A Short History of the National Magazine Awards

For 40 years the National Magazine Awards have honoured Canada’s most outstanding and memorable writers, artists, stories, and publications. It all began in 1976, when Andrew MacFarlane, dean of journalism at the University of Western Ontario, established a working group towards the creation of a National Magazine Awards. He was joined by John S. Crosbie, president of the Magazine Association of Canada; Michael de Pencier, publisher of Toronto Life; Roger de la Garde, dean of journalism at Université Laval; Alan Edmunds, head of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), and others. The rest is history.

As we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards on Friday May 26 [Tickets] [Nominees], here’s a quick look at some of our most enduring memories…

 

1977

Michael de Pencier in the 1970s. Photo credit: Harold Barkley / Getty Images via Toronto Life

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) receives its charter of non-profit foundation status from the Province of Ontario. Michael de Pencier, then the publisher of Toronto Life, is named the first president of the board of the directors. The NMAF establishes 14 categories, and more than 60 magazines submit 1377 entries. The submission fee is $10 per entry.

  • Among the 62 judges of the first National Magazine Awards were Joan Fraser (later a senator), author and essayist George Woodcock, and Adrienne Clarkson, then a CBC journalist, later the Governor General.

 

1978

Pierre Berton. Photo credit: CBC Archives

Pierre Berton hosts the first National Magazine Awards gala at the Hotel Toronto. Berton proclaims to the audience, “In a bold departure from tradition, there are to be no thank you speeches. We can do that because we are giving money, not some cheap statuette.” Harrowsmith (English) and L’actualité (French) win Magazine of the Year. Roy MacGregor (English) and Louise Coté (French) win the President’s Medals for the best overall article.

  • Image courtesy Town of Huntsville; photo illustration by Vessy Stroumsky

    The University of Western Ontario donated the original President’s Medals. From 1978 until 2001, the NMAF bestowed the President’s Medal upon the top overall magazine story of the year. Roy MacGregor’s original President’s Medal now resides in the Canada Summit Centre Sports Memorabilia Collection in the Town of Huntsville, Ontario.

Magazine types really know how to party.
Toronto Sun headline, following the first NMA gala

 

1979

Weekend Magazine, under the art direction of Robert Priest, wins the National Magazine Award for Best Cover, depicting a bloody image of the controversial baby seal hunt. Weekend Magazine, founded in 1951, wins 5 NMAs in 1979 before folding later that year.

 

1980

B.C. journalist Silver Donald Cameron wins the gold medal for Culture Writing, for a literary essay on author Farley Mowat published in Atlantic Insight.

 

1981

Photojournalist Nigel Dickson wins the first of his six NMA gold medals for a photo essay of the drought in the Canadian Prairies—one of the worst on record—published in Maclean’s.

 

1982

Jean Paré. Photo: Ordre national du Québec

At the fifth anniversary NMAs gala, legendary Quebec journalist Jean Paré wins the gold medal in Comment (later Columns) for L’actualité. From 1977 to 2009, Paré was nominated for 22 National Magazine Awards, winning 11. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

  • Jean Paré founded the weekly news magazine L’actualité in 1976 after three years as deputy editor of Maclean’s.

 

1983

Margaret Atwood wins the silver medal in Travel Writing, for “The Five Faces of Mexico,” published in Quest magazine. Quest, then under the editorship of the famously bespectacled and bow-tied Michael Enright, would fold a year later after winning 14 National Magazine Awards since 1978.

  • Margaret Atwood has won 3 National Magazine Awards (in Poetry, Travel Writing, and Environmental Journalism). She’s been nominated 3 times in Fiction but never won.

 

1984

Sylvia Barrett Wright wins her first of two gold medals in the category Science, Technology & the Environment for Equinox magazine (the other came in 1988). She becomes the first woman to win gold in this category. From 1984-2016 only eight women won the gold medal in Science, Technology & the Environment, including Noémi Mercier (also twice) and Margaret Atwood.

  • Vancouver Magazine, under veteran editor Mac Parry, won Magazine of the Year at the 1985 NMA gala. Originally known as Dick McLean’s Greater Vancouver Greeter Guide, VanMag was also briefly known as Vancouver’s Leisure Magazine before the current, simple title took hold in 1973.

 

1985

P.K. Page. Photo: Wikicommons

The poet Patricia Kathleen “P.K.” Page wins the National Magazine Award for poetry, for a suite of poems published in The Malahat Review. From 1944 under her death in 2010 at the age of 93, Page published more than three dozen books of poetry, prose, and children’s literature.

  • Since 1978 The Malahat Review has won 28 National Magazine Awards for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

 

1986

Saturday Night art director Louis Fishauf wins both the gold and silver medals in Art Direction of a Single Article. Since 1979 Fishauf has been nominated for over 30 National Magazine Awards for his work in Saturday Night, The City, City Woman, Executive Magazine, T.O. Magazine, and Toronto Life.

My dream, when I was a young writer starting out, was to one day write for Saturday Night magazine. I pitched them ideas, to no avail, until one day in 2005 an editor emailed me out of the blue. I squeaked into one of their very last issues, and I still miss what Saturday Night stood for: a space of serious (but not too serious) intellectual engagement and storytelling as good as any in the world.
– Deborah Campbell, author and 3-time National Magazine Award winner

 

1987

At the tenth anniversary National Magazine Awards, graphic artist Simon Ng wins both gold and silver in Best Illustration, for work in Canadian Business and Toronto magazine. Blair Dawson and Gracia Lam are the only other illustrators to accomplish that double.

  • CBC “Morningside” host Peter Gzowski emceed the NMA gala for the second time (he also hosted in 1979 and for a final time in 1991) at the 10th anniversary gala in 1987, where Report on Business won Magazine of the Year.

 

1988

Elaine Dewar’s “The Mysterious Reichmanns: The Untold Story” (Toronto Life) wins the President’s Medal for best article (it also wins the gold medal for Investigative Journalism and Illustration). The Reichmann family, known for their real estate empire, had sued Dewar and Toronto Life for libel, for $102 million.

