great short fiction stories and poetry in the National Magazine Awards archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Special thanks to Krista Robinson for contributing to this article.