NMAF partners with Indigo for national newsstand promotion

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For the past three years, the National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) has partnered with Indigo Books & Music Inc. to launch a nation-wide newsstand promotion designed to increase awareness about Canada’s best magazines published in both official languages. The NMAF is excited to announce the promotion will be continuing this year.

The participating 2017 award-winning titles will be displayed in a dedicated NMA newsstand frame in 89 Indigo superstores across the country. Specifically designed to help Canadian publishers make a statement on newsstands — a challenge in a market that is more competitive now than ever — this promotion provides a one-of- kind opportunity for magazines to increase their visibility and grow their newsstand sales and subscriptions.

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Tweet us a photo of the display (or you with it) @MagAwards.

Publications taking part in this initiative include 2017 Magazine of the Year winner Cottage Life, as well as nominees and award winners Arc Poetry, Brick, Canadian Notes & Queries, Caribou, Chatelaine, ChâtelaineChickaDEE, Esse Arts + OpinionsFASHION Magazine, Geist, GRAND, Jeu Revue de théâtre, L’actualité, Literary Review of Canada, Maclean’s, MusicWorks, Nouveau Projet, Prairie Fire, Prefix Photo, Ricardo, SAD Mag, The Feathertale Review, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, THIS Magazine, Toronto Life and United Church Observer.

The NMAF, whose mandate is to recognize and promote award-winning Canadian magazines and content, strives to implement initiatives that help publications thrive in the evolving magazine industry. With this newsstand promotional campaign,  made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Foundation is providing publishers with a distinctive opportunity to leverage their prestigious distinction, maximize their impact on newsstands and bolster their readership.

Visit any Indigo Superstore to see the Best Magazines of 2017.

 

Off the Page: Daniel Fish

 

Michael Bryant is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a spl (1).png
Photo Credit: Ian Patterson

 

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Daniel Fish, the senior editor of Precedent, a quarterly magazine curated for Toronto lawyers. Fish won the Gold medal for best professional article for his exclusive feature on former attorney general Michael Bryant. Precedent last won gold in 2014 for Raymond Biesinger’s illustration A Well-Oiled Machine.

How did it feel to be the first reporter at Precedent to win a National Magazine Award for writing?

It was super satisfying! We’d been recognized at the Canadian Business Media awards and the KRWs before but to have a piece of writing given some recognition by the best people in the business was huge. It’s not something that happens to everyone and there’s no guarantee that it will happen again. It wasn’t something that I expected, so it really was just a huge treat.

Can you tell me a bit about how your first got the Bryant story?
Sure! I guess that’s going back to the winter of 2015. Sean Robichaud, a criminal lawyer who runs his own law chambers, had mentioned to Melissa Kluger (editor and publisher of Precedent) that she might be interested to know that a high profile person just joined his new chambers—it was Michael Bryant. When she told me, I didn’t immediately know the story was going to have the kind of richness that would be required for a long cover story. But it was interesting enough, even just the fact that he was getting back into the game after people hadn’t seen him in so long would’ve at least justified a short front of book news piece.Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 10.57.44 AM

Tell me about your reporting process.

I got in touch with him fairly quickly but didn’t hear anything for months. In the spring he responded to my initial email and said he’d be happy to chat about what the story might be about. After I met with him for the first time, I had an inkling of what the story might be: the attorney general who ran the justice system is becoming a criminal lawyer and starting to see some of the injustices in the criminal justice system that he was oblivious to when he ran it. That was what sold me and made me think that there might be more to the story. When I took it back to Melissa to talk to her about it I could say that there was something here that’s richer than just “here’s Michael Bryant becoming a criminal lawyer.” There was a kind of poetry to the story that we could pack in and make it a cover story.

Bryant published an autobiographical book called 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope in 2012, how did it influence your story?

The big blockbuster revelation in his book which I think people knew but he hadn’t spoken publicly about, was the fact that he’d struggled with alcoholism. He also talked about what happened on the day of the accident (1) and going through that experience. I think in that book he was pretty proud of his tenure as attorney general. So we had to think… the accident is old news, we certainly don’t want to re-litigate what happened, the fact that he struggled with alcoholism is also old news and so much had been written about him already. We really had to think what could we add to the story, what we could add to the next chapter in that book. I would also say that it’s a huge advantage to write about someone who has a published autobiography because an enormous amount of the work is done for you. I had not ever done that before, or since, and I wish every one of my sources would provide a full biography.