  • According to a contemporary story in the Ryerson Review of Journalism, in a show of journalistic support at that year’s NMA gala, “virtually everyone in the Grand Ballroom at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre stood up and cheered when [Dewar’s] victories were announced.”

 

1989

Photo courtesy James Ireland

James Ireland wins the National Magazine Award for Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, for Canadian Art. Over a 40-year career designing magazines like Report on BusinessToronto LifeCanadian BusinessMaclean’sCanadian Art, U of T Magazine, Chatelaine, and many more, Ireland was one of the most celebrated and admired art directors in Canada. In 1997 the NMAF presented him with its Outstanding Achievement Award.

The art staff at The Canadian magazine were known for taking long liquid lunches each Friday. Every now and then the publisher of the magazine would wander through the art department around 2pm to make sure we were all back at our desks. One Friday morning, one of the artists, Harry Shepherd, took some foam board and magic markers, and cut out full-sized, silhouette likenesses of each designer. He slumped them over their drawing boards with scalpels in hand so they looked hard at work. The strong backlight from the windows made them look very convincing—it was spectacular! We all had to work late that night.
– James Ireland

 

1990

The Idler wins its first National Magazine Award (for Best Cover). Writing in The Globe and Mail in 2007, novelist and NMA winner Russell Smith remarked of The Idler: It was “a bit like The Walrus, but more eccentric and unpredictable, and with less reporting and more reflection. It was an elegant, brilliant and often irritating thing, proudly pretentious and nostalgic, written by philosophers, curmudgeons, pedants, intellectual dandies.”

One night, long ago, when I was still an undergraduate student at U of T, I found myself at The Idler pub. Upstairs, I knew, were the offices of the magazine by the same name. That night, a bunch of journos and thinkers of various stripes sat around a long table, arguing and drinking the night away. When I fantasize about magazine journalism, my thoughts often drift back to that: a great watering hole, the exchange of ideas, and writers retreating upstairs to put some of those ideas into words.
Alison Motluk, 5-time National Magazine Award winner

  • The Idler won Magazine of the Year in 1992 and then folded a year later.

 

1991

West Magazine wins Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards, hosted for the third and final time by Pierre Berton. The magazine then folds later that year.

  • Magazines come and magazines go. Other magazines that folded the year they won a National Magazine Award: The Canadian (1979); Weekend Magazine (1979); Quest (1984); City Woman (1985); T.O. Magazine (1989); Vista (1990); Domino (1991); The Idler (1993); City & Country Home (1994); Destinations (1994); Shift (2003) Elm Street (2004); Saturday Night (2005); Toro (2007); unlimited (2008); More (2012); The Grid (2014).

 

1992

At the 15th anniversary NMA gala, Andrew Cohen of Saturday Night wins 3 medals, including the President’s Medal, for his profile of the former Prime Minister called “That Bastard Trudeau.”

  • Singer-songwriter Nancy White, of CBC fame, hosted the 15th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

 

1993

Paul Quarrington. Image credit: Wikicommons

Paul Quarrington wins his first of two consecutive NMA gold medals in Humour, for Harrowsmith magazine (he would later win a third humour award for Outdoor Canada). The beloved novelist, playwright, musician, and magazine writer passed away in 2010, shortly after writing his final memoir, Cigar Box Banjo: Notes on Music and Life.

  • At the 1993 NMAs Yann Martel, later the author of The Life of Pi, won the gold medal in Fiction for a story in The Malahat Review.

 

1994

The One-of-a-Kind category makes its NMA debut, celebrating magazine writing whose style or content is so unique it just can’t be classified into any other category. Zoe Landale, writing in Saturday Night, wins the first gold medal.

  • Toronto Life won 5 straight gold medals in One-of-a-Kind from 2001-2006, but The Walrus has won the last 4 heading into 2017. Check out this year’s nominees.

 

1995

Catherine Keachie, the long-time president of the Canadian Magazine Publishers’ Association, is presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Keachie was also an instructor of journalism at Ryerson University and today the program offers an annual scholarship in her memory.

In order for us to make the case for how Canadian magazines mattered, Catherine knew that it was essential for the industry to work together. The major publishers needed the cultural legitimacy of the small and literary publishers. The smalls and literaries needed the financial and political heft of the bigs… Catherine’s words have guided me throughout my career, and her passion for the possibility of what the many talented people in this industry can accomplish together continues to inspire me.
Kim Pittaway, on Catherine Keachie’s inspiration to her career, from Kim’s acceptance speech at the 2016 NMAs

 

1996

For the only time in its history, the NMAs present an award for best Display Writing, at a gala hosted for the first time by Ian Brown. Vancouver Magazine wins the award, but the category is discontinued the following year.

  • In 2008 Julia Belluz won the NMA Best Student Writer Award for her profile of Ian Brown in the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

 

1997

Photo Edward Burtynsky 

Edward Burtynsky wins the gold medal in Photojournalism for his famous “Tailings” series—highlighting the environmentally degrading waste produced by heavy industry—published in Canadian Art.

 

1998

Hosting the NMA gala for the second consecutive year, Massey College master John Fraser presents the Outstanding Achievement Award to former Saturday Night editor Robert Fulford.

  • Since 1978, Fulford has won more NMA gold medals (15) than any other writer or artist. But fashion photographer Chris Nicholls is the winningest creator in NMA history, with 20 total medals (10 gold; 10 silver).

 

1999

Jane O’Hara’s investigative report “Rape in the Military” (Maclean’s) wins two National Magazine Awards, including the President’s Medal. It remains one of the most significant and studied feature stories in the history of Canadian magazines.

