Categories Announced for the 43rd National Magazine Awards

The 43rd Annual Category Lineup for the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF is pleased to announce the lineup of categories for the 2020 National Magazine Awards. The revised program features 29 categories, including one brand new category. We’ve also re-named Best New Magazine Writer to Best Emerging Writer, making slight changes to the submissions and eligibility requirements. Check out the full details here

Writing and Visual Awards: 

  1. Long-form Feature Writing: 6000+ *NEW*
  2. Long-Form Feature Writing
  3. Feature Writing
  4. Short Feature Writing
  5. Columns
  6. Essays
  7. Investigative Reporting
  8. Fiction
  9. Personal Journalism
  10. Poetry
  11. Profiles
  12. Service Journalism
  13. Best Emerging Writer
  14. Illustration (including Spot and Photo Illustration)
  15. Portrait Photography
  16. Lifestyle Photography
  17. Photo Essay and Photojournalism
  18. One of a Kind Storytelling

Editorial Awards:

19. Art Direction of a Single Article
20. Best Editorial Package
21. Art Direction Grand Prix
22. Editor Grand Prix
23. Cover Grand Prix
24. Issue Grand Prix
25. Publisher Grand Prix

Grand Prix: Best Magazine Awards

26. Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest
27. Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle
28. Best Magazine: Art, Literary, & Culture
29. Best Magazine: Special Interest

The NMAF will present the winners of the Magazine Grand Prix award and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 2020 gala, taking place in Spring 2020 in Toronto. 

If you’re interested in submitting to the 2020 NMAs, note that the call for entries open on December 2nd, 2019 and closes on January 22nd, 2020. To save on fees, get your entries in by the early bird deadline of January 15th, 2020. 

Our Freelancer Support Fund and Small Magazine Rebate will be available once again this year, ensuring that our awards recognize the best work from a broad range of Canadian creators and magazines. 

Call for Judges

The 43rd Annual Call for Judges for the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s National Magazine Awards. Our website has all of the information on our judging process and how to be a juror. Interested? Send an email to staff@magazine-awards.com with a few sentences outlining your professional experience.

October 2019

As the 2020 awards season gears up, the NMAF is now welcoming applications for judges for the National Magazine Awards, Digital Publishing Awards, and National Magazine Awards: B2B.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its mission;
  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards, Digital Publishing Awards, or National Magazine Awards: B2B;
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award, Digital Publishing Award, or National Magazine Award: B2B yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA, DPA, or NMA: B2B categories (such as photojournalism, service, arts & culture, fiction, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Professionals and leaders from related cultural sectors, including the visual arts (film and television), the literary arts (book writing & publishing) and the performing arts (theatre, music);
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

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

Judging will take place during February and March 2020. For more information, or to nominate a peer to the jury, contact us at staff@magazine-awards.com.

We’re proud to have had some of the finest Canadian journalists and experts serve on our past juries.


Alicia Elliott headshot

It was such an enriching experience to be a judge for the NMAs. Being able to appreciate the work of my peers, and discuss their work with the other judges, made me feel like even more a part of the literary community that has supported and nourished me. — Alicia Elliott, award-winning Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River, Brantford, ON.

Luc Rinaldi headshot

Getting your hands on a B2B magazine can be tricky if you don’t belong to a particular profession. As an NMA: B2B judge, I had the pleasure of reading new publications and discovering the rich journalistic and artistic talent behind them. — Luc Rinaldi, senior editor, Pivot magazine, Toronto, ON.

Dawn Chafe headshot

I enjoy the process because it gives me the opportunity to contribute both individually and collectively. Entering my own scores for each entry validates the time I spend reviewing and assessing each submission; discussing my assessments with the other judges during our conference call provides the opportunity to weigh the value of those assessments against the opinions of other industry experts and (on occasion) to argue in favour of work which I feel may have been undervalued.
Dawn Chafe, executive editor, Atlantic Business Magazine, St. John’s, NL.

It’s a great honour to judge the NMAs and see some of the best magazine work happening in Canada. I love editorial design and it’s wonderful when some of the winning entries are small, independent publications that understand great design is integral to their success. — Fidel Peña, creative director and co-founder of Underline Studio, Toronto, ON.

Arjun Basu headshot

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

Kim Pittaway headshot

The NMAs focus on creators, the people who are create the work that makes everything else possible. Given all of the challenges that creators face in earning a living, participating in a process that recognizes and rewards their efforts is, I think, important and valuable work.
Kim Pittaway, former editor, Chatelaine, and journalism teacher, Dartmouth, NS.

Stephen Trumper headshot

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

Kim Jernigan headshot

 I think the NMAs themselves are a valuable measure of the accomplishments of Canadian magazine writers and editors. As to the process, we were given sufficient time and a workable structure both leading up to and in the conversation itself. My fellow judges offered interesting insights into the work considered and the process was both engaged and congenial.
Kim Jernigan, former editor, The New Quarterly, Waterloo, ON.

Ossie Michelin headshot

Volunteering as a judge with the National Media Awards was a great experience, it really gave me a chance to see the depth and variety of voices being published in Canadian magazines right now, this flourishing of diverse perspectives and thoughts make right now a very exciting time for Canadian media. — Ossie Michelin, award-winning Inuk journalist and activist from the community of North West River, Labrador.

D.B. Scott headshot

Having been involved since the 1980s, as a board member, president (1991) a member of a special review committee (Strategic Speculation) and a frequent judge, I have a real investment in the event. What I like most of all is the emphasis the awards have nurtured of rewarding the effort of individual creators (rather than the publications, which get to bask in the reflected glory anyway.) Some no longer seem to value, or understand, this. But it is one of the things which makes the MagAwards special.
D.B. Scott, publisher, Canadian Magazines blog, Cambridge, ON.


The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in December for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines and publishing in 2019.

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


Intern with the NMAF

The NMAF is excited to embark upon the 2019 to 2020 awards season, and we’re looking for an excellent intern to tag along on the adventure. 

We’ve crafted our internship to check all of the boxes: a flexible schedule (the majority of the work can be completed remotely), the opportunity to get an inside look at the Canadian media industry and the NMAF’s operations, and the chance to enhance your communications, publicity, and event planning skillset. 

“The NMAF internship is a great opportunity for anyone starting out in the media, publishing, or PR industry. I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to make some excellent contacts while working for the NMAF”  – Krista Robinson, 2016-17 intern 

Day-to-day, the intern will assist with administrative tasks—you’ll help us sort submissions, and prepare for one of Canada’s most esteemed cultural events—the National Magazine Awards gala. You’ll also have the opportunity to make a great first impression on writers, editors, publishers, and other members of the industry, making this internship a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone interested in the field of magazine writing or publishing.

“I think the internship broke down the industry into bite-sized pieces and made it seem less daunting. Working with a small team helped me see how other small editorial and similar teams manage to produce all that they do. Overall everyone I spoke to/ emailed/ interacted with were pleasant and excited about making quality Canadian magazines. (…) Working with the NMAF introduced me to countless future editors, co-workers, and collaborators.”  – Stephanie Philp, 2017-18 intern

Applications are due September 18th, 2019*. Here is the full job posting. When submitting your application, please be sure to include a cover letter, resume, and reference letter.

For the NMAF’s most up-to-date news, follow us on Twitter and visit us on Facebook.

* Please note that the application deadline has been extended to September 23rd, 2019.

Announcing the Winners of the 42nd Annual National Magazine Awards

Our team is proud to reveal the Canadian creators who won Gold and Silver medals at this year’s National Magazine Awards. The gala was held at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, and was hosted by NMA-winner Omar Mouallem.

MAGAZINE GRAND PRIX

Nouveau Projet took home the prestigious, 2019 Magazine Grand Prix award. A six-time consecutive finalist in this category, Nouveau Projet had also won this coveted title in 2014. The judges cited the magazine’s risk-taking spirit and impressive scope: “Consistently ambitious, Nouveau Projet brings a fresh look and stimulating content to its examination of francophone society. Their team has crafted a great system that allows for clarity and variety, and they masterfully orchestrate all the things that make magazines a pleasure to read.”

BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS

In each of the four Best Magazine Divisions, judges selected one gold winner from the three nominees. The gold winners are:

Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest

GOLD: Nouveau Projet
HONOURABLE MENTION: The Walrus, Toronto Life

Best Magazine: Special Interest

GOLD: Up Here Magazine
HONOURABLE MENTION: Fete Chinoise, U of T Medicine

Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle

GOLD: Cottage Life
HONOURABLE MENTION: Elle Canada, FASHION Magazine

Best Magazine: Art, Literary, & Culture

GOLD: Esse arts + opinion
HONOURABLE MENTION: Canadian Art, The Site Magazine

BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

From four talented, promising nominees, Max Binks-Collier was awarded the Best New Magazine Writer title for “Distant Relatives,” published in Maisonneuve. The jury had this to say of Max’s work:

““Distant Relatives” is a suspenseful, in-depth exploration of medical malpractice and the institutional complicity that allowed it to happen. With his thoughtful interviews and extensive historical research, Binks-Collier pulls readers in and keeps them hooked all the way through.”

Honourable Mention went to Jennifer Thornhill Verma (Maisonneuve), Anais Granofsky (Toronto Life), and Mugoli Samba (The United Church Observer).

EDITOR GRAND PRIX

For the second year, the Foundation presented the Editor Grand Prix award to a senior-level editor who demonstrated a high degree of excellence, making an outstanding impact on their magazine. Alison Uncles of Maclean’s was the proud recipient of this year’s award.

PUBLISHER GRAND PRIX

The Publisher Grand Prix award recognizes a publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms. From the three nominees—Canadian Geographic, Inuit Art Quarterly, and Toronto Life—Ken Hunt publisher of Toronto Life received gold. In their discussion, the jury put it thusly:  if you live in Toronto, you know Toronto Life, and as Toronto is growing, Toronto Life is growing with it.

FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

Linda Spalding—an acclaimed writer and a longtime editor of the literary journal Brick—was presented with the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. At the gala, she was introduced by Laurie D. Graham, who remarked that “Linda provides a model of how to do this publishing work with emotion as well as intellect. She sprouted in Brick the seriousness and irreverence that has come to be the magazine’s guiding ethos.”

Top-winning magazines include:

Magazines winning one Gold Medal include: Air Canada enRoute, BESIDE, esse arts + opinions, LSTW, Prairie Fire, Québec Science, Ryerson University Magazine, Sharp, Taddle Creek, Title Magazine, and Up Here Magazine.

Magazines winning one Silver Medal include: Geist, Report on Business Magazine, The Malahat Review, The Maritime Edit, The Site Magazine, Toronto Life Stylebook, and University of Toronto Magazine.

Highlights of the 42nd annual NMAs

Mathieu Lachapelle of Dînette Magazine captured three awards for his photography work, winning Silver for Portrait Photography and winning both Gold and Silver in Lifestyle Photography.

Anthony Oliveira is a 2019 two-time Gold winner in Long Form Feature Writing and Essay, for his piece “Death in the Village” published in Hazlitt.

The Walrus swept the Illustration (including spot and photo illustration) category: “The End of an Empire” by Sébastien Thibault won silver, while “Bad Code” by Cristian Fowlie took Gold.


Writing & Visual Awards

In the 17 creator-focused categories, Gold winners received a $1000 cash prize. The gold and silver medalists are:

Long-Form Feature Writing

GOLD: Anthony Oliveira, “Death in the Village,” Hazlitt
GOLD: Brett Popplewell, “Final Edition,” The Walrus

Feature Writing

GOLD: Omar Mouallem, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” Title Magazine
SILVER: Emily Landau, “I, Tanya,” Toronto Life Stylebook

Short Feature Writing

GOLD: Christopher DiRaddo, “Austin or Bust,” Air Canada enRoute SILVER: Matt Williams, “Jeremy Dutcher’s Gift for His People,” The Maritime Edit

Columns

GOLD: Kamal Al-Solaylee, “Points of Departure,” Sharp
SILVER: Lisa Bird-Wilson, “Clowns, Cakes, Canoes: This is Canada?” Geist  

Essays

GOLD: Anthony Oliveira, “Death in the Village,” Hazlitt
SILVER: Larissa Diakiw, “Secrets Are a Captive Country,” Hazlitt

Investigative Reporting

GOLD: Alison Motluk, “Hallway Health Care,” Toronto Life  
SILVER: Martin Patriquin, “Warning Signs,” The Walrus

Fiction

GOLD: RJ Edwards, “Loose Time,” Taddle Creek
SILVER: Christine Higdon, “A Prayer for Ursula in Open D,” The Malahat Review

Lifestyle Photography

GOLD: Mathieu Lachapelle, “La brume de l’Oregon,” Dînette magazine
SILVER: Mathieu Lachapelle, “Au cœur des nuages,” Dînette magazine

Personal Journalism

GOLD: Gwen Benaway, “A Body Like a Home,” Hazlitt  
SILVER: Meaghan Rondeau, “Half-Thing,” The New Quarterly

Poetry

GOLD: Ben Ladouceur, “The Green Carnation,” Prairie Fire  
SILVER: Terence Young, “The Bear,” The New Quarterly

Profiles

GOLD: Katrina Onstad, “Mr. Robot,” Toronto Life
SILVER: Malcolm Johnston, “Born to Run,” Toronto Life  

Service Journalism

GOLD: Mélissa Guillemette, “Où vont les déchets électroniques ?,” Québec Science
SILVER: Mark Pupo, “Where to Eat 2018,” Toronto Life  

Illustration (including Spot & Photo Illustration)

GOLD: Cristian Fowlie, “Bad Code,” The Walrus
SILVER: Sébastien Thibault, “The End of an Empire,” The Walrus  

Portrait Photography

GOLD: Grant Harder, “Tremors,” Maisonneuve
SILVER: Mathieu Lachapelle, “Dompter le roc,” Dînette magazine

Photo Essay & Photojournalism

GOLD: Kamil Bialous, “That Which Does Not Burn,” Cottage Life SILVER: Stephen J. Thorne, “Citizens of War,” Legion Magazine

One of a Kind Storytelling

GOLD: Michael Friscolanti, Jason Markusoff, and Kyle Edwards, “ ‘It was the last time we saw him:’ An oral history of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash,” Maclean’s
SILVER: Martin Patenaude-Monette (Martin PM), “Le bonheur en transition,” Nouveau Projet

Editorial Awards

Art Direction of a Single Article

GOLD: Studio Wyse, Keeping Memories Alive,” Ryerson University Magazine
SILVER: Carey van der Zalm,“Body, Space & Object,” The Site Magazine  

Best Editorial Package

GOLD: WWI Commemorative Issue,” Maclean’s
SILVER: “Autumn 2018: The Cities We Need,” University of Toronto Magazine

Art Direction Grand Prix

GOLD: Eliane Cadieux,Issue 05: What does our future with nature hold? | Numéro 05 : Quel avenir sommes-nous en train de bâtir ?” BESIDE
SILVER: Jean-François Proulx, Balistique, “Nouveau Projet 13,” Nouveau Projet

Editor Grand Prix

GOLD: Alison Uncles, Maclean’s

Cover Grand Prix

GOLD: “Pay equity,” Maclean’s
SILVER: “Blood in the Air,” Report on Business

Issue Grand Prix

GOLD: lstw issue #3, lstw
SILVER: Nouveau Projet 14, Nouveau Projet

Publisher Grand Prix

GOLD: Ken Hunt, Toronto Life


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council,  Ontario Creates, Reader’s Digest Foundation, and KCK Global. We are also thankful for the support of CCR Solutions, Cision, Magazines Canada, PUSH Media, RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions, TC Transcontinental Printing, The Arcadian Court, University of Alberta, Very Good Studios, and Vividata.

We also owe a huge thank you to this year’s judges, who volunteered their time and expertise, evaluating the hundreds of entries submitted to this year’s competition.

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 42nd annual National Magazine awards! Follow us on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for updates on next year’s call for entries.

Early-Bird Ticket Prices End May 15!

Don’t wait to purchase your tickets for the 42nd annual National Magazine Awards Gala on May 31, 2019 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto!

Early-bird tickets are available until May 15! Get yours here.

Show-only tickets include the reception, awards ceremony and after party. Dinner and show tickets offer the added option of dinner during the awards ceremony.

Join your colleagues and gala host Omar Mouallem for a night celebrating the best in Canadian magazine publishing!