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.


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.

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.

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

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).

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).

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.


·      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.


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:

Toronto Life19
The Walrus13
Nouveau Projet9
Report on Business7
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


Best Editorial Package

Cover Grand Prix

Art Direction of a Single Article

Art Direction Grand Prix


Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Portrait Photography

Lifestyle Photography


Long-Form Feature Writing

Feature Writing


Personal Journalism

Service Journalism

Short Feature Writing



Investigative Reporting



One of a Kind Storytelling

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

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!

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.

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

For sponsorship inquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at

Credit Changes: The deadline to make any changes to nominations credit is Monday, May 6. Email to make any credit changes to your nominations.

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.

Finalists for the 42nd National Magazine Awards will be announced tomorrow, May 1, 2019 at 10am ET on,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.
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

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!

2019 Canadian Magazine Writing Contests: The Ultimate Guide

Just in time for Spring, our annual Writing Contest Listing is back!

What inspires your sense of the world? What’s your penchant for endings? Whatever your approach to the craft–and whether fiction, poetry, memoir –you’ll find plenty of outlets for your stories in Canadian magazines. Be inspired to create your next work of poetry, fiction or personal essay. Take the opportunity to finish your latest literary creation and submit it to a Canadian magazine writing contest.

All contests and awards listed below accept previously unpublished works of Canadian poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction. If you know of one that we missed, please let us know or Tweet at us @MagAwards. And check out our Canadian Literary Magazine Guide for other ideas for where to submit your work.

And for more inspiration, check out the National Magazine Awards Archive, with hundreds of winning and nominated stories and poems to read.

Grain Magazine
Short Grain Contest
Deadline: April 5, 2019
Prize: $1000 (1st); $750 (2nd); $500 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $40 for up to two entries; includes registration + subscription

Contemporary Verse 2
CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Deadline: April 12, 2019
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes registration + subscription (registration only is $16)

The Vallum Chapbook Award 2019
Deadline: April 30, 2019
1st Prize: Publication + $300
Entry fees: $25 CDN for Canadian entrants

Pulp Literature Magazine Contests:

The Magpie Award for Poetry
Deadline: 15 April 2019
Winner notified: 15 May 2019
Winners published in: Issue 24, Autumn 2019
First Prize: $500 and a 1-year subscription to Duotrope ($50 value).

The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize
Open: 1 May-June 15, 2019
Winner notified:  15 July 2019
Winner published in:  Issue 25, Winter 2020
Prize:  $300
Entry fee: $15
This contest is for previously unpublished works of fiction up to 1000 words in length.

The Malahat Review
The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction
Genre: Fiction (max 3500 words)
Deadline: May 1, 2019
Prize: $1,000; publication
Entry Fee: $25 (additional entries are $15); includes subscription

Dreamers Creative Writing
Haiku Contest 2019
Deadline: May 13, 2019
Entry Fee: $10 (includes an electronic copy of Dreamers Magazine Issue 1)
Prize: $120 to the first place winner
The winner will receive $120 CAD ($100 prize + $20 honorarium), 2 copies of our magazine (1 print, 1 electronic), and 2 special Dreamers keychains on which the winning poem will be printed.
Submit up to 3 Haiku per entry; enter as many times as you want.

17th Annual Lush Triumphant Literary Awards
Deadline: May 15, 2019
Fiction: Maximum 3,000 words
Poetry: A suite of 5 related poems (maximum 15 pages)
Creative Non-Fiction: (Based on fact, adorned w/fiction) maximum 4,000 words
Prize: $1000
Entry Fee: $30

The Canadian Stories
11th Contest for Short Stories, Poetry, and Black & White Line Art.
Deadline: May 15, 2019
True Stories  $350
Creative Non-Fiction    $350
Fiction   $350
Poetry    $200
Lest We Forget $350
Black & White Line Art $350
First Honourable Mention    $100
Second Honourable Mention $50
Notification approximately August 1, 2019.
Entry Fee: $20

Room Magazine Contests:

Creative Non-Fiction | Open April 1 – June 
First Prize: $500 + publication in Room
Second Prize: $250 + publication in Room
Honourable Mention: $50 publication on Room‘s website
Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 42.3 (September 2019).

Poetry| Open June 15 – August 15
First Prize: $1,000 + publication in Room
Second Prize: $250 + publication in Room
Honourable Mention: $50 publication on Room’swebsite
Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 42.4 (December 2019).

