Best New Magazine Writer: Nominees for the 2018 National Magazine Awards

The nominees for the 41st National Magazine Awards have been announced, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, and more to the gala on June 1st. [Tickets]

Among the most coveted and special of the National Magazine Awards is Best New Magazine Writer. Each year our judges are tasked with choosing from an astounding array of passionate and intelligent creators carving their way into a rewarding career. The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000.

We are proud to recognize excellence by emerging Canadian magazine writers. Here are the nominees for Best New Magazine Writer:

HADIYA RODERIQUE

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Dating While Black
The Walrus
Hadiya Roderique’s examination of online dating details problems in our supposedly “post-racial” world. Looking to receive more messages on dating sites, Roderique gets extreme. With a hunch that the colour of her skin is the reason for so few messages, she has a white friend act as her body-double. Later, still curious, she photoshops her own skin lighter. Both cede more results. By using her own experience to ask big questions of the online dating industry, Roderique is able to point fingers where some may not want them to be pointed.

“Few writers have had a faster start out of the gate. With her broad life experiences—just ask her how she spends her weekends—Hadiya has much to contribute to Canada’s journalistic community.” – Samia Madwar, Managing Editor, The Walrus

Hadiya Roderique is a lawyer, writer, speaker and the co-host of Commons, a political podcast. She is also a Ph.D candidate in the department of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Her research examines gender and racial diversity in the workplace.

JESSICA ROSE

Lost and FoundScreen Shot 2018-05-08 at 2.11.25 PM.png
Toronto Life
Jessica Rose tells an unpredictable tale of reunion in her piece “Lost and Found.” From the first thought of searching for her biological parents to the resulting relationships (and lack thereof), she takes the reader through painstaking waiting periods and surprising turns alike. The resulting piece is a master personal narrative that is detailed, relatable, and honest.

“We knew it was a story we needed to publish. When she filed her piece, we were delighted to discover that Jessica’s talents as a writer matched her aptitude for design. Her piece is lucid, lively and gutwrenchingly honest, packed with compelling characters and vivid scenes and candid self-reflection.” – Emily Landau, Senior Editor, Toronto Life

Jessica Rose is an editorial art director, visual storyteller, and artist. Formerly the art director of Tatler and Toronto Life, her graphic artwork has been featured in Elle Collections, Frieze, and The Sunday Times Magazine, where she is a regular contributor from cover artwork to illustrating a weekly visual column. She is currently the art director of Wallpaper* and the author and graphic artist of a design book about everyday objects for Lawrence King.

JUSTIN DALLAIRE

Fall from Grace
Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 2.24.17 PM.pngUnited Church Observer
When Justin Dallaire read Don Hume’s letter to the United Church Observer detailing a drug addiction that began in his 60’s, he thought he would be writing a story of redemption. It turned out to be not so simple. When Dallaire visits Hume in B.C. a new story unravels. It is revealed the former minister still uses drugs on occasion, and Hume’s story seems to change by the day. What results is a complicated story of addiction, truth and salvation.

“In the hands of a less skilled writer, the story would have fallen apart of attempted to put Hume on trial. But Dallaire embraces the grey areas of Hume’s narrative. He used his subject’s confounding character and his own struggle to really know Hume as literary devices in his storytelling.”
– Jocelyn Bell, Editor and Publisher, United Church Observer

Justin Dallaire is a graduate of Ryerson University, where he studied journalism. He is currently a reporter at Strategy Online. You can read his work in the United Church Observer, the National Post, TVO and the Ryerson Review of Journalism

CHRISTOPHER ELLIOT

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 1.52.28 PM.pngWay, Way off the Rails in Mauritania 
Outpost
Christopher Elliot takes the reader along on a risky, dusty adventure in this recount of his travels in the Sahara. The story tells of his successful attempt at riding atop the iron-ore train of Zoureat. With expert detail, he is able to paint the world as he saw it and invite readers to see it, too. From Phil Collins and tea to the struggle to communicate in other languages and dialects, Elliot demonstrates how colonialism has made it to the desert but manages to keep and create its own traditions.

“Chris pitched this story to Outpost fully completed and submitted—it landed on our desk in a very professional order (concise, well written, limited editing). The photographs to accompany the story were also produced by him.”
– Deborah Sanborn, Editor-in-Chief, Outpost

Christopher Elliott is an Australian-Canadian writer and anthropologist. He served in the Australian Army and studied Arabic, French and anthropology to the master’s level before moving to the fjords of British Columbia. He has written on conflict and war crimes for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Small Wars Journal and the Sydney Morning Herald. His magazine feature writing on travel and the outdoors has appeared in Alpinist, Mountain Life and Outpost.

