Call for Judges

National Magazine Awards 2020 call for judges header image.

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.


Announcing the 2019 NMA Nominees

The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is delighted to unveil the finalists for the 42nd Annual National Magazine Awards! The annual gala, held on May 31, 2019, will be hosted by author, filmmaker, and two-time NMA winner Omar Mouallem.

NOMINATIONS LIST (PDF)
GALA INFO & TICKETS
PRESS RELEASE
VERSION FRANÇAISE

For this year’s competition, 187 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—submitted the work of more than 2,000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors, and other creators. The NMAF’s 125 volunteer judges have selected a total of 201 submissions from 70 different Canadian publications for awards in 28 written, visual, editorial, and best magazine categories.


BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS
Three publications have been shortlisted in each of the four Best Magazine divisions. The outstanding nominees are:

Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest

Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle

Best Magazine: Art, Literary & Culture

Best Magazine: Special Interest


MAGAZINE GRAND PRIXThe Magazine Grand Prix award—the highest honour bestowed to a publication—will be presented to one publication among the four winners of the Best Magazine awards,  revealed at the gala on May 31st.

BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER
The jury selected four nominees for Best New Magazine Writer. This award is given to the individual whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year’s emerging writers are:

Jennifer Thornhill Verma for “Letters From Pop,” published in Maisonneuve

Max Binks-Collier for “Distant Relatives,” published in Maisonneuve

Mugoli Samba for “Wilbur Howard and the White Church,” published in the United Church Observer

Anais Granofsky for “Between Two Worlds,” published in Toronto Life


EDITOR GRAND PRIX
The three editors shortlisted for the prestigious Editor Grand Prix title are Aaron Kylie (Canadian Geographic), Alison Uncles (Maclean’s), and, for the second year, Nicolas Langelier (Nouveau Projet).


PUBLISHER GRAND PRIX
New this year, this award honours the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms. The finalists are Gilles Gagnier (Canadian Geographic), Alysa Procida (Inuit Art Quarterly), and Ken Hunt (Toronto Life).

ISSUE GRAND PRIX
Also new to the 2019 lineup, the Issue Grand Prix award honours quality and originality of the content of an entire issue as well as its relevance to the intended readers. The magazine finalists are:
Alberta Views, BESIDE, Canadian Art, Inuit Art Quarterly, LSTW, Nouveau Projet, The Walrus, The Site Magazine, Prairie Fire & Contemporary Verse 2, and University of Toronto Magazine.


NOMINATION HIGHLIGHTS

·      Photographer Mathieu Lachapelle of Dînette Magazine is a four-time nominee across three visual categories: Lifestyle Photography, Portrait Photography, and Photo Essay & Photojournalism.

·      Writer Anthony Oliveira garnered three nominations in as many categories for his story “Death in the Village” published in Hazlitt.

·      L’actualité’s Amélie Chamberland (art director) and Charles Grandmont (editor) received three nominations in the editorial category Cover Grand Prix.

·      The jury shortlisted two of Edmonton-based photographer Amber Bracken’s photographs for Portrait Photography: “Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service,” featured in Maclean’s magazine, and “Life After Coal,” published in The Narwhal.

·      Best New Magazine Writer nominee Anais Granofsky is also a finalist in the category of Long-Form Feature Writing for her piece “Between Two Worlds” published in Toronto Life.

· Vancouver-based writer Bruce Grierson earned two nominations, first for an essay published in Eighteen Bridges (“Have You Heard?”) and second for a long-form story featured in Hakai Magazine (“The Cavernous World under the Woods”).

·      Emily Landau is nominated for two articles published in Toronto Life (“The Greatest Showman”) and Toronto Life Stylebook (“I, Tanya”) in addition to being credited as the handling editor for four other stories.

· Also a double nominee this year is writer Simon Lewsen, for his profile “The Freeland World”

penned for The Walrus, and short feature article “A New Leaf,” published in BESIDE.

·      L’actualité’s journalist Noémi Mercier is once again a finalist this year for Columns (“Des gars, des filles”) and Long-Form Feature Writing (“Mourir seul”).

·      Maritime-based writer Chelsea Murray is finalist for Personal Journalism (“The Agony of Intimacy,” published in Hazlitt) as well as for Long-Form Feature Writing (“Joe and the Whale,” published in The Deep).

·      Quebec journalist Sabrina Myre garnered two nominations for articles published in ELLE Québec magazine: Feature Writing (“Le grand sacrifice des nounous philippines”) and Short Feature Writing (“Révolution féministe en Éthiopie, l’intrigant cas d’Awra Amba”).

· Writer Katrina Onstad is nominated for two stories: in Essays for “Class Divide”, published in The Walrus, as well as in Profiles, for “Mr. Robot”, written for Toronto Life.

TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES

Among the 70 publications shortlisted, Toronto Life leads with 19 nominations. The Walrus follows with 13 nominations, while L’actualité, Maclean’s, and Nouveau Projet share the third place with 9 nominations each. Other top nominated titles include:

MAGAZINENOMINATIONS
Toronto Life19
The Walrus13
L’actualité9
Maclean’s9
Nouveau Projet9
Hazlitt8
Report on Business7
Maisonneuve6
Canadian Geographic5
Cottage Life5
Dînette Magazine5
FASHION Magazine5
The Fiddlehead5
The New Quarterly5
The Site Magazine5

Publications with 4 nominations each: The Narwhal, University of Toronto Magazine

Publications with 3 nominations each: BESIDE, Canadian Art, ELLE Québec, The Deep, Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest

Publications with 2 nominations each: Air Canada enRoute, Arc Poetry, Alberta Views, BuzzFeed Canada, Chatelaine, Eighteen Bridges, Geist, Hakai Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Prairie Fire & Contemporary Verse, Québec Science, U of T Medicine

EDITORIAL AWARDS

Best Editorial Package

Cover Grand Prix

Art Direction of a Single Article

Art Direction Grand Prix


WRITING & VISUAL AWARDS

Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Portrait Photography

Lifestyle Photography

Illustration

Long-Form Feature Writing

Feature Writing

Profiles

Personal Journalism

Service Journalism

Short Feature Writing

Fiction

Poetry

Investigative Reporting

Columns

Essays

One of a Kind Storytelling


FIRST-TIME NOMINEES
Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Award are: Canadian Cycling, Fête Chinoise, Le Trente, The Maritime Edit, The Narwhal, and Title Magazine.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
On April 30, the NMAF was delighted to name Linda Spalding, an acclaimed Canadian writer and a longtime editor of Brick magazine, the recipient of the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing her career excellence and leadership in Canadian magazines.

Congratulations to the nominees of the 42nd National Magazine Awards!

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, TC Transcontinental Printing, The Arcadian Court, University of Alberta, Very Good Studios, and Vividata.

ABOUT THE 42nd NMAs
The National Media Awards Foundation will welcome Canada’s top writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and other creators to the 42nd National Magazine Awards gala, hosted by Omar Mouallem. Gold, Silver, and Honourable Mention awards will be presented at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 31, at the annual gala. Tickets are on sale at magazine-awards.com.

For sponsorship inquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at staff@magazine-awards.com.

Credit Changes: The deadline to make any changes to nominations credit is Monday, May 6. Email staff@magazine-awards.com to make any credit changes to your nominations.
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Linda Spalding to Receive the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to present the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement to Linda Spalding, an acclaimed writer and a longtime editor of the literary journal Brick.

Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Linda moved to Toronto, Ontario (after stints in Hawaii and Mexico) in 1982. In 1985, the “story goes Linda took on the role of publisher of Brick on a dare,” says Laurie D. Graham, the current publisher of Brick. That dare lasted a remarkable 33 years, as Linda oversaw 75 issues of Brick. Linda was the “editor and sometimes publisher” says Kim Jernigan (Special Projects Editor, The New Quarterly), and now she “continues as the one of the magazine’s owners (a.k.a. Fairy-godparents).”

Throughout Linda’s 75 issue tenure at Brick, the magazine “underwent an unbelievable transformation… a complete editorial and design overhaul, really turning the magazine into something completely new—a transformation that would by any standards be thought of as a very risky undertaking, were it not so successful,” says Laurie.

With Linda at the helm, “Brick dared to be international,” Kim reminds us, despite existing in a time of literary nationalism, with funding dependent on publishing Canadian content. Pushing at the boundaries of Brick allowed the magazine to flourish within Canada and gain recognition globally. Linda’s transformation of Brick included publishing a multiplicity of content (photographs, drawings, handwritten letters, manuscript pages, meditations, field reports, essay length reviews, memoirs, and more) and voices.

Canadian novelist Michael Helm writes that, “until I found Brick, as a writer I’d been low on hope, and as a reader, starved for local amazements.” Kim echoes this sentiment, in that “it was Brick that allowed [her] to imagine there might be a place for a new writer.”

While growing Brick, Linda published an astonishing seven books, her novel “The Purchase” winning the 2012 Governor general’s Literary Award. Earlier, in 2003, Linda received the Harbourfront Festival Prize recognizing her contributions to the Canadian literary community.

Kim is careful to point out that Linda “paid attention to the bottom line, working to keep Brick solvent but not at the expense of its contributors.” Michael gives us a glimpse into Brick’s editorial meetings, in which Linda “was forever trying to find ways to give contributors more of the magazine’s meager funds.” It seems that throughout Brick’s transformation, Linda’s dedication to both established and emerging voices remained constant.

Constant, too, are the words by which Linda’s colleagues describe her: Kim speaks of her “editorial acumen and fierce determination,” reading submissions with “clarity, tact, and trenchancy.” Michael Redhill—in a letter to Linda, published in Brick—writes that he has been “lucky to encounter such ferocity, which is a sign of authenticity, because behind it is a person whose love can never be doubted and whose passion is so deep it’s a style.” This fierce love for Brick and its surrounding community makes the fairy godparent comparison all the more true. Linda Spalding spent 33 years working magic, turning the magazine into “more than the sum of its parts,” says Kim.

