Announcing the Winners of the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has presented the winners of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at the Arcadian Court. Nearly 300 of Canada’s top magazine writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and other guests representing 75 nominated magazines gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines in 2016. Gold and Silver medals were presented in 25 categories recognizing Canada’s best in magazine writing, art, and design.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.

The Foundation presented Gold and Silver Medal awards in 25 categories at a ceremony co-hosted by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott—three of Canada’s most respected journalists and publishers, and all former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Indigenous writer and Gold Medalist in the Essays category, Alicia Elliott, delivered the keynote address, urging all Canadian magazine creators and publishers to recognize their role in educating and informing the public about the complex social and cultural issues of our time, including empowering Indigenous voices and perspectives in the media.

Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media, was presented with the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour in the Canadian magazine industry, which recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

For a complete list of winners, see below or download the PDF list.


MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

Canada’s 2017 Magazine of the Year is Cottage Life. The award for magazine of the year goes to the publication that most consistently engages, surprises, and serves the needs of its readers. The award is judged according to four criteria—overall quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness—and success relative to the magazine’s editorial mandate.

Honourable Mention for Magazine of the Year went to Explore, Nouveau Projet, Ricardo, and The Kit Compact.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, audience, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its readership, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, its stories educate and delight, and its story packaging is alluring. Cottage Life has demonstrated creativity and excellence in evolving its brand through events, shows, and multimedia—reinventing itself again and again. And throughout its evolution, the magazine itself remains fresh and fascinating.
The National Magazine Awards Jury



INTEGRATED AWARDS

Best Magazine Cover

GOLD MEDAL: “General Dynamics” (Report on Business)
Domenic Macri, art director
Gary Salewicz, editor
Brennan Higginbotham, contributor

This is a beautiful execution of a well-thought-out idea, from its concept right down to the smallest detail. Report on Business’s “General Dynamics” cover is a masterful example of having graphics work harmoniously with type to create the impression of a must-read story within. It’s engaging and unexpected—the forbidden, blacked-out words suck you in immediately. A truly remarkable and successful magazine cover.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Why Design Matters” (Canadian Business)


Best Editorial Package

GOLD MEDAL: « Nordicité » (Caribou)
Tania Jiménez, directrice artistique
Audrey Lavoie, Véronique Leduc, Geneviève Vezina-Montplaisir, rédactrices en chef

This Editorial Package from Caribou is a delicious invitation to the table set around the concept of Nordicité, where a meal of uniquely Québécois flavour is served. On the menu are cozy stories and tasteful photography of matsutake mushrooms, maple syrup, boreal spices, and wild berries. The package has the benefit of relying almost wholly on the support of readers and presents them with a carefully thought out series of articles that complement the topic and each other—all editorially handpicked and beautifully plated for our enjoyment.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Swim or Sink” (New Trail)


Best Service Editorial Package

GOLD MEDAL: “Breast of Luck” (Today’s Parent)
Ariel Brewster, editor
Stephanie Han Kim, art director
Contributors: Vivian Rosas, Katie Dupuis, Karen Robock, Louise Gleeson, Kara Aaserud, Sasha Emmons, Kate Lunau

“Breast of Luck” from Today’s Parent epitomizes service journalism. The team approached the issue from various perspectives, offering up multiple entry points. It feels exceptionally relevant—these are the real questions people ask about breastfeeding. It’s beautifully designed, very well written, funny, informative—the practical information is hands-on and useful. Whether you read it closely or simply skim, it has something for every reader.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “How to Travel like a Boss” (Report on Business)


Best Words & Pictures

GOLD MEDAL: “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” (Nouveau Projet)
Judith Oliver, rédactrice en chef adjointe
Jean-François Proulx, directeur artistique
Félix Beaudry-Vigneux, auteur
Maxime Roy de Roy, illustrateur

