One of the most exciting awards each year at the National Magazine Awards gala is that of Best New Magazine Writer, sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation. This award, including a cash prize of $500, goes to a writer whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year, our judges have nominated three finalists, one of whom will be named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer at the awards gala on June 7.
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And the nominees are…
Chris Hampton, for “The Place Where Art Sleeps” (Maisonneuve)
Chris Hampton is completing graduate studies in journalism at Ryerson University. He has contributed to Maisonneuve, the National Post, Chart Attack, and The Huffington Post.
What the judges said about it: “In evocative and entertaining prose, Chris Hampton takes the reader on a visual journey to a cloistered world where some of art’s greatest treasures lie hidden from public view. With a keen eye for detail, he makes the underground realm of high art accessible and fascinating.”
Sierra Skye Gemma, for “The Wrong Way” (The New Quarterly)
Sierra Skye Gemma is an award-winning writer and journalist. Her story “The Wrong Way” was the winner of The New Quarterly 2012 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.
What the judges said: “With a fresh voice and a strong command of style and structure, Sierra Skye Gemma digs ever deeper into the story of a lost life, writing with both edginess and verve in this meditation on the process of grieving. A terrific example of personal exposition, her story is powerful and lasting.”
May Jeong, for “The Cult of Pastor Song” (Toronto Life)
May Jeong is a graduate of the University of Toronto and now is a freelance reporter who has written for The Globe and Mail, Reuters, The New York Times and Toronto Life, among others. She lives in Kabul, Afghanistan.
What the judges said: “Fearless reporting characterizes this investigative exposé from May Jeong, who gains exclusive access to multiple sources as she pieces together a controversial narrative of fraud and sexual abuse. Immersing herself in a difficult story, she shows real courage and great promise as a writer.”