It [“Rape in the Military”] was such a groundbreaking and heartbreaking story—20 years later, it haunts me still. The raw honesty of the women who shared their stories, and the abusive betrayal of those who destroyed their lives and careers. You can feel the mastery of the interviewer in how she was able to get these victims to open up to her and feel her sensitivity in how she told the story.
– Dawn Chafe, editor-in-chief, Atlantic Business Magazine

 

2000

The upstart Shift magazine wins 9 National Magazine Awards, including a sweep for art directors Carmen Dunjko and Malcolm Brown in the categories Art Direction and Best Cover. From 1994 until it folded in 2003, Shift won 27 NMAs and became a notorious rival to Saturday Night. After the magazine won its huge haul of awards, much to the chagrin of its critics, editor Laas Turnbull told The Globe and Mail: “I have found that people’s reaction to Shift often says a great deal more about them than it does about the magazine. It’s so unusual to launch something new in this country and then to actually survive.”

Shift on Beck… never forget it.
– Malcolm Brown, 15-time National Magazine Award-winning art director

 

2001

The National Magazine Awards expands to 37 categories, up from 14 at the 1978 awards. George Whiteside wins the first gold medal in the category Food Photography, for President’s Choice magazine. (The category is discontinued in 2003.)

  • Other discontinued categories in the history of the NMAs include Conceptual Photography, Food Writing, Leisure Pursuits, Community Feature, Studio Photography, Best Repurposed or Adapted Content, and Best New Magazine.

 

2002

George Elliott Clarke. Photo credit: Carmelita Linta / CBC

George Elliott Clarke wins the gold medal in Poetry, for a suite of six poems in Prairie Fire.

  • Prairie Fire has won 15 National Magazine Awards since 1996, most recently a silver medal in 2016 for Poetry (Harold Hoefle).

 

2003

Don Obe. Photo by John Reeves

For the 25th NMA gala, Don Obe edits a special anniversary magazine featuring the top stories, issues, photography, and design from each year since the first National Magazine Awards. A beloved Ryerson University instructor and former editor at Maclean’s, The Canadian, and Toronto Life, Obe received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1994. He passed away in 2014.

  • At the 25th anniversary NMA gala, hosted by Second City comedienne Judy Croon, Adbusters won for Best Art Direction of a Single Article, The New Quarterly swept the gold medals in Fiction and Poetry, Elm Street won for Portrait Photography, and Outpost won Magazine of the Year.

 

2004

Marci McDonald’s investigation into Paul Martin’s controversial private business dealings, published in the inaugural issue of The Walrus, wins that magazine its first (of many) National Magazine Awards.

  • Marci McDonald won the gold medal in Business at the very first NMAs in 1978, and has won 11 in total since then. In 2017 she served on the NMA jury in the category Long-Form Feature Writing.

 

2005

Gerald Hannon is a double gold medallist for his story “The Eyes of Edward Burtynsky” (Toronto Life) in the categories Profiles and Arts & Entertainment.

Lynn Cunningham, my editor at Toronto Life, assigned me a major feature on the AIDS crisis in 1988 when I had no magazine experience and when I was mostly known for having been on trial for publishing immoral, indecent, or scurrilous matter. She took a chance on me, and thanks to her support and encouragement my writing career took off.
– Gerald Hannon, 13-time National Magazine Award-winning writer

 

2006

The June 1969 cover of Saturday Night

Saturday Night, after folding (for the second and final time) in November the previous year, wins 7 National Magazine Awards, bringing its legendary haul to 231 NMAs since 1978. The same night, The Walrus breaks Saturday Night’s record by winning 13 gold medals (and 16 overall).

  • In 2015, Toronto Life finally passed Saturday Night for most NMAs in history, when writer Lauren McKeon won the gold medal in Personal Journalism for “Save Me From My Workout.” Toronto Life now has 244 NMAs heading into the 2017 awards.

 

2007

Program cover of the 30th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Illustration by Dan Page. Art direction by Levi Nicholson.

At the 30th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala at the Carlu in Toronto, Scott Feschuk hosts, David Gilmour‘s “My Life with Tolstoy” is a double gold medal winner, and The Walrus wins Magazine of the Year. Jeremy Klaszus is presented with the award for Best New Magazine Writer (formerly known as the Alexander Ross Award) for his investigation into unsavoury practices in Alberta’s oil industry, published in Alberta Views.

 

2008

Maisonneuve’s “Food Issue,” featuring a cover photo of miniature explorers attempting a dangerous crossing of the surface of a crème brûlée, wins the gold medal for Best Magazine Cover (art direction by Anna Minzhulina).

  • Recently the NMAF’s Richard A. Johnson interviewed Anna Minzhulina about her ten-year tenure at Maisonneuve, her creative process as an art director, and the importance of supporting emerging women magazine artists.

 

2009

Chris Turner wins the gold medal in Essays for “The Big Decision” (Alberta Views), arguing in favour of nuclear energy at a time when the province’s Oil Sands are booming.

  • Moose Jaw native Chris Turner, a 9-time NMA winner, hosted the 2016 National Magazine Awards gala, featuring a cameo from Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

 

2010

Up Here magazine, published in Yellowknife, wins Magazine of the Year, becoming the first magazine from Canada’s North to win the grand prize.

  • At the 2010 National Magazine Awards gala, Terry Sellwood of Cottage Life Media received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. At the 2017 gala, Penny Caldwell will become the third member of the Cottage Life family to win the award, after Terry and founder Al Zikovitz (2002).

 

2011

Image: CBC

Sean Michaels wins the One-of-a-Kind gold medal for an account of his exploration of the catacombs of Paris, published in Brick. Michaels would later go on to win the Giller Prize for his novel, Us Conductors.

  • Other NMA winners for Brick literary magazine include Michael Ondaatje (1981), Alex Pugsley (2005), Patrick deWitt (2013), and Linda Spalding (2014), all in the Fiction category.

 

2012

The Grid, a weekly Toronto city magazine that launched the previous May, wins six National Magazine Awards, including three gold medals for art director Vanessa Wyse. The Grid’s boisterous cheering section remains one of the most enduring memories of its first NMA gala.

  • In 2013 The Grid won 7 National Magazine Awards, edging The Walrus (6). It’s the only time since 2004 that winningest magazine at the NMAs was not Toronto Life or The Walrus.