Beautifully drawn, informative, and concisely written, “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” is a powerful and graphic way to show the response of two families to the Syrian refugee crisis. The piece seamlessly weaves text and illustrations that speak to one another and the reader without seeming redundant. It’s an exemplar of the comic-book genre—and bilingual, to boot.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Love Your Body” (NOW Magazine)


Forty years ago the NMAF set about building a coalition of institutions to form the foundation of what would become the National Magazine Awards. The goal was to create a truly national program that would recognize individual excellence in the many aspects of the magazine industry. Forty years later that legacy has endured. Tonight we have recognized the outstanding work of Canada’s magazine creators. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners—you have truly inspired the future of great journalism in this country.
Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF


BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

GOLD MEDAL
The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion
Hakai Magazine
Amorina Kingdon, writer
Heather Pringle, handling editor

Honourable Mention: Eternity Martis, Kyle Edwards, Sharon J. Riley, Viviane Fairbank


WRITING AWARDS

Long-Form Feature Writing

GOLD MEDAL
Growing Up Trans
The Walrus
Mary Rogan, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
Canadian Mining’s Dark Heart
The Walrus
Richard Poplak, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor


Feature Writing

GOLD MEDAL
« Les exilés de l’enfer »
L’actualité
Anne-Marie Luca, auteure
Ginette Haché, rédactrice-réviseure

SILVER MEDAL
Big Lonely Doug
The Walrus
Harley Rustad, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor


Short Feature Writing

GOLD MEDAL
« Santa Martha Acatitla : le théâtre de la réconciliation »
Jeu, Revue de théâtre
Françoise Major, auteure
Christian Saint-Pierre, rédacteur-réviseur

SILVER MEDAL
The Cutting Edge
ON Nature
Ray Ford, writer
Joanna Pachner, handling editor


Columns

GOLD MEDAL
« Économie »
L’actualité
Pierre Fortin, auteur
Josée Désaulniers, Karine Picard, Lucie Daigle, rédactrices-réviseures

SILVER MEDAL
Just Sayin’
Atlantic Business Magazine
Stephen Kimber, writer
Dawn Chafe, handling editor


Essays

GOLD MEDAL
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
The Malahat Review
Alicia Elliott, writer
John Barton, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
A Poet Self-Destructs
The Walrus
Don Gillmor, writer
Katherine Laidlaw, handling editor


Fiction

GOLD MEDAL
The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition
The New Quarterly
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
Eight Saints and a Demon
Hazlitt
Naben Ruthnum, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Investigative Reporting

GOLD MEDAL
The Last Days of Target
Canadian Business
Joe Castaldo, writer
James Cowan, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
Justice Is Not Blind
Maclean’s
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor


One of a Kind

GOLD MEDAL
The Verdict
The Walrus
Katherine Laidlaw, writer
Emily M. Keeler, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
The David Foster Wallace Disease
Hazlitt
Sasha Chapin, writer
Haley Cullingham, handling editor


Personal Journalism

GOLD MEDAL
The Burn
Prairie Fire
Benjamin Hertwig, writer
Andris Taskans, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead
Toronto Life
John Hofsess, writer
Emily Landau, handling editor
Gary Ross, contributor


Poetry

GOLD MEDAL
“(Good) ‘Girls Don’t Hitchhike’; Half/Brother; Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language
The New Quarterly
Selina Boan, poet
Barb Carter, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
La Traviata
PRISM International
Kim Fu, poet
Dominique Bernier-Cormier, handling editor


Professional Article

GOLD MEDAL
Whatever happened to Michael Bryant?”
Precedent
Daniel Fish, writer
Melissa Kluger, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
Beware the Weakest Link
Listed
Jim Middlemiss, writer
Brian Banks, handling editor


Profiles

GOLD MEDAL
This is How I’m Going to Die
Maclean’s
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
The Artist of the Deal
Report on Business
Max Fawcett, writer
Ted Mumford, handling editor


Service Journalism

GOLD MEDAL
Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016
Air Canada enRoute
Andrew Braithwaite, writer
Sarah Musgrave, handling editor