JULIAN BRAVE NOISECAT

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The Tribal Canoe Journey
Canadian Geographic

Since 1993, in conjunction with the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, the Qatuwas, or “people gathering together,” has taken place annually. Now called the Tribal Canoe Journey, the trans-national voyage on the Salish Sea to “reclaim tradition and territory” has also been a way for the writer to relate to his father. Julian Brave NoiseCat uses personal and political anecdotes to tell this story of history and connection.

“I want to be an honest man and a good writer.” That’s the last line of Julian Brave NoiseCat’s website. There are few goals more laudable that the former, few more challenging than the latter. When it comes to his writing, however, Julian is well on his way.”
– Aaron Kylie, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Geographic

Julian Brave NoiseCat works as a policy analyst at 350.org. You can read his work in The Guardian as well as the CBC, Vice, Jacobin, Fusion, HuffPost, Indian Country Today, The Marshall Project, Salon, High Country News, and Canadian Geographic. 


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer will be announced on June 1st at the 41st NMA Gala in Toronto. The award includes a cash prize of $1,000.

Tickets are on sale now.
Check out all the nominees for the 41st National Magazine Awards.
Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA18

Magazine of the Year: 5 Nominees for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards


There are more than a thousand magazines in Canada, and each begins with a premise of delighting, surprising, and serving the needs of a community of readers. Whether they cover business or fashion, sports or food, poetry or investigative journalism, city life or international news, Canadian magazines succeed when they pursue top-quality storytelling, compelling design and packaging, innovation, and an awareness of their brand’s relationship to current and future readers.
The NMAF’s judges considered magazines from across the country for our most prestigious award, according to rigorous criteria of quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness, relative to each magazine’s editorial mandate.
The nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards have been announced, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]
Here are the 5 finalists the National Magazine Award: Magazine of the Year:


Cottage Life

Penny Caldwell, publisher
Michelle Kelly, editor
Kim Zagar, art director
Published by: Blue Ant Media
Cottage Life’s mission is to enhance and preserve the quality of cottage living, for cottagers whose cottages range from simple, off-grid-cabins to luxurious getaways. Strong how-to and service stories, inspiring ideas and tips, and engaging features about interesting cottagers allows the magazine to entertain and inspire.

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Cottage Life is also nominated for a 40th anniversary National Magazine Award in the categories of One of a Kind and Service Journalism. Penny Caldwell, publisher of Cottage Life and former editor-in-chief, has been named this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award winner for her innovative and creative contributions to the Canadian magazine industry.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, readership, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its audience, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, the stories educate and delight, and the packaging is alluring and inspires its readers to action.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Explore

Brad Liski, publisher
David Webb, editor
Aaron Yates, art director
Published by: My Passion Media
Explore is dedicated to publishing the best of outdoor adventure, seeking rich stories of outdoor recreation and adventure travel produced by authentic voices. Within their wide range of content, the magazine aims to always include an element of exploration in the outdoors.

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Explore magazine has an extensive record of National Magazine Awards; dating back to 2001, the magazine has won 56 National Magazine Awards among more than 150 nominations. This is the third time the publication has been nominated for Magazine of the Year, having also been a finalist in 2002 and 2006.

With remarkable strength and clarity in packaging travel features, practical how-to guides, gear reviews, and more, Explore is that rare magazine in which every page engages the core audience. Its content is accessible, its writers dig deep into their stories, and its no surprise that the magazine’s readership is growing fast.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Nouveau Projet

Nicolas Langelier, publisher and editor-in-chief
Jean-François Proulx, art director
Published by: Atelier 10
Nouveau Projet is a culture and society magazine, aiming to stimulate and nurture public debate through curious, sincere, and deep-seated articles. Though the magazine is only five years old, it isn’t new to the Magazine of the Year award. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Montreal-based publication has been a finalist for Magazine of the Year, winning in 2015 and taking Honourable Mention in 2014 and 2016.

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Nouveau Project is also nominated for a total of 8 awards this year, including Essays, Fiction, Poetry, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, and Best Words & Pictures.

In the quality of its writing, visual content and design, Nouveau Projet is simply mind-blowing. The magazine surprises and delights readers with big ideas, fresh and original journalism, and beautiful illustrations that complete a thoughtful aesthetic. The magazine’s commitment to developing a strong community of readers is laudatory.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Ricardo

Brigitte Coutu, publisher
Laura Osborne, editor-in-chief
Caroline Blanchette, Lydia Moscato, art directors
Published by: Ricardo Média
Ricardo engages readers as a magazine brimming with delicious, affordable, and simple recipes, aiming to gather friends and family around the table. With their national distribution, they strive to put cooking within reach from coast to coast.