 

2013

For the first time, the NMAs honour outstanding achievement by tablet editions. Canadian House & Home wins the first award for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

  • In subsequent years, Today’s Parent and Sportsnet won the National Magazine Award for Tablet Magazine of the Year. The award was discontinued in 2016 as the NMAF launched the Digital Publishing Awards to recognize achievement in Canadian digital publishing. The 2017 Digital Publishing Awards are coming up on June 1.

 

2014

Edmonton newcomer Eighteen Bridges magazine wins four National Magazine Awards among 11 nominations, including two gold medals for editor and feature writer Curtis Gillespie.

  • In 2016 Eighteen Bridges also won four NMAs, including the gold medal in Investigative Reporting. Recently the NMAF’s Richard A. Johnson interviewed journalist Virgil Grandfield about his incredible 10-year investigation of human trafficking and murder related to Red Cross reconstruction projects in Indonesia.

Also, remember this:

 

2015

Crimes sexuels dans l’armée,” an extensive investigative report by journalists Noémi Mercier and Alec Castonguay about sexual assault in the Canadian military, published in L’actualité, wins two gold medals (Investigative Reporting and Politics & Public Interest).

  • Lainey Lui and Jessica Allen from CTV’s “The Social” co-hosted the 38th NMA gala in 2015, featuring a cameo by 4-time host Scott Feschuk.

 

2016

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)

Desmond Cole is nominated for four National Magazine Awards for his exposé of Toronto police discrimination against the city’s Black community, “The Skin I’m In” (Toronto Life). Cole wins the gold medal for Best New Magazine Writer and two silver medals (Essays and Personal Journalism), and receives a standing ovation on stage at the gala.


Take a deeper dive into the history of the National Magazine Award by perusing the NMA archive.

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be held on Friday, May 26, at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Tickets are on sale now. Check out all the nominees.

Not able to make it to the gala? Follow our exciting live tweet @MagAwards to catch all the live action.

Your Guide to Fall 2016 Magazine Writing (and Photography) Contests

Welcome to autumn, all you writers, poets and shutterbugs. Time to let the soft, low-angle sunlight, the cool, easterly winds, and the pumpkin-spiced everything inspire you towards your next artistic endeavour. But beware the lure of the tired metaphor, for in his 2016 National Magazine Award-winning poem “The High Road,” David McGimpsey warns:

Are you the kind of person who giggles
when you hear somebody say “poetry
is like peeling an onion”? Yes? Really?
I’m afraid I must take the high road now

The National Magazine Awards contest guide lists any writing or photography contest in a Canadian magazine or digital publication, or one that seeks emerging Canadian creators. As always, the list below may be incomplete. Leave a comment here or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards #WritingContest if you know of any we missed.

The contests in our Fall 2016 edition are organized by deadline date, from September 30 to December 31.

The Puritan Thomas Morton Memorial Prize
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 7500 words)
Deadline: September 30, 2016 October 10, 2016 (extended)
Prizes: $1000 + publication + $100 book prize pack
Entry Fee: $15
Detailshttp://puritan-magazine.com/writing-contest/

CV2 Young Buck Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: October 1, 2016
Prizes: $1000 (1st); cash prizes for runners-up; publication
Entry Fee: $26 ($16 for each additional entry)
Detailshttp://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/young-buck-poetry-prize
Note: Open to writers under the age of 35

PRISM International Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry (up to 3 poems per entry)
Deadline: October 15, 2016
Prizes: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $5 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
Note: PRISM’s short fiction contest will have a deadline of Jan 15, 2017

Tethered by Letters F(r)iction Fall Literary Competition
Genres: Short stories (1,000-7,500 words), flash fiction (750 words) and poetry
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Prizes: $1,600
Entry Fee: range from $8-15 for each contest
Details: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest/

The Malahat Review Open Season Awards
Genres: Poetry; Fiction; Creative Non-fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2016 November 6, 2016 (extended)
Prizes: $1500 to the winner in each section + publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $15 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/open_season/info.html

CBC Canada Writes Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Prizes: $6000 + Banff Centre Residency + Publication in enRoute & CBCBooks.ca (1st prize); $1000 for each of 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/shortstory/

CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries CanLitCrit Essay Contest
Genre: Non-fiction essay (max 4000 words)
Deadline: November 15, 2016
Prizes: $1000 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription); $10 for additional entries
Detailshttp://notesandqueries.ca/contests/

Prairie Fire Creative Writing Contests
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 10,000 words); Creative Non-fiction (max 5000 words)
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: $1250 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication; invitation to Thin Air Writers Festival; dinner with Prairie Fire staff
Entry Fee: $32 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.prairiefire.ca/contests/

Room Cover Art Contest
Genre: Visual Art
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: $500 + your art on the cover of Room’s issue 40.2 (1st place); $50 + publication (2nd); web publication (Honourable Mention)
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $7 for each additional entry
Details: http://roommagazine.com/contests

Up Here Photo Contest
Categories: Grand Prize; Science & Nature; Travel & Adventure; Arts & Culture; People & History
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: Nikon 7200 HD-SLR + lens (Grand Prize winner); subscriptions for winners in each of 4 categories; publication
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://uphere.ca/photocontest
Note: Contest open to all Canadians; photographs must be of Canada’s North

Saltscapes Photography Contest
Categories: Landscapes & Nature; Uniquely Atlantic Canadian; World Up Close; People/Folks
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: Nikon AW1 camera + lens (Grand Prize winner); Framed canvas print (winners in each of 4 categories); CAA membership (each of 2 staff picks); gift certificates (honourable mentions)
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://saltscapes.com/contests/amateur-photo-contest/contest-details.html
Note: Contest open to all Canadians; photographs must be of Atlantic Canada

Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Creative Writing Contest
Genres: Poetry; Creative Non-fiction (max 2000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Prize: $300 + print publication (1st); $75 + online publication (honourable mention)
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://briarpatchmagazine.com/writingcontest