“To be part of Brick is to know that Linda is now in your corner, and that’s perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from her: that you can show care for the people who are making this magazine with you, that it is required of you to show care,” says Laurie.

For the transformative role Linda has played in the Canadian magazine publishing field and in the lives of Canada’s creators, the NMAF is incredibly proud to present Linda with this year’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

NOMINEES – 2019 NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
Finalists for the 42nd National Magazine Awards will be announced tomorrow, May 1, 2019 at 10am ET on www.magazine-awards.com,on Facebook and Twitter at @MagAwards. The 42nd National Magazine Awards gala is set for May 31, 2019 at the Arcadian Court.  Join us to Celebrate Canadian Creators. Tickets will be on sale on Wednesday, May 1.
 
ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize  is the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry. The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers – in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. For more information and previous winners, visit magazine-awards.com/oa.

Omar Mouallem to host this year’s National Magazine Awards gala

The National Media Awards Foundation is excited to announce that this year’s Master of Ceremonies for the NMA Gala will be award-winning writer and journalist Omar Mouallem.

“I’m so excited to emcee this tribute to so many publishers and artists I admire. For as long as I’ve been in the business, the National Magazine Awards have been important to me. Not long after my landing my first internship, in 2008, I learned about it as an institution setting a standard of excellence in our field by honouring its best creators. Every year, I waited for the nominations list, not just to understand what truly great editorial looked like but to use as a barometer for my own work. As any creator will tell you, to win an NMA is truly special, but to one day emcee the gala is an honour I never imagined.”

An eight-time National Magazine Award nominee, Omar Mouallem‘s narrative journalism and personal essays have have appeared in dozens of magazines published across Canada and the United States. He is a best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, the founding editor of two magazines, and a guest host of the media criticism podcast Canadaland. His forthcoming book, Praying to the West, is a travel memoir about Muslims in the Americas published by Simon & Schuster Canada. He lives in Edmonton and tweets at @omar_aok.

This year’s National Magazine Awards gala will be held on May 31 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Tickets go on sale on May 1, when the nominations are announced.

#NMA19 Sneak Peek

2019 NMA Gala Program Cover. Art direction by Marcey Andrews; Illustration by Wenting Li.

The 42nd annual National Magazine Awards gala will take place May 31st at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. This year, we are honoured that Marcey Andrews and Wenting Li partnered to create the visuals that will help define our celebration of Canadian magazines.

We recently spoke with Marcey and Wenting about the stunning cover they created for the gala program, and how this year’s art direction compares to that of previous years.

NMAF: As the winner of several National Magazine Awards, including more recently for Cover Grand Prix, and a member of the 2018 Jury, how does it feel to be taking over art direction for this year’s NMAs?

Marcey Andrews: Intimidating, to say the least! But also a great honour. Between my experience with the 2018 Jury and the art direction of this year’s NMAs, I’ve really come to appreciate the enormity of this event and just how much dedication it takes to make it happen. Émilie, Barbara and all the volunteers and sponsors that make this possible, they are all a source of inspiration.

NMAF: Could you tell us about the direction you’re taking? How does it stand apart from—or perhaps complement—that of other years?

Marcey Andrews: When Wenting and I partnered up, our goal was simply to carry the torch high and create a look that honoured the significance of these achievements! Stories, and those in magazines in particular, have always been a source of cinematic wonder for me — a byproduct of my active imagination — and so we wanted to give the artwork that same larger-than-life feeling. We know how much effort and passion goes into every piece and so we wanted the nominees to be able to take a moment and appreciate the grandeur of their accomplishments.

Marcey Andrews is the art director of New Trail, the University of Alberta’s alumni magazine. She is also the Senior Graphic Designer in Marketing and Communications in University Relations. She has won five National Magazine Awards.

NMAF: Your illustration for this year’s NMA program is beautiful. Does it have a title?

Wenting Li: Thanks so much! It’s called Awards Night.

NMAF: What was your inspiration for creating this piece?

Wenting Li: I was hoping to show the glitter and solemnity of a celebration, but also make it a bit unusual. So, boats taking creators toward a party inside a giant magazine!

NMAF: Your work has appeared in such Canadian publications as The Walrus, Canadian Living, Quill & Quire, Reader’s Digest Canada and The Globe and Mail. What do you enjoy about creating illustrations for stories and magazines?

Wenting Li: Whenever I’m paging through a publication I can’t help but look first at all the images. Getting to think of drawings that might make others flipping through stop on a particular page is kind of thrilling. I also love being transported by a story, and then getting to share this feeling visually.

Photo by Andrew Moreno

Wenting Li is a Toronto-based illustrator. Her work is preoccupied with colour and shape, and the subtleties of complementing story with picture. Learn more about Wenting and her work by visiting her website.

Tickets to the 42nd Annual NMA Gala will go on sale on May 1, 2019, when the nominations are announced. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter & Facebook!