SILVER MEDAL
« Santé des femmes : le travail nous met en danger »
Châtelaine
Marie-Hélène Proulx, auteure
Johanne Lauzon, rédactrice-réviseure



VISUAL AWARDS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue

GOLD MEDAL
Issue 22: Secrets
SAD Mag
Pamela Rounis, art director
Sara Harowitz, editor
Katie Stewart, Michelle Reid Cyca, contributors

SILVER MEDAL
87: Le Vivant / The Living
esse Arts + Opinions
Studio FEED, direction artistique
Sylvette Babin, rédactrice en chef


Art Direction of a Single Article

GOLD MEDAL
« Le politique est personnel »
Nouveau Projet
Ping Pong Ping, direction artistique
Miriam Fahmy, rédactrice en chef

SILVER MEDAL
Give Peas a Chance
Today’s Parent
Mandy Milks, art director
Lauren Ferranti-Ballem, editor
Anthony Swaneveld, illustrator
Roberto Caruso, photographer


Illustration

GOLD MEDAL
« Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? »
L’actualité
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique

SILVER MEDAL
Move or Improve?
MoneySense
Steven P. Hughes, illustrator
John Montgomery, art director


Photojournalism & Photo Essay

GOLD MEDAL
South of Buck Creek
Geist
Terence Byrnes, photographer
Syd Danger, art director
AnnMarie MacKinnon, Michal Kozlowski, editors

SILVER MEDAL
Canada’s Oldest Profession
The Walrus
Tyler Anderson, photographer
Brian Morgan, art director
Jonathan Kay, editor
Conrad Black, text


Portrait Photography

GOLD MEDAL
Marina Abramovic
Corduroy Magazine
Peter Ash Lee, photographer & art director
Tim Chan, editor

SILVER MEDAL
Love Your Body
NOW Magazine
Tanja-Tiziana, photographer
Troy Beyer, art director
Susan G. Cole, editor
Taylor Savage, hair & makeup


Lifestyle Photography

GOLD MEDAL
Different Strokes
Globe Style Advisor
Riley Stewart, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Vanessa Jarman, makeup / hair stylist
Wendy Rorong, manicurist
James Reiger, model, NEXT Models Canada

SILVER MEDAL
Tan Lines
Globe Style Advisor
Renata Kaveh, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Robert Weir, grooming
Connor, model, Elmer Olsen Model Management



INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Writer Nancy Macdonald won two awards: A Gold Medal in Profiles for “This is How I’m Going to Die” (Maclean’s), about the Leviathan II disaster, and a Silver Medal in Investigative Reporting for “Justice Is Not Blind” (Maclean’s), about the bias against Indigenous Canadians in the judicial system.

Mary Rogan won the first NMA Gold Medal for Long-Form Feature Writing, for her story “Growing Up Trans” (The Walrus). It’s Rogan’s third National Magazine Award and first since 1999.

Art director Domenic Macri of Report on Business won the Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”), his and the magazine’s fifth gold medal in this category since 2006.

Pierre Fortin (L’actualité) won the Gold Medal in Columns, for his Québec « Économie » coverage. This is Fortin’s fourth gold medal in Columns since 2003.

Indigenous poet Selina Boan won the Gold Medal in Poetry for a suite of poems in The New Quarterly, including “Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language.” This is her first National Magazine Award.

Richard Kelly Kemick won the Gold Medal in Fiction for “The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition” (The New Quarterly), his second NMA after winning gold last year in One of a Kind. Kemick also received an Honourable Mention in Fiction and in One of a Kind this year.

Indigenous writer Alicia Elliott won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).

Don Gillmor won his twelfth National Magazine Award since 1997, a Silver Medal in Essays for “A Poet Self-Destructs” (The Walrus).

Joe Castaldo won the Gold Medal in Investigative Reporting for “The Last Days of Target” (Canadian Business). He won the Silver Medal in the same category in 2015.