Short Forms | September 1 – November 1
First Prize: $500 + publication (2 prizes)
Honourable Mention: $50 publication on Room’swebsite

Cover Art| November 15 – January 15
First Prize: $500 + publication on the cover of Room 42.2
Second Prize: $50 + publication in Room 42.2
Honourable Mention: publication on Room’swebsite

Prism International Contests:

The Grouse Grind Lit Prize for V. Short Forms
Deadline: May 15, 2019
$500 Grand Prize, $150 runner-up, $50 2nd runner-up
Entry fee: $15 for all entries. Option to pay an additional fee to include a subscription (or an extension of an existing subscription) with your contest entry.
Max. word count: 300 words.

Creative Non-Fiction Contest
Open: May 2019 – July 31, 2019
Grand Prize: $1,500
Second Prize: $600 runner-up
2nd runner-up: $400
Entry fee: $35 Canadian entries (includes a one-year subscription or extension)
Additional entry: $5 per piece
Max. word count: 6,000

Annual Earle Birney Prize for Poetry
An annual prize of $500 awarded by the outgoing Poetry Editor to an outstanding poetry contributor published in PRISM international.
Enter by regular submission only: no fee required.

The New Quarterly
The Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Deadline: May 28, 2019
One top prize including $1000 and a one-year Duotrope Gift Certificate (a USD $50 value) will be awarded for one work of short fiction (no word limit).
Entry fee: $40 per piece (includes a 1-year Canadian subscription or renewal to The New Quarterly).

CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize
Contest Opens: April 1, 2019
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Prize: The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Their winning submission will be published on CBC Books. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their poetry published on CBC Books.
Entry Fee: $25

Eden Mills Writers Festival Read at the Fringe
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Contest Categories:
Prose: 2500 words maximum, double-spaced
Poetry: Up to five poems, five pages maximum, single-spaced
Prizes: Winners selected in each category will be invited to read at the EMWF on Festival Sunday (September 8, 2019), and will be treated to all the perks of attending the festival as an author, including access to the author hospitality suite, and an invitation to the festival’s gala dinner for authors.
Entry Fee: $15

Eden Mills Writers Festival Literary Contest
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Contest Categories:
Short Story: 2500 words maximum
Poetry: A poem or collection, no more than five poems
Creative Non-Fiction: 2500 words maximum
Prizes: The best entry in each category will win a $250 prize. Winning entries will be published on the EMWF website and the names of the winners will be included in the festival weekend program.
Entry Free: $15 

The Fiddlehead
Creative Nonfiction Contest
Deadline: June 3, 2019
Prize: $2000
Entry Fee: The fee for first entry is $30. Additional entries after that first contest entry (to either contest category) are $10.

Prairie Fire
Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, Short Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Contests
Deadline: November 30, 2019
1st prize $1,250
2nd prize $500
3rd prize $250
Entry Fee: $32

The Surrey International Writer’s Conference
The Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SIWC) Writing Contest
Deadline: September 21, 2019
First prize: $1000 plus publication
Honourable Mention: $150 plus publication
Cost: $15/entry

Disabled writers in Canada (including but not limited those who are physically/invisibly disabled, d/Deaf, blind, neurodivergent, chronically ill or suffering from mental health issues)
Monthly Literary Prize dedicated to underrepresented writers in Canada.
Genres: Poetry/Prose/Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction
There are no themes. There is no minimum or maximum word count. There is no submission fee. Only non-published work (print or online).
One submission per month, & you are eligible to win the top prize once every twelve months. You are eligible for a maximum of two prizes every twelve months.
$1000 for the top prize.
$300 for the second prize.
$150 for the third prize.
All winning pieces will be published online at

QT2S / BIPOC (Queer / Trans, 2 Spirit and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Monthly Literary Prize dedicated to underrepresented writers in Canada.
Genres: Poetry/Prose/Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction
There are no themes. There is no minimum or maximum word count. There is no submission fee. Only non-published work (print or online).
One submission per month, & you are eligible to win the top prize once every twelve months. You are eligible for a maximum of two prizes every twelve months.
$1000 for the top prize.
$300 for the second prize.
$150 for the third prize.
All winning pieces will be published online at

Did we miss one? Send us a note or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the spring and summer as more contests are announced.