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Since 2011 Ricardo has been awarded three Gold Medals and nine Honourable Mentions at the National Magazine Awards. This year – aside from the prestigious Magazine of the Year award–Ricardo has been nominated in five categories. Photos of irresistible chocolate desserts earned photographer David de Stefano a nomination in the category of Lifestyle Photography, while colourful images of strawberry-themed desserts earned the artistic team at Ricardo a nomination for Best Magazine Cover. Other nominations include Best Service Editorial Package and Best Words and Pictures.

Ricardo is an authoritative magazine and media brand that feels alive and energetic with innovation, now reaching beyond Quebec to the rest of Canada. The food photography is top-notch, the branded merchandise is exemplary, and the service it provides to readers sets the standard for lifestyle magazines.
National Magazine Awards Jury


The Kit Compact

Giorgina Bigioni, publisher
Laura deCarufel
, editor-in-chief
Jessica Hotson, art director
Published by: Star Media Group
The Kit Compact was launched in September 2015 with the goal of offering Toronto millennials Canada’s most compelling beauty and fashion content. The magazine celebrates fascinating style personalities and features a diverse array of real women, using the power of digital, print, and social to tell rich, engaging, multi-platform stories.

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The Kit Compact is a first-time NMA nominee, and they’re starting off strong with a nomination for the prestigious Magazine of the Year Award. Aside from that, The Kit Compact is also nominated for Portrait Photography, for “Deep Impact” (created collaboratively by photographer Luis Mora, art director Jessica Hotson, and editor Rani Sheen), in which six Toronto women “showcase the boss possibilities of black makeup.”

At the intersection of fashion, feminism, and the millennial generation, the new Kit Compact feels like the perfect breakout magazine for 2017. With a successful distribution strategy, robust digital and social platforms, and a commitment to supporting emerging artists and designers, it’s a magazine of profound energy and creativity.
National Magazine Awards Jury


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.
Can’t make it. Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards where we’ll be live-tweeting all of the awards announcements.
Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

Magazine of the Year Cottage Life on special display at Chapters Indigo

When the lights came up on the final prize of the 2013 National Magazine Awards, the 500 gala guests at The Carlu and the thousands following the show on Twitter leaned in to hear the following words: “The winner of the award for Magazine of the Year: Cottage Life.”
This month and next, you can find the latest issue of Canada’s Magazine of the Year on a special display at 91 Chapters and Indigo superstores across Canada, alongside many other National Magazine Award-winning titles as part of a new promotional partnership between the NMAF and Indigo Books & Music, Inc. This promotion is made possible in part, through funding from the Ontario Media Development CorporationContinue reading “Magazine of the Year Cottage Life on special display at Chapters Indigo”

Announcing the Nominees for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards


The National Magazine Awards Foundation is pleased to announce the nominees for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.
Complete List of Nominees [PDF]*
Press Release: English | Français
Gala Info & Tickets
* Credit Changes due by May 7
Winners will be revealed at the annual National Magazine Awards gala on Friday, June 6, at The Carlu in Toronto.
For Magazine of the Year, the three finalists are:

From the best Canadian magazines across the country, this year’s jury selected 3 finalists for the prestigious award for Magazine of the Year: Azure, Cottage Life and Nouveau Projet.

For Magazine Website of the Year, the three finalists are:
Hazlitt, Maclean’s, Torontoist.
For Tablet Magazine of the Year, the three finalists are:
Canadian Business, Sportsnet, The Hockey News.
For Best New Magazine Writer, the three finalists are:
Suzannah Showler (Maisonneuve), Liz Windhorst Harmer (The New Quarterly), Catherine McIntyre (This Magazine).
For Best Magazine Cover, the ten finalists are:
BCBusiness, Chatelaine, Fashion Magazine, L’actualité, Maclean’s, Report on Business (2), Toronto Life, subTerrain, Western Living.
For Best Single Issue, the eight finalists are:
Azure, Cottage Life, depict Magazine, Rotman Management, Spacing, The Grid, Toronto Life, The Walrus.
For Art Direction of an Entire Issue, the six finalists are:
Canadian Business, Flare, fshnunlimited (f.u.), Nouveau Projet, Prefix Photo, The Walrus.
In a new category for Infographics, the nine finalists are:
Alberta Construction, Maclean’s, Sportsnet, The Grid (5), Toronto Life.
View all finalists | PDF
 
