Best New Creators

Best Emerging Writer

Award sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation of Canada

The Reader’s Digest Foundation of Canada contributes financially to the support of university-level journalism education as well as national organizations directly involved in advancing fundamental journalistic principles and standards.

The National Magazine Award for Best Emerging Writer goes to a writer whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

2023 Nominees

This year, judges have selected four impressive writers as finalists for this coveted award:

Marina Wang for “A Community’s Quest to Document Every Species on Their Island Home,” published in Hakai Magazine

Vanessa Minke-Martin for “The Hