The Best New Talent in the Canadian Publishing Industry

The National Media Awards Foundation is a bilingual, charitable organization that has been committed to fostering excellence in journalism and visual creation since 1977. A key component of that is recognizing individuals whose early work in Canadian publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

NMA Emerging Excellence Award

The National Magazine Award for Best Emerging Writer, sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation of Canada, was awarded in 2023 to Marina Wang for “A Community’s Quest to Document Every Species on Their Island Home,” published in Hakai Magazine. The jury was impressed with the way Marina weaved a profile with observations and expert insights:

“In this thoughtful and thought-provoking story, Marina Wang takes the reader on a journey to not only unfurl the rarest moss in Canada (among other earthy treasures on B.C.’s Galiano Island) but the power of discovery in transforming a community’s relationship with nature. Marina weaves a profile with observations and expert insights to offer clarity and context on what is really being lost—from species to language to kinship. Kudos also to the Hakai Magazine Journalism Fellowship and editor J. B. MacKinnon for providing such important in-depth writing opportunities, mentorships, and support to emerging writers—including two of this year’s finalists.”

– NMA Jury

Previous Winners of Best Emerging Writer

2021 — Stephanie Bai — “Seeking Sanctuary” (Maisonneuve)
2020 — Sherina Harris — “The Butterfly Effect” (The Walrus)
2019 — Kate Black — “Awkward Cause” (Maisonneuve)

Digital Publishing Awards Emerging Excellence Award

Emma McIntosh of The Narwhal is the 2023 recipient of the Digital Publishing Awards Emerging Excellence Award, sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation of Canada.

“In reviewing submissions for the Emerging Excellence award, we were asked to consider three main points: the quality and creativity of the candidate’s work, their impact, and their potential. Emma McIntosh excelled in all three, but what really stood out was the extent of her impact. Her reporting for The Narwhal has made politicians and policymakers sit up and take notice. And at a time when many of us are probably experiencing climate fatigue, she’s making readers sit up and take notice too. Her reporting could serve as a model for how to do journalism that stands out in an age of information overload. And we can’t wait to see what she does next.”

– DPA Jury

Previous Winners

2022 Winner — Michelle Gamage of The Tyee
2021 Winner — Christopher Cheung of The Tyee
2020 Winner — Jane Lytvynenko of Buzzfeed News
2019 Winner — Sofia Misenheimer of Art/iculation
2018 Winner — Elizabeth Melito, CBC News
2017 Winner — Naël Shiab, CBC/Radio Canada