Top nominated magazines for the 37th National Magazine Awards:

Magazine Written Integrated Visual Special Total
The Walrus 24 3 8 0 35
L’actualité 20 2 1 0 23
Report on Business 10 4 7 0 21
Maclean’s 11 6 0 1 18
Toronto Life 9 6 3 0 18
Maisonneuve 8 0 5 1 14
The Grid 3 8 3 0 14
Cottage Life 7 2 3 1 13
Eighteen Bridges 11 0 0 0 11
Sportsnet 7 2 0 1 10
Hazlitt 8 1 0 1 10

Five magazines are nominated for National Magazine Award for the first time: Alberta Construction Magazine, depict Magazine, fshnunlimited (f.u.), Little Brother Magazine, and Quatre-Temps. 
 
WRITING AWARDS
There are 24 categories for magazine writing. Curtis Gillespie leads all individual finalists with five nominations in written categories for his work in Eighteen Bridges and Western Living. Nicholas Hune-Brown is nominated four times for written work in Toronto Life, Reader’s Digest and The Grid, followed by Jonathan Trudel, Catherine Dubé, Eric Reguly, Ray Ford and Charles Wilkins, who garnered three nominations each. View all finalists | PDF
VISUAL AWARDS
There are 12 categories for visual content (photograph, illustration, art direction, web design). The Grid’s art director, Vanessa Wyse, is nominated five times in the new Infographics category and three times for Best Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article. In addition, photographer Chris Nicholls is nominated five times for his work for FASHION Magazine and Dress to Kill, while art director Domenic Macri secured four nominations on behalf of Report of BusinessView all finalists | PDF
INTEGRATED AWARDS
There are 7 categories for integrated magazine content, including Words & Pictures, Single Service Article Package, Online Video, Editorial Package-Web, Infographics, Magazine Covers, and Best Single Issue. View all finalists | PDF
FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
As announced on April 30, the winner of the 2014 NMAF Award for Outstanding Achievement is Kim Jernigan, longtime editor of The New Quarterly and veteran champion of literary magazines in Canada. Read more.
37th NMA GALA
nma2013-4
Gold and Silver awards will be handed down on June 6 in 24 written categories, 12 visual categories and 7 integrated categories. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mentions. Winners will also be celebrated in 5 special categories: Outstanding Achievement, Best New Magazine Writer, Magazine Website of the Year, Tablet Magazine of the Year, and Magazine of the Year.
Gold award winners in written, visual and integrated categories (except Best Single Issue) receive a cash prize of $1000; Silver winners $500. The winner of Best New Magazine Writer receives a cash prize of $500.
Tickets
CREDIT CHANGES
Email us at staff[at]magazine-awards.com to request any credit changes to your nomination. The deadline for credit changes is May 7.
THANK YOU!
A grand thank you to all of our judges who evaluated this year’s entries to the National Magazine Awards. From nearly 2000 individual entries nationwide, the NMAF’s 238 volunteer judges nominated a total of 376 submissions from 92 different Canadian magazines for awards in 48 written, visual, integrated and special categories.
FOLLOW THE NOMINEES
Subscribe to the Magazine Awards blog for frequent updates and profiles of nominees during the month leading up to the NMA gala on June 6. Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/MagAwards) and Twitter (@MagAwards) for photos, news and more.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise.The 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala is presented by CDS Global. The NMAF thanks its corporate sponsors Accenture, GE Canada, Manulife Financial and RBC for their generous financial support of the event.
Tickets are on sale now at magazine-awards.com.

Going for Gold: How to win a National Magazine Award

At last June’s MagNet magazines conference in Toronto, a golden panel of industry experts gathered to present a session called “Going for Gold: How to Create Award-Winning Content,” moderated by Deborah Rosser, president of Rosser & Associates.

The panellists were:

  • Carole Beaulieu, publisher and editor-in-chief of L’actualité, winner of more than 50 National Magazine Awards since she became EIC in 1998;
  • Sarah Fulford, editor-in-chief of Toronto Life, the most-nominated magazine at last year’s NMAs and former winner of Magazine of the Year (2007);
  • David Hayes, freelance writer (nominated for 14 NMAs during his career, winning a gold and a silver award) and member of the board of directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF);
  • Domenic Macri, art director at Report on Business and winner of 6 NMAs for his design and creative direction;
  • Patrick Walsh, editor-in-chief and brand manager of Outdoor Canada, winner of 21 National Magazine Awards since 1987, and former president of the NMAF.

Risk and Reward: The moderator began by asking each of the panellists to present the story of a challenging piece that won a National Magazine Award, and what lessons they took from the experience.

2008_torontolife2Sarah Fulford spoke about how breaking the rules helped Toronto Life to a surprise NMA win for best magazine cover of 2008. Sarah said she and her then art director Jessica Rose, whom she hired with this specific challenge in mind, took big risks on a cover about gun violence in Toronto, as they bucked the conventions for cover design with small cover lines and other elements reflecting thinking outside the box. The issue sold well on the newsstand and also impressed the NMA judges that year, as they gave it a Gold.

Domenic Macri spoke in a similar vein about a magazine cover that won Gold the following year, 2009, at the NMAs. The Julie Dickson cover presented a challenge because the editors had agreed not to put her portrait on the magazine cover. Domenic showed the audience several of his drafts and mockups that he went through on his way to finally developing the final cover, saying that what he learned from the experience was although there are certain elements required of a good cover, “you don’t have to take the same approach all the time. I think we won the award because we came up with new directions, and because of the words.”

David Hayes mentioned an episode from 1990 when a feature story he’d written for Toronto Life wasn’t entered for an NMA that year, and after talking with his editor, who said he wasn’t able to enter the piece that year due to budget constraints, he learned that he could enter the NMAs himself. Several years later he took that experience to heart when he again discovered that an editor wouldn’t enter his story, so he entered it himself and it ended up winning Gold. “You never know what the jury will decide,” he reminded the audience, “so as a writer if you are proud of your work you should enter it.”

Patrick Walsh described the story of a controversial article he commissioned about the death of a hunter in Newfoundland, called “Another Fine Day Afield.” As an editor he felt that the story hadn’t been covered well in other media, and though it would be a legal, financial and editorial challenge to pursue the story for Outdoor Canada, he decided to take the risk. The risk paid off when the magazine story he published was picked up by CBC’s The Fifth Estate and NBC’s Inside Edition, and his writer Charles Wilkins won a Gold National Magazine Award in Sports & Recreation.

Carole Beaulieu also touted the benefits of taking risks and believing in the work you produce. She talked about a piece from last year she commissioned from a writer about Pauline Marois. Although Quebec news had been saturated with stories about the premier, Carole felt there was room for more if they could find the right angle and give it the right depth. She sent her writer to spend time with Mdm Marois at her hairdresser’s, achieving a kind of intimate portrait not yet seen, and L’actualité created a newsprint insert–what it is now calling a “mini-book” and making a semi-regular feature for the magazine–to accommodate the 16-page story. And at this year’s NMAs, “L’éttoffe d’un premier ministre,” by journalist Noémi Mercier, won Gold in Profiles.

Quote-Unquote: On the significance of winning a National Magazine Award and why we strive for award-winning content.

Sarah: “An award is useful for communicating to our stakeholders that we are successful. It adds momentum to what we do every day at the magazine… We create content to satisfy our readers, not to win awards. But it is our creators who get the awards and the cash prize, and for an editor, that’s an honour.”

David: “As writers, what we have is our reputation, and what we create should stand on its own. Awards are a feather in your cap, not the cap itself.”

Patrick: “We won because the story was beautifully written, because it was longform [5000 words]… We also took risks and winning the award was a measure of that.”

Carole: “I think we should always believe in what we do. Successful magazine stories have that ‘wow’ factor, and with everything we do we try to achieve that. You know that story matters, that content matters. If you believe you achieved success then you should enter, because then you’ll know if your peers [the jury] agree; that it made them say, ‘wow.'”

The Bottom Line: The moderator asked each panellist to distill one piece of advice for winning a National Magazine Award.

Domenic: Strive for strong collaboration between editorial and art in creating your content. Success is a product of a strong team.

Carole: Don’t take things too seriously. Trust your instincts and never give up on a great story.

Sarah: The most successful pieces are the ones where the creators were passionate and took risks.

Patrick: Be strategic, because the more you enter the more you are likely to win. If your aim is to win awards then enter as much as you can.

David: Advice to writers: write well. And advice to editors: hire writers who write well.

In Summary: Accept challenges, take risks, think differently, be passionate, find (or be) the best creator, work together, never give up on a good story, believe in your work and enter as much as you can. That, and always strive for the ‘wow’ factor! 

On behalf of the Canadian magazine industry, thank you to the panellists for sharing your wisdom.

Related posts:
Off the Page, with Patrick Walsh
National Magazine Award-winning Covers, 2007-2010
Winners of the 36th National Magazine Awards

More:
Award-winning work in the National Magazine Awards archive
National Magazine Awards digital Gold Book (free)