In Personal Journalism, Edmonton writer and visual artist Benjamin Hertwig won the Gold Medal for “The Burn” (Prairie Fire). The story of the late John Hofsess, “By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead” (Toronto Life), about assisted dying and preparing to take his own life, won the Silver Medal.

Photographer and art director Peter Ash Lee won the Gold Medal in Portrait Photography (“Marina AbramovicCorduroy), his fourth National Magazine Award.

Gérard DuBois won the Gold Medal in Illustration, for « Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? ». It is DuBois’ fourth National Magazine Award and first since 2013.

Andrew Braithwaite won the Gold Medal in Service Journalism for “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016” (Air Canada enRoute), marking the second consecutive year he and the magazine have won gold for their annual feature on Canada’s newest culinary hotspots.

Ray Ford won his eighth National Magazine Award since 2000 with a Silver Medal in Short Feature Writing for “The Cutting Edge” (ON Nature).



MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

L’actualité led all magazines with 3 Gold Medals, winning the top prize in Feature Writing, Columns, and Illustration.

The Walrus led all magazines with 6 awards (2 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals). This is the tenth time in the magazine’s history that The Walrus has won the most total awards at the NMAs.

Report on Business won 3 awards, including a Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”) and Silver Medals in Best Service Editorial Package and in Profiles.

The New Quarterly won the Gold Medal in Fiction and in Poetry, marking the second time that the Waterloo, Ontario literary magazine has swept both awards (also doing so in 2003 at the 25th anniversary National Magazine Award).

NOW Magazine’s “Love Your Body” issue was a double winner, taking the Silver Medal in Portrait Photography and the Silver Medal in Best Words & Pictures.

Globe Style Advisor swept the Gold and Silver Medals in the category Lifestyle Photography.

Nouveau Projet won 2 Gold Medals, in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (« Le politique est personnel ») and in Words & Pictures (“Rosemont Petite-Syrie”). Nouveau Projet won Magazine of the Year in 2015 and was a finalist this year.

The online magazine Hazlitt won 2 Silver Medals, in Fiction and in One of a Kind.

Today’s Parent won 2 medals: Gold in Best Service Editorial Package (“Breast of Luck”) and Silver in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (“Give Peas a Chance”).

7 magazines won a National Magazine Award for the first time: Atlantic Business Magazine; Caribou; esse Arts + Opinions; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; Listed; and SAD Mag.

Magazines winning 1 Gold Medal: Air Canada enRoute; Caribou; Corduroy; Cottage Life; Geist; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; The Malahat Review; Prairie Fire; Precedent

Magazines winning 1 Silver Medal: Atlantic Business Magazine; Châtelaine; esse Arts + Opinions; Listed; MoneySense; New Trail; ON Nature; PRISM International; Toronto Life.


Check out all the gala photos on our Facebook page.


SPECIAL GUESTS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.

Toronto Mayor John Tory also addressed the gathering via video to offer his congratulations to the nominees and winners and offer his support for Canadian magazine creators.

Alicia Elliott delivered the keynote address. Alicia is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations, currently living in Brantford, Ontario. Her writing has most recently been published by CBC Arts, Room, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. Later in the evening she won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).

For the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, the NAMF welcomed a number of its former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, led by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott, who co-hosted the event.

Also attending and presenting awards as former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement: James Ireland, Sally Armstrong, Ken Rodmell, Lynn Cunningham, Stephen Trumper, Al Zikovitz, and Paul Jones.

Other special guest presenters included award-winning illustrator Min Gyo Chung, award-winning writers Hon Lu and Desmond Cole, award-winning art director Gilbert Li, and former NMAF president Arjun Basu.


ABOUT THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS

Nearly 300 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 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala.