The Fiddlehead 26th annual Literary Contest
Genres: Poetry (up to 3 poems); Fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Prizes: $2000 + publication (1st); $250 each to 2 honourable mention
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Detailshttps://thefiddlehead.ca/contest

Freefall Prose & Poetry Contests
Genres: Poetry (max 5 poems); Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $75 (3rd); $25 (HM); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); additional entries $5 each
Detailshttp://www.freefallmagazine.ca/contest.html

On the horizon for 2017…

Plentitude’s Cornucopia Literary Prize
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: February 15, 2017
Prize: $500 + publication in Plenitude magazine
Entry Fee: $15
Details: Open to LGBTQ2 writers only: http://plenitudemagazine.ca/announcing-the-inaugural-cornucopia-literary-prize


Did we miss one? Send us a note or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the fall as more contests are announced. Find more awards, prizes and contests for magazine journalism on the Awards and Contests pages of this blog.

To see what’s on the horizon for 2017, check out:
Your Guide to Winter/Spring Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Summer Magazine Writing Contests

For a comprehensive guide to submitting to literary publications in Canada, check out:
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines

Top 10 Best Issues of Canadian Magazines | NMA 2016 Nominees

The judging is complete and the nominees for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced. This year the judges have selected 10 finalists for the award for Best Single Issue, an award sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And now, we invite you to learn more about the magazines that made top 10:


Air Canada enRouteThe Food Issue

EnROute

The entire November 2015 issue actively delivers on supporting the development of a national food identity, promoting the contributions of new and established Canadian chefs, sommeliers and industry players and fostering a sense of community from farm to kitchen to table. This issue is shaped around culinary themes, from front of book personality profiles to culinary-minded hotels.

This issue includes features on the new concept restaurant/performance space from the Adrià brothers and Cirque du Soleil, how one sustainable Caribbean destination is taking resort food out of the international buffet trough and into local hands, and also a look into the happy hour scene in Austin. The goal of this issue was to dish up tasty and thoughtful stories and to whet the appetite for great food as well as knowledge.


AzureToronto, A City on the Rise

Azure

This issue celebrates three decades of Azure by highlighting some of the most exciting architecture and design underway in Toronto. With stories looking into how Union Station’s expansion is addressing the city’s need for citizenry, how architects, city planners and developers worked together to host PanAm athletes in the pre-sold but not-yet-occupied waterfront condominiums and also how the city has attracted top-calibre architecture, through an in-depth look at the Aga Khan Museum and Ismali Centre in Don Mills.

This issue represents what Azure is all about: presenting the future of design in a format that encourages readers to get excited about the great changes to come – and those that are underway.


Cottage LifeThe Hot Issue

CottageL

The centrepiece of this issue is the Canoe Love package, which consists of two parts: an essay about the canoe and its special place in our national consciousness and also a collection of anecdotes from readers about “courting” with their own canoes, complete with original photography and quirky illustrations. Together these pieces hit the right balance of entertainment and information, in true Cottage Life-style.

Readers will also come across a profile of entertainment expert Trish Magwood, a story about the latest dockside accessory, the portable fire pit, an in depth look at the dragonfly and also a look at the hottest trends in décor from international design superstars Colin & Justin.


explore – Winter 2015

explore

For their Winter 2015 edition, explore delivered on their mandate and epitomized the “live the adventure” ideal with great vigour. Working with writers, illustrators and photographers – both seasoned and new contributors – these diverse voices helped to deliver an exhaustive anthology of content that both accurately reflects their reader demographics and offers story angles that are fresh and unique.

Articles take readers through a one-of-a-kind backcountry skiing trip into Banff National Park, a floe-edge exploration in Nunavut, a youth-at-risk outdoor education program in British Columbia and an extreme race in Yukon. In addition, there is a dynamic service article, profiles, a how-to guide and product reviews.


FlareICYMI Issue

Flare

This is a clever, cohesive and incredibly vocal issue that exemplifies FLARE’s new millennial positioning – and non-conformist spirit. The issue dismantles the magazine’s existing architecture and rebuilt it as a year-in-review issue, exploring a wide array of topics such as what it’s really like to be young and trans in Canada, a look at why otherwise genius designers can’t distinguish between cultural appreciation and appropriation, and also recapped the year in feminist outrage.

Visually, the entire issue was treated as an editorial package, playing up graphic shapes, designing new typographic look-ups specific to the issue and colour coding each department in lieu of section openers.


Legion Magazine – The Fight for Italy

Legion

The goal for this issue was to produce a bold, definitive words-and-pictures publication that would convey the significance of the bravery and sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers more than 70 years ago to Canadians of all generations today.

Bursting with dramatic historical photography and artwork, colourful and detailed maps and infographics and original spot illustrations, the story of the fight for Italy comes to life in this issue’s pages.


Nouveau ProjetSpring/Summer 2015

NP

This issue is dedicated to the new boundaries – both tangible and and less tangible – of modern Québec. The territorial limits are sometimes contested by cultural barriers and linguistic persistence (or not). Through the eyes of foreign migrants and symbolic borders, Nouveau Projet unfolds the concept of borders and the various incarnations currently in Québec. This issue includes stories on the Anticosti Island, architecture in the North, the border between Newfoundland and Labrador, the story of three refugees and also the unusual path of writer Guillaume Morissette, who left the Saguenay to seek literary fame in the English-speaking sphere.

Stories about solar power in Québec, innovative uses for urban underpasses and the state of the “sharing economy” are also included in this issue, as well as essays, critical commentary, poetry, etc.


Sportsnet What it’s Like to be Connor McDavid Right Now

Sportsnet

The cover story of this issue tells the story of Connor McDavid; a young man who is on the cusp of superstardom, but all the while remains a teenager at heart. The story was a huge exclusive on a huge name. Another uniquely Canadian story is that of “Gulu Rises” which follows a Canadian man’s journey of starting a soccer club in the tiny Ugandan town of Gulu, hoping to give its children – and by extension community – a chance at a better life.

Aside from these two gripping features, you’ll find a quirky story about an athletes love of meteorology which exposes the real-life passion of a superstar, a story about pro football’s first openly gay player, as well as CFL previews, interviews and columns from Canada’s best sports writers.


Up Here The Fish Issue

uphere

This issue hopes to leave readers with a hearty appreciation for all the fish that contribute to the diet, the art, the history and the economy of Northerners, while remaining interesting to non-fish-nerds. Stories about the lakes in the Northwest Territories – on an ecological level – becoming the new Galapagos, how a family built a fishing lodge empire that built up a loyal, affluent clientele and also a look at why the North’s fishing industry isn’t booming. This issue also contains a look at career opportunities for young graduates, the party-spot Legion in Iqaluit and a pickers guide for the summer morel mushroom boom.

In addition to these stories, readers will also find beautifully photographed fish recipes, as well as other photography showing fish like you’ve never seen them before, in their pristine underwater habitat. The Up Here team jokingly refers to this edition as their “fissue.” Ha!


Western Living Magazine – Designers of the Year, September 2015

WL

The September issue is always Western Living’s biggest and most exciting issue of the year, as it features their Designer of the Year awards; a celebration of the best designers in Western Canada, from architecture to interiors to fashion. Over 800 designers and architects attend both events, resulting in a space for the local design community to connect and celebrate their work together.

In addition to extensive coverage of the awards, this issue explored the inner workings of Canada’s most iconic hotel, the Fairmont Banff Springs and also shared insider tips for exploring New York’s best neighbourhoods. The remaining pages of their newly over-sized issue includes interviews, photography, designer tips and must-try recipes.


Which is your favourite? Leave us a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA16.

Tickets are on sale for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 10 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Meet the National Magazine Awards nominees for:
Best New Magazine Writer
Best New Magazine Photographer
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Fiction
Single Service Article Package
Illustration

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Portrait Photography
Words & Pictures

Complete nominations coverage

Special thanks to Leah Jensen for her reporting.

NMA 2016 Nominees: Meet the finalists for Best New Magazine Photographer

The 39th annual National Magazine Awards are coming up on June 10 and the entire Canadian magazine industry is getting ready to see whose work will be recognized at this year’s gala.

It’s always exciting to see the nominees for our best new creator categories (Best New Magazine Illustrator* / Photographer and Best New Magazine Writer) as we’re exposed to some of the Canadian magazine industry’s great, emerging talent.

The finalists have been announced and this year’s jury has nominated four finalists for the Best New Photographer award. The winner will be announced at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 in Toronto.  [Tickets & Gala Info].

Tweet us your comments at @MagAwards | #NMA16.

And now, please meet your finalists for Canada’s Best New Magazine Photographer…

SexEdRevolution

Luis Mora

Luis Mora’s portrait series for Toronto Life, “The Sex Ed Revolution” focused on changes to Toronto’s sex education curriculum and featured subjects who had never been professionally photographed, and had reservations about appearing in a major magazine themselves, never mind having their children participate. Mora’s talent in disarming his subjects’ apprehensions resulted in an honest, nuanced and powerful portrait series.

“His enthusiasm, energetic personality and unwavering professionalism give Mora the exceptional ability to put inexperienced and apprehensive strangers at ease.”
– Daniel Neuhaus, Director of Photography, Toronto Life

SexEd2

Mora approached this photo essay with courage and consistency, and as a result, touched his audience with the emotion that lives just beneath the surface of his subjects, expertly portraying them with honesty and transparency.
– National Magazine Awards Jury

TL3

Luis Mora is a full-time photographer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines including Toronto Life, VICE, FSHN Unlimited, The Kit, ELLE Canada and Flare.


Maiden

Marta Iwanek

Marta Iwanek’s photo essay, “The Maidan” published in Maisonneuve, introduces us to the human element in any conflict – the collateral damage. Armed with only a camera, Iwanek travelled to Ukraine in 2014 to march alongside protestors, and amidst the backdrop of armed forces, burning buildings and explosions, was able to expose the basic human longings that are written in her subjects’ faces.

Iwanek is a brave, courageous and objective photographer who digs beneath the surface, is unafraid to pose questions and leaves us wondering how we can make this world a better place.
– Anna Minzhulina, Art Director, Maisonneuve

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Each of Iwanek’s 14 photos is powerful and emotive, and together they expertly document the enormity, confusion and emotional drama of Ukraine’s revolution. Her use of light and treatment of imagery have a stunning impact, and her coverage of this topic is a masterful achievement and stunning example of photojournalism.
– National Magazine Awards Jury

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Marta Iwanek is a Toronto-based photojournalist whose work has been published in various publications including the Canadian Press, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and Maisonneuve.


FaceTime

Hannah Eden

Hannah Eden was wandering through a city in Yellowknife, on the lookout for her next subject, when she popped her head into a carver’s studio and photographed him for “Face Time” published in Up Here. Whether the shoot is taking place on a windswept frozen lake at -40 C, amidst a cloud of summer bugs, or involves wrangling children on the tundra, Eden shows no fear when confronted with challenges.

 Hannah Eden has flown above the Arctic Circle to remote communities, driven hundreds of kilometres of roads through the southern NWT and visited far-flung fishing lodges across the North, returning with rare, compelling images and videos.
– Daniel Campbell, Associate Editor, Up Here

Hannah Eden is a graduate of the photojournalism program at Loyalist College and a multimedia photojournalist, originally from the U.K., currently living in Yellowknife.

Simple, elegant and impeccably executed, Eden’s portraits capture an exposition of truth in the faces of her subject, as she applied a concept of juxtaposition to reveal what lay beneath the surface of what’s expected. Though a brief essay, there’s an undeniably thorough and compelling visual story being told.
– National Magazine Awards Jury


Filler1

Ted Belton

Ted Belton is an anthropologist armed with a camera, whose creative vision continually proves his ability to excavate the spirit of the moment. He strays from the norm, as seen in his conception of an editorial on through to his final images, as was demonstrated in “Fringe & Fluff” for FILLER Magazine. Belton has a creative mind, inspiring attitude, passionate work ethic and is a well-respected collaborator.