Did anything stand out to you while reporting?

I remember I interviewed his pastor because a big part of Bryant’s narrative was that after the accident and after he’d fallen away from politics, he started going to a non-denominational Christian charity in downtown Toronto. His pastor revealed to me that Byrant had considered becoming a minister and that he thought that maybe religion was going to fuel meaning in his life. The story only got richer the more that things went on.

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How was it to interview him? He’s known to be a bit gregarious.

He was a fun interview. There’s no question that he’s a very seasoned politician. But also as a politician he was sort of a straight shooter. I think journalists enjoyed talking to him because he didn’t necessarily stick to party line talking points. He was happy to sound off on what he thought was wrong with the justice system, he wasn’t mincing words.He had no problem saying that the presumption of innocence was a joke. He was a fairly easy interview subject.

How is this story different from others that you’ve worked on?

I guess we knew how much attention it was going to get from our audience and we knew that it was probably going to get more of a focus from the wider world as well. You know the next piece that I wrote on document review did well in the legal community, but I don’t think that people outside of it really picked it up which is fine, that’s not our goal. But I think we were aware that Michael Bryant is a bit of a lightning rod for controversy. We know that he is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a splash upon publication.

What sort of feedback did you get when the piece came out?

The feedback was fairly positive, which was also gratifying. Overall both readers and people from outside of the legal world seemed to be inspired, which wasn’t necessarily the goal of the piece, but they were inspired nonetheless by him trying to make the most meaningful second half of his career as he could. I think people read it and were pleased to hear someone who once perched atop the justice system speak candidly about its flaws. I think people who are in the trenches (so to speak) of defense law—prosecutors and crowns—they know that the system has its problems and so to hear someone like Michael Bryant give voice to that was somewhat satisfying. And I think people just enjoyed the yarn. We don’t write that many 4500 word single profiles.

Fish recently wrote the cover story for Precedent JD (Precedent’s law student magazine) called Are There Too Many Lawyers? He is working on a project now that is exploring the link between mental health problems and the practice of law. You can follow Precedent on twitter here.

Interview conducted by Stephanie Philp.

The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22.

(1) Bryant was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard in 2009. The charges were eventually dropped.

 

Call for entries: 41st National Magazine Awards

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The 2018 National Magazine Awards are open for submissions. Enter your best magazine work for awards in 29 written & visual, editorial and best magazine categories. Writing and Visual Awards include a cash prize of $1000 to the Gold Medal winners. Digital content is eligible in most categories. The early-bird deadline for entries is January 15. Final deadline is January 22.

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Download our Guide to the 41st National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, guidelines, and more.

FREELANCER SUPPORT FUND
Last month the NMAF announced a new program for freelancers to save 50% on their first two 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. Find out more.

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

HOW TO SUBMIT
1. Review the CategoriesRulesFAQ
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 ($100 for most entries)
6. Courier hard copies (if required)

DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS
The 2018 Digital Publishing Awards will feature 24 awards recognizing excellence by the creators of Canadian Digital Publications, including online and tablet magazines. Submissions for the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2.

DEADLINES
January 15: NMA Early Bird Deadline
January 22: NMA Final Deadline

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We’ll be announcing the details of the 41st National Magazine Awards gala later this Spring. Stay tuned right here on the NMA blog.

READY TO SUBMIT?
Click here and get started

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Categories Announced for the 41st National Magazine Awards

The NMAF is pleased to unveil the list of categories for the 2018 National Magazine Awards. The program will feature 29 categories crafted to recognize excellence in journalism, writing, visual art, design and publishing, including 10 categories from Magazines Canada’s Magazine Grands Prix program.

Beginning this December, this unified National Magazine Awards program will honour the outstanding achievements of our industry’s best creators and publishers, and reflect the exciting future of Canadian storytelling. To learn more about this collaboration, please read the press release.

CATEGORY LINE-UP FOR THE 41ST NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS

Writing & Visual Awards, recognizing excellence by Canadian creators in print or digital magazines, include a cash prize of $1,000 to the Gold Medal winner.