This year, 197 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 2000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. The NMAF’s 112 volunteer judges nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories. 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and table patrons:
Access Copyright,
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association,
Bookmark,
Canadian Media Guild,
Content Writers Group,
CDS Global,
CNW, a Cision Company,
ExpertWomen.ca,
Goetz Storytelling,
Impresa Communications,
Oliver & Bonacini,
Ricardo Media,
Rolland Enterprises,
Ryerson University School of Journalism,
Studio Wyse,
TC Transcontinental Printing,
University of King’s College School of Journalism,
Very Good Studios, and
Vividata.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges its 112 Judges who volunteered their time and their expertise to serve on the juries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

 

ABOUT THE NMAF

A charitable foundation, the NMAF’s mandate is to recognize and promote excellence in content creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.

The Foundation produces two distinct and bilingual award programs: the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards. Throughout the year, the Foundation undertakes various group marketing initiatives and professional development events. 

Download the entire list [PDF] of nominees and winners.

CBC documentary based on Desmond Cole’s National Magazine Award-winning story

Desmond Cole accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer to a standing ovation at the 2016 National Magazine Awards in Toronto (Photo: Steven Goetz / National Magazine Awards Foundation)

In 2015 Desmond Cole’s essay “The Skin I’m In” (published in Toronto Life) made headlines across the country and became a touchstone for contemporary debates about race relations, privilege and law enforcement policy in Canada. Desmond Cole admitted to readers, “I was nine years old the first time I got stopped by police. Since then, I’ve been interrogated more than 50 times— all because of the colour of my skin.”

At the 2016 National Magazine Awards, Desmond Cole’s story won 3 awards–for Personal Journalism, Essays, and Best New Magazine Writer.

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

Since then, he’s become a columnist for the Toronto Star, a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter and other organizations challenging police practices in Toronto, and has appeared on panels for the CBC, the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Global News, and more. His work also appears in the The Walrus, Torontoist, VICE, NOW Magazine, and Ethnic Aisle.

Tonight, the CBC airs its documentary based on Desmond’s National Magazine Award-winning story–“The Skin We’re In“–at 9pm.

For the film version of The Skin We’re In, the perspective shifts — but the intimacy of Cole’s work is not lost. His journalism is marked by his unapologetic connection to many of his subjects, which is captured poignantly throughout the film.

Click here to watch the trailer of “The Skin We’re In”

NMA winners among finalists for BC Book Prizes

This week the West Coast Book Society announced the finalists for the annual BC Book Prizes, which celebrate achievement by British Columbia writers in 7 categories. Winners are announced on April 29.

3 of the 5 finalists in the Non-Fiction category are National Magazine Award winners, as well as one of the finalists in Poetry.

Mark Leiren-Young’s The Killer Whale Who Changed the World

Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters. That all changed when a young killer whale was captured off the west coast of North America and displayed to the public in 1964. Moby Doll—as the whale became known—was an instant celebrity, drawing twenty thousand visitors on the one and only day he was exhibited. He died within a few months, but his famous gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas. Because of Moby Doll, we stopped fearing “killers” and grew to love and respect “orcas.”

Mark Leiren-Young is a journalist, filmmaker, and author. The magazine article that grew into this book, “Moby Doll” (The Walrus), was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.


Deborah Campbell’s A Disappearance in Damascus

“Did I find her or did she find me?” writes Deborah Campbell in her new book, A Disappearance in Damascus (Knopf Canada), winner of the Writers’ Trust Award. Her is in reference to Ahlam, Campbell’s ‘fixer’— journalist jargon for a foreign correspondent’s interpreter or guide. An Iraqi mother and humanitarian, Ahlam is of invaluable assistance to Campbell throughout her Middle-East reportage, and when she gets taken by secret agents, the journalist, who has reported from countries including Egypt, Qatar and Russia among others, can’t help but take the blame for her disappearance. Campbell spends months in search of her friend in the perilous city.

Deborah Campbell is the winner of two National Magazine Gold Awards for her articles in The Walrus—The Most Hated Name in News” and “Iran’s Quiet Revolution”— published in 2009 and 2006 respectively. She has written for many publications, including Harper’s, The Guardian and Foreign Policy, and has spent over a decade reporting abroad.