Ted’s work demonstrates an exceptional eye—the eye of an artist and an art lover. Each photo he shoots wear the Belton stamp: raw and romantic. Ted turns fashion into art.
– Jennifer Lee, Editorial Director, FILLER Magazine

Showing tremendous maturity, range, precision and forethought, Belton approached his subjects with sensitivity and a keen eye, resulting in images that are saturated with depth and expressiveness. His work is at once classic, current and relevant.
– National Magazine Awards Jury

Ted Belton is a Toronto-based portrait and fashion photographer.


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

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

About the Award for Best New Magazine Photographer:
The awards for Best New Magazine Photographer and Best New Magazine Illustrator are presented to Canadian visual artists whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Submissions are open to any Canadian editorial artist with a maximum of 3 years’ professional experience in journalism. Submissions are due every year by January 15, and submitted work must have been published within the 3 years prior to the due date.

*The awards for Best New Magazine Illustrator and Best New Magazine Photographer are presented in alternating years.

Meet the National Magazine Awards nominees for:
Illustration

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Portrait Photography
Words & Pictures

Complete nominations coverage

Special thanks to Leah Jensen for her reporting.

Winners’ Circle to feature panel presentation by leading Canadian magazine professionals

On Wednesday, November 25, the NMAF will present Winners’ Circle, an exclusive learning and networking event. All National Magazine Awards finalists and winners are invited to attend the event at the Spoke Club in Toronto, 5-7pm.

Come join your magazine industry colleagues–editors, publishers, creators and more–for a fun after-work soiree, hosted by the one and only D.B. Scott, president of Impresa Communications Limited of Cambridge, Ontario, consultants to the magazine industry, and also the academic coordinator of the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson University’s Chang School. He publishes Canadian Magazines, a daily blog about the industry, and is a frequent presenter and awards judge. He was president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 1991 and was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.

D.B. will be moderating a panel discussion called “Learn & Leverage” about how magazine writers, editors and publishers can leverage their National Magazine Award to grow their businesses and careers. The panellists include:

Matthew Blackett
Matthew is the publisher and editor of Spacing, a five-time CSME Small Magazine of the Year (2007-09, 2013-14), and in 2007 he was named CSME Editor of the Year. Spacing has also won 2 National Magazine Awards and has been nominated 15 times, including 5 times for Best Single Issue of the Year, and 4 times for Best Editorial Package.

Penny Caldwell
Penny is the Publisher of Cottage Life and was Editor-in-Chief from 2000 to 2015. Cottage Life has won almost 400 awards, including CSME’s Magazine of the Year for three consecutive years, the NMAF’s Magazine of the Year and a Gold COPA for the magazine’s first interactive digital edition in 2014. In 2015, Cottage Life won the inaugural National Magazine Award for Best Magazine Brand. She has been named CSME’s Editor of the Year four times.

Katherine Laidlaw
Katherine is the associate editor of The Walrus. She has won one silver National Magazine Award and has been nominated for three others. She was previously an editor at Up Here and Reader’s Digest Canada.

 

Fast Pitch

After the panel 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 magazine editor or art director, let us know: staff@magazine-awards.com.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Winners’ Circle.

All nominees and winners from the 2015 National Magazine Awards are invited to attend. For guests outside of Toronto participation by teleconference may be available. Contact staff@magazine-awards.com to RSVP or request more information. RSVP by Nov. 13.

Join Winners’ Circle on Facebook.

Your Guide to Fall 2015 Magazine Writing Contests

Welcome to autumn, at least in the celestial sense, for tonight in the northern hemisphere is the autumnal equinox and whether or not the leaves are changing colour yet in your neighbourhood, there’s no denying that the anticipation of a new season is an inspirational moment.

We asked our Twitter followers how the changing seasons inspired them to get in a writing mood.

Our thrice-annual magazine contest guide is back with the Fall 2015 edition (see Winter/Spring and Summer, too). These contests are presented by Canadian magazines or magazine-related associations, and open to Canadian writers and photographers. Unless otherwise indicated, these contests are open to unpublished works only.

As always, the list below may be incomplete. Leave a comment here or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards #WritingContest if you know of any we missed. The contests in our Fall 2015 edition are organized by deadline date, from September 22 to December 31.

The Puritan Thomas Morton Memorial Prize
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 7500 words)
Deadline: September 30, 2015 October 10, 2015
Prizes: $1000 + publication + $900 book prize pack
Entry Fee: $15
Detailshttp://puritan-magazine.com/submissions/

Up Here Photo Contest
Categories: Grand Prize; Science & Nature; Travel & Adventure; Arts & Culture; People & History
Deadline: October 16, 2015
Prizes: Nikon 7200 HD-SLR + lens (Grand Prize winner); subscriptions for winners in each of 4 categories; publication
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://uphere.ca/photocontest
Note: Contest open to all Canadians; photographs must be of Canada’s North

Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) Phoenix Short Story Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: October 25, 2015
Prizes: $750 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20
Detailshttp://wcdr.ca/wcdr/contest/

The Malahat Review Open Season Awards
Genres: Poetry; Fiction; Creative Non-fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2015
Prizes: $1500 to the winner in each section + publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $15 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/open_season/info.html

CBC Canada Writes Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2015
Prizes: $6000 + Banff Centre Residency + Publication in enRoute & CBCBooks.ca (1st prize); $1000 for each of 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/shortstory/

Humber Literary Review Fiction Contest
Genre: Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: November 15, 2015
Prizes: $250 + Workshop Placement (1st); $250 (2nd); $100 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Details: http://humberliteraryreview.com/submissions

PRISM International Creative Non-fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: November 20, 2015
Prizes: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $5 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
Note: PRISM’s poetry and short fiction contests will have a deadline of Jan 15, 2016