  1. Long-Form Feature Writing
  2. Feature Writing
  3. Short Feature Writing
  4. Columns
  5. Essays
  6. Fiction
  7. Investigative Reporting
  8. Personal Journalism
  9. Poetry
  10. Professional Article
  11. Profiles
  12. Service Journalism
  13. Best New Magazine Writer
  14. Illustration
  15. Portraits Photography
  16. Lifestyle Photography
  17. Photo Essay & Photojournalism
  18. One of a Kind Storytelling

Editorial Awards recognizing excellence by a team of magazine creators, editors and art directors in print or digital magazines.

  1. Best Art Direction of a Single Article
  2. Best Editorial Package
  3. Art Direction Grand Prix
  4. Editor Grand Prix
  5. Cover Grand Prix

The Grands PrixBest Magazine awards recognizing outstanding achievement in magazine publishing.

  1. General Interest
  2. Service
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Fashion & Beauty
  5. Art & Literary
  6. Special Interest

Two special awards will also be presented at the 41st NMA Awards Gala. These awards are the highest honours bestowed to a magazine and an individual. 

The Magazine Grand Prix title (formerly Magazine of the Year) will go to the Best Magazine winner which demonstrates overall excellence in bringing its publishing team together to create an outstanding product; and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, which recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The call for entries opens December 4, 2017 and closes January 22, 2018.

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The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards. Click here for more information.

 

Call for Judges: 41st National Magazine Awards

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The National Media Awards Foundation is getting ready to honour the best in Canadian magazine and digital journalism at the 2018 National Magazine Awards and 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 mission.
  • 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 photojournalism, service, arts & culture, fiction, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Professionals and leaders from related cultural sectors, including the visual arts (film and television), the literary arts (book writing & publishing) and the performing arts (theatre, music).
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

The NMAF welcomes applications from individuals who bring different industry perspectives – from recognized leaders to celebrated emerging talents. We also aim for the judging panels to reflect our country’s diverse Indigenous, cultural and regional communities.

Judging will take place during February and March 2018. 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.

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Judging the NMAs allows you to keep tabs on industry leaders, validate someone’s hard work, and boost a worthy talent’s own career. It’s also an easy way to give back to a community that has given all of us so much.
Arjun Basu, Senior Vice President, Product at Bookmark Content and Communications, Montreal, QC


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


steve_for_linkedinServing as a judge for the National Magazine Awards, which I have done for at least ten years, is always a highlight of my reading year. It’s like receiving an engaging anthology of great writing by exciting emerging writers, masterful old pros, and hidden treasures. And you get the honour of choosing the best of a wonderful bunch! What could possibly be better?
Stephen Trumper, Writer, Editor, Teacher, Volunteer, Toronto, ON


22975ca.jpgI 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


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Judging the National Magazine Awards, in the Poetry category, was a great experience. There is so much excellent writing out there, and it was a glimpse into the great diversity of publication going on across the country.
Wayde Compton, Writer, Vancouver, BC


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 December for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines in 2017. The 41st National Magazine Awards gala and the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards soiree will be held in the spring of 2018.

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

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Get to Know the Canadian Magazine Industry: Intern with the NMAF!

Good news! The application deadline has been extended to September 25, 2017. 

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If you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes look at the Canadian magazine and digital publishing industry, here’s your chance! The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is looking for an intern in Toronto, beginning in October 2017 (and yes, the internship is paid!).

As the Administrative Assistant Intern, you’ll be an integral part of the team, participating in everything from proofreading press releases to assisting with the awards judging process. You’ll make connections within the industry, meeting and liaising with some of the best magazine writers, editors, and publishers in Canada.

The contract runs from October 1st, 2017—June 30, 2018, and you’ll be working 10-15 hrs/week on average. Note that the NMAF produces two distinct awards programs – the National Media Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards – and that this paid internship opportunity has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Have we caught your interest? Read on for more information about the position!

Position: Administrative Assistant

Contract Duration: October 1st, 2017—June 30, 2018; 10-15 hrs/week on average.

Description: The successful candidate will be reporting to and working in consultation with the NMAF Communications Manager and Special Projects Manager and specifically will:

  • Assist with the day-to-day operations of the NMAF office, including support for the submissions process, judging process, and awards production;
  • Handle some of the office-related communications and outreach with the Canadian media industry in both English and French—including but not limited to initiating and responding to phone calls and general email;
  • Assist with the research and production of content for the NMAF blogs (magazine-awards.com / prixmagazine.com & digitalpublishing.blog) and other social media channels;
  • Proofread communications materials and publications, including newsletters, press releases, website copy, gala programs and related material;
  • Assist with ongoing projects to promote the NMAF and its various initiatives;
  • Attend staff, board and committee meetings.