The Marriott Cell, by Mohamed Fahmy, with Carol Shaben

Just over one year ago, Egyptian-born Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was awaiting bail from behind bars of an Egyptian maximum security prison. He, along with two other Al-Jazeera journalists, were sentenced to 7-10 years, accused of reporting false news, after police raided their makeshift studio in the Marriott Hotel in Cairo. According to Human Rights Watch, the trial of Fahmy was a “miscarriage of justice based on zero evidence.” Despite this, the three spent over a year in prison before making bail following a presidential pardon.

Now, finally free and back in Canada, Fahmy is an adjunct professor at UBC, and he’s just published The Marriott Cell (Random House), a book on his harrowing experience in Egypt. The book is a collaboration of efforts by Fahmy and Carol Shaben, a former NMA winner.

Carol Shaben is the winner of two National Magazine Awards for her story, “Fly at Your Own Risk” (The Walrus), about the deficiencies of Canada’s smaller aviation aircrafts and companies. She has written one other book, Into the Abyss, and lives in Vancouver.


In the poetry category, the finalists include:

poemw, by Anne Fleming

In poemw, the third finger of the left hand hits ‘w’ instead of ‘s’ and makes up a new kind of poem, the sort-of poem, the approxi-lyric, the poem that doesn’t want to claim poemness. Poemw are about daily things—graffitti, hair, sea gulls, second-hand clothes—and rarer things—dead crows, baked mice, ski accidents, Judith Butler. They’re jokes-and-not-jokes, cheeky, goofy. Tender.

Anne Fleming has been nominated for 3 National Magazine Awards, winning the award for Fiction in 2002 for her work in The New Quarterly. She has an MFA from UBC and teaches at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. Her first book, Pool-Hopping and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Danuta Gleed Award.


Check out all the finalists for this year’s BC Book Prizes. The winners are announced on April 29.

Holiday Magazine Subscription Guide

Looking for that perfect (okay, perfect last-minute) stocking stuffer? Do they love to read, laugh, cook or shop? Do they love great writing, photography and illustration? Then stuff a great, National Magazine Award-winning magazine in that stocking. Here are some of our favourites from 2016. (And for more ideas, check out our holiday book guide, with new books by NMA-winning writers.)

Maisonneuve
A quarterly magazine of arts, literature, ideas and culture, published in English in Montreal. You’ll find a great mix of new and established writers, artists and photojournalists packaged around award-winning design. A perfect magazine for an afternoon on the sofa or a long train ride home. Also, it’s Canada’s Magazine of the Year in 2016 (1 of 5 NMAs it won this year), so you know every issue is a must-read.
2 years (8 issues) for just $30

Ricardo
Absolutely required magazine reading for any foodie and aficionado of food culture. Ricardo won the National Magazine Awards for Best Brand and Best Service Editorial Package, and delivers recipes, dinner party plans and lots of other great ideas.
6 issues for $30, plus a gift, a free iPad edition, and 15% discount at the online store

Eighteen Bridges
Winner of 4 National Magazine Awards in 2016 including Essays and Investigative Reporting, this thought-provoking magazine of longform journalism published in Edmonton is consistent in introducing readers to Canada’s best writers and important stories.
4 issues for $26

CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries
Winner of the 2016 National Magazine Award for Fiction, CNQ publishes some of this country’s finest literary criticism, poetry, graphic works, and short fiction.
1 year (3 issues) for just $25

Vallum
Winner of the 2016 National Magazine Award for Poetry, Vallum is one of Canada’s very best publications for poetry and literary reviews, and regularly features Canada’s best poets as well as emerging ones.
1 year (2 issues) for $20

Globe Style Advisor
Also a winner of 4 National Magazine Awards in 2016 for its photography and design, Globe Style is one of our favourites for fashion and style journalism. Get it with your Globe & Mail subscription. And you can get award-winning Report on Business magazine, too.