Plenitude Emerging Writer Mentorship Award
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (max 4000 words)
Deadline: November 27, 2015
Prize: Mentorship + publication
Entry Fee: $20 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://plenitudemagazine.ca/emerging-writer-mentorship-award/

Prairie Fire Creative Writing Contests
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 10,000 words); Creative Non-fiction (max 5000 words)
Deadline: November 30, 2015
Prizess: $1250 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $32 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.prairiefire.ca/contests/

Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Creative Writing Contest
Genres: Poetry; Creative Non-fiction (max 2000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2015
Prize: $300 + print publication (1st); $75 + online publication (honourable mention)
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://briarpatchmagazine.com/writingcontest

The Fiddlehead 25th annual Literary Contest
Genres: Poetry (up to 3 poems); Fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2015
Prizes: $2000 + publication (1st); $250 each to 2 honourable mention
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.thefiddlehead.ca/FHcontest.html

Rhubarb magazine contests
Genres: Fiction; Poetry; Essays
Deadline: December 15, 2015
Prize: $500 + publication
Entry Fee: $30; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.rhubarbmag.com/submit-or-enter/contests/

Hamilton Readers & Writers Festival gritLIT Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction, Poetry
Deadline: December 15, 2015
Prizes: $200 (1st); $100 (2nd); $50 (3rd); publication in anthology; author pass to gritLIT event
Entry Fee: $20
Detailshttp://www.gritlit.ca/submissions/

Freefall Prose & Poetry Contests
Genres: Poetry (max 5 poems); Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $75 (3rd); $25 (HM); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); additional entries $5 each
Detailshttp://www.freefallmagazine.ca/contest.html


Did we miss one? Send us a note or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the fall as more contests are announced. Find more awards, prizes and contests for magazine journalism on the Awards and Contests pages of this blog.

To see what’s on the horizon for 2016, check out:
Your Guide to Winter/Spring Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Summer Magazine Writing Contests

For a comprehensive guide to submitting to literary publications in Canada, check out:
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines

NMA 2015 Nominees: Best Words & Pictures in Canadian Magazines

It’s Magazine Week in Toronto, and this Friday, concluding the week of events, is the 38th annual 38th annual National Magazine Awards. The nominees have been announced, and among the awards to be presented is Words & Pictures, sponsored by CDS Global, the presenting sponsor of the National Magazine Awards gala.

Gold and silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

Here are the 7 nominees this year for Words & Pictures.

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Laura deCarufel, Editor
Elena Viltovskaia, Art Director
Geoffrey Ross, Photographer
Contributors: Brittany Eccles, Noreen Flanagan, Charlotte Herrold
Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Trend Report
ELLE Canada

Simple text and a white background allow runway photos to command the reader’s attention while leading the narrative of Fall/Winter trends. Fun cultural visual cues help set the mood for the styles presented in the piece.


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Lisa Cook, Editor
Marcey Andrews, Art Director
John Ulan, Photographer
Rick Pilger, Bridget Sterling, Writers
Contributors: Curtis Gillespie, Christie Hutchison, Sarah Pratt, Scott Rollans, Tobie Smith, Joyce Yu
The Face of a Century
New Trail

This project craftily provides insight into the lives of 100 graduates by using telling life snippets. As addictive as Twitter or Reddit, the combination of words and picture carry the reader through the piece, while using longer bios to set an engaging pace.

Nicolas Langelier, Rédacteur
Pierre-Yves Cezard, Photographe
Rémy Bordillon, Auteur
La pointe des utopies
Nouveau Projet

The hand-drawn, graphic-novel style speaks to the intimacy of this organic storyline of a community coming together to protect artist space within their neighbourhood during a time of gentrification. The use of colour enhances the narrative tone along with that of the image.

Leah Rumack, Katie Dupuis, Writers, Editors
Alicia Kowalewski, Art Director
John Cullen, Photographer
Contributors: Jessica Albano, Virginie Martocq, Eshun Mott
A Mad Hatter Easter Picnic
Today’s Parent

In this party-planning guide, playful photographs bring recipes to life by creating scenes in which the food can live. Tablet extras and template links create a third layer of content that elevates the piece beyond the page.

Sarah Fulford, Angie Gardos, Mark Pupo, Editors
Christine Dewairy, Art Director
Photographers: Peter Andrew, Daniel Ehrenworth, Dave Gillespie, Kagan McLeod, Luis Meca, Daniel Neuhaus, Vicky Lam, Markian Lozowchuk, Joanne Ratajczak
Contributors: Matthew Hague, Rachel Heinrichs, Bronwen Jervis, Malcolm Johnston, Simon Lewsen, Emily Landau, Frances McInnes, Rebecca Philps, Philip Preville, Kelly Pullen, Alec Scott, Nathan Whitlock
Reasons to Love Toronto
Toronto Life

This collage of images indulges the reader in a listicle that reminds readers how cool living in Toronto can be. The piece allows for the dominance of image and word with proportional importance while examining how the food, business, leisure and sports industries have evolved to make the city better. The collaboration of contributors put together a list that praises how the residents and developments in certain neighbourhoods are changing both the physical and cultural landscape.

Kyle Carsten Wyatt, Editor
Brian Morgan, Art Director
Larry Towell, Photographer
Louise Bernice Halfe, Writer
In Attawapiskat
The Walrus

A raw look at the reality of a reserve in Northern Canada, “In Attawapiskat” is a story told with a literary stillness and patience that also resonates through the stark realness of the accompanying photo essay. A link to further, online content allows the reader to get deeper into issue.

Matthew Mallon, Editor
John Pekelsky, Art Director
Angela Gzowski, Photographer
Ashleigh Gaul, Writer
Between the Lines
Up Here

Stunning portraits and archival stills of women proudly bearing Inuit face tattoos accompanies a well-researched history of the tradition in this story about the experiences of the modern Inuit population practicing this ritual today.


Which do you think is most deserving of the award for Words & Pictures? Tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

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

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

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her research.