Requirements:

  • Pursuing or recently completed a degree or diploma in the fields of communications, publishing, administration, public relations, journalism or similar;
  • Exceptional communication skills;
  • Solid writing and editing skills;
  • Ability to work independently and on deadline with goal-oriented projects;
  • Career aspirations in the media industry or similar;
  • Strong interest in fulfilling the mandate and vision of the National Media Awards Foundation;
  • Familiarity with the Canadian magazine and/or digital media industry an asset;
  • Bilingualism (French-English) a strong asset.

Opportunities:

  • Gain practical knowledge of the Canadian media industry;
  • Play an important role in the execution of NMAF projects and events;
  • Make a great first impression on writers, editors, publishers and other members of the industry;
  • Enhance your skill set in communications, publicity, administration, event planning, writing, editing, and non-profit organizations;
  • Learn more about Canadian magazine and digital publishers from the NMAF’s wonderful team of staff, board members, and stakeholders;
  • Participate in one of Canada’s most important cultural events, the National Media Awards Gala and the Digital Publishing Awards Soirée.

Terms and Remuneration: The length of the contract will be from October 1st, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The average weekly commitment may range from 10 hours per week (Oct-Dec; Feb-Mar; Jun) to 20 hours per week (Jan; Apr-May). Working hours are flexible except at specific times, and most work may be completed remotely.

This internship is paid minimum wage.

Applications: Candidates should submit

  • A cover letter (written in French or English) demonstrating their specific interest in the internship;
  • A resume;
  • At least one letter of reference from a professor or career mentor.

Please send applications by email to NMAF Communications Manager Émilie Pontbriand at staff@magazine-awards.com.

Application deadline: September 25, 2017.

We’re looking forward to hearing from aspiring writers and media professionals who are up for the challenge of working with us to recognize and promote the best of the best in Canadian print and digital content! 

Writing Mentorship Programs in Canada

From British Columbia to P.E.I., there are opportunities to fine-tune your craft alongside a professional writer. Andrea Bennett, the Editor-in-Chief at Maisonneuve Magazine, has done the work of compiling a round-up of writing mentorship programs across Canada. Such programs offer an alternative to the potentially expensive route of pursuing a BFA or MFA; for instance, The Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Mentorship Program comes at no cost to the apprentices, while local, public libraries often offer free, weekly office hours. So, peruse the program blurbs below and polish those submissions – a few of the deadlines are just around the corner.

Canada-wide

Vivek Shraya is offering a mentorship through her new Arsenal Pulp imprint VS. Books, deadline September 15, 2017; this mentorship is open to unpublished writers who are Indigenous, Black and/or a person of colour, between the ages of 18 to 24, living in Canada, and looking for a home for their completed book manuscript.

The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) connects beginning children’s authors with established children’s authors through their Blue Pencil Mentorship Program. Mentees must have current CANSCAIP memberships and the mentorship comes with a fee.

Many public libraries across Canada have writers in residence who offer weekly office hours to emerging writers. (It is 4:48pm on a Thursday afternoon as I write this and I am too lazy to Google every writer-in-residence program across the country, but here’s a 2016/2017 example from my hometown, Hamilton.)

Universities often also have writers in residence (e.g, the University of Calgary) who offer office hours and/or manuscript consultations. Rules vary (you may or may not need to be a student), but it’s worth checking to see if the university or college near you supports a writer-in-residence program.

BC

The Surrey Southbank Writer’s Program is a part-time, three-month program is designed for new writers who would like to begin sharing their work with others. The program offers both classes and mentorship opportunities.

The Vancouver Manuscript Intensive pairs emerging writers who are looking for feedback and guidance on their manuscripts with professional, published writers. This one-on-one program is tailored to suit the needs of its mentees.

Alberta

The Writer’s Guild of Canada matches three writers with three mentors for a four-month mentorship.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a four-month mentorship.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month mentorship.

Ontario

Diaspora Dialogues matches Greater Toronto Area writers who have a finished manuscript they’d like feedback about one-on-one with mentors for a six-month mentorship.

Quebec

The Quebec Writer’s Federation pairs emerging writers with mentors for a four-month mentorship.

New Brunswick

The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a total of fifty hours of mentorship.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month period.

Nova Scotia

The Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month period.

PEI

Every other year, the PEI Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a three-month period.