Western Living
An award-winning magazine of design, decor, lifestyle and more, Western Living was a 2016 National Magazine Award winner and consistently delivers quality ideas that are in line with the latest and greatest trends.
1 year (10 issues) digitally for just $18

The Feathertale Review
A literary magazine dedicated to great humour (twice an NMA winner in that category), Feathertale makes a great gift for anyone who loves to laugh and enjoys the lighter side of CanLit.
1 year (4 issues) for $30

Cottage Life
A Canadian tradition in a magazine, Cottage Life is not only the perfect companion to country living in all four seasons, it mixes practical advice with award-winning journalism. Don’t go into the woods without it.
1 year all access print and digital for $30

Check out all the winners from the 2016 National Magazine Awards for more great gift ideas.


Submissions are now being accepted for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. Read all about it and enter at magazine-awards.com. Deadline January 20

Holiday Books from the National Magazine Awards

Here at the National Magazine Awards Foundation, nothing brings us greater joy than diving into our next non-fiction read. Non-fiction gnaws at us because prose based on real people and real events tends to capture, move, and inspire us.

So to bid farewell to the year that was, we’ve rounded up some of our top non-fiction reads by National Magazine Award-winning authors — aka fool-proof gift ideas — that will undoubtedly please (and hopefully inspire) anyone you’re looking to spoil this holiday season.

Also, check out our top Fiction reads, too.

“Invisible North” by Alexandra Shimo

Alexandra Shimo’s new book, Invisible North, is a cry for help for our Indigenous peoples: their lives, their land and their dignity.

Shimo is not Indigenous. The lived experience and documentation of our Indigenous peoples, by Indigenous peoples, is of utmost importance to the amendment of Canada’s history and will play a crucial part in shaping our country’s future. Shimo is, however, an investigative reporter, who, while on assignment for CBC’s The Current, discovered the devastating reality of Canada’s Indigenous reserves. When Shimo travelled to the Kashechewan reserve in northern Ontario — known better to some as “ground zero” for the First Nation experience — she witnessed firsthand the deplorable living conditions, major lack of services and the relentless government inaction faced by the Cree living on that land. In Invisible North, she recounts her deep-seated guilt, struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and ultimate inability to cope with the living conditions on the reserve.

Shimo is a former editor of Maclean’s. She is the recipient of three honorable mentions at the National Magazine Awards, including for her Toronto Life piece, “Kandahar Diaries,” five stories from soldiers after their return from Afghanistan. This is her third book.

“A Disappearance in Damascus” by Deborah Campbell

“Did I find her or did she find me?” writes Deborah Campbell in her new book, A Disappearance in Damascus (Knopf Canada), winner of the Writers’ Trust Award. Her is in reference to Ahlam, Campbell’s ‘fixer’— journalist jargon for a foreign correspondent’s interpreter or guide. An Iraqi mother and humanitarian, Ahlam is of invaluable assistance to Campbell throughout her Middle-East reportage, and when she gets taken by secret agents, the journalist, who has reported from countries including Egypt, Qatar and Russia among others, can’t help but take the blame for her disappearance. Campbell spends months in search of her friend in the perilous city.

The story takes place almost a decade ago, rendering the title somewhat misleading. When Ahlam disappeared, Campbell was reporting on the Iraq War, at a time when Iraqis were fleeing to Syria for refuge. Despite this, Campbell’s account provides a contemporary piece of the puzzle that is the current state of war in Syria.

Campbell is the winner of two National Magazine Gold Awards for her articles in The Walrus—The Most Hated Name in News” and “Iran’s Quiet Revolution”— published in 2009 and 2006 respectively. She has written for many publications, including Harper’s, The Guardian and Foreign Policy, and has spent over a decade reporting abroad.

“The Marriott Cell” by Mohamed Fahmy (w/ Carol Shaben)

Just over one year ago, Egyptian-born Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was awaiting bail from behind bars of an Egyptian maximum security prison. He, along with two other Al-Jazeera journalists, were sentenced to 7-10 years, accused of reporting false news, after police raided their makeshift studio in the Marriott Hotel in Cairo. According to Human Rights Watch, the trial of Fahmy was a “miscarriage of justice based on zero evidence.” Despite this, the three spent over a year in prison before making bail following a presidential pardon.

Now, finally free and back in Canada, Fahmy is an adjunct professor at UBC, and he’s just published The Marriott Cell (Random House), a book on his harrowing experience in Egypt. The book is a collaboration of efforts by Fahmy and Carol Shaben, a former NMA winner.

Shaben is the winner of two National Magazine Awards for her story, “Fly at Your Own Risk” (The Walrus), about the deficiencies of Canada’s smaller aviation aircrafts and companies. She has written one other book, Into the Abyss, and lives in Vancouver.

Read our interview with Carol Shaben.

“Sixty” by Ian Brown

The problem with turning 60? It’s so goddamn melodramatic, says Ian Brown, who wrote about the experience in a bygone Globe and Mail column.

A year later, he’s written a book on the subject of his life since, entitled, Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? A Diary of My Sixty-First Year (Penguin Random House). The title itself sounds characteristically self-deprecating — perhaps not surprising for any seasoned journalist in 2016. Fearing he’s “misplaced” the last 20 years of his life, Brown begins writing a diary in an attempt to embrace the next 20. He isn’t necessarily unhappy with how his life has played out — he is a successful journalist by anyone’s standards — but he grapples with how inconspicuously the last six decades slipped by. Brown provides both an intimate and humorous look at the aging process, in hopes it really is just “the End of the Beginning.”

Ian Brown is a journalist and author of five books. Currently, he hosts Human Edge and The View from Here on TVOntario. He is also a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. Brown has collected many National Magazine Awards over the years, most recently a Gold for “Man Vs. Behemoth,” his short feature published in Explore Magazine.

“Bad Singer” by Tim Falconer

If you’re into books like Daniel Levitan’s This Is Your Brain on Music or David Byrne’s How Music Works, Tim Falconer’s Bad Singer (House of Anansi) should logically be next on your reading list. Sure, it’s another look at music through a scientific lens, however, the latter takes a more personal approach, as Falconer himself suffers from amusia — the technical term for tone deafness, encompassing both pitch processing and musical memory. Weaving through the science behind singing, the limitations of the body and the trait of human persistence, Falconer is able to prevail, capturing the interest of any reader, simply by exploring a topic dear to so many.

Falconer’s book is based on his 2012 Maisonneuve piece “Face the Music,” that won him a Silver at the National Magazine Awards.

Falconer is the author of five books. Currently, he is a professor at Ryerson’s School of Journalism in Toronto, a mentor in the Creative Non-Fiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax and an editor at the Literary Journalism program at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

“The Promise of Canada” by Charlotte Gray

Just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday, historian Charlotte Gray has released her new book, The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped our Country (Simon & Schuster). Gray deconstructs nine influential Canadians and their respective roles since Confederation.

Gray includes the obvious, from George-Étienne Cartier to Tommy Douglas to Emily Carr, but strays (somewhat) with a chapter on Elijah Harper, former Indigenous NDP MLA, and noted critic of the Meech Lake Accord. If history textbooks of our past didn’t suffice in the area of Indigenous peoples pasts, perhaps Gray’s account will follow the lead of Harper’s, that is, to bring the stories of our Indigenous people into mainstream conversation.

Gray has received eight honourable mentions at the NMAs, including a Chatelaine profile of global activist Naomi Klein and a Walrus political piece on leader of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair.


Happy holiday reading from the National Magazine Awards.

And remember, submissions for this year’s 40th anniversary awards are being accepted until January 20. Enter at magazine-awards.com

National Magazine Awards Special Event: Winners’ Circle

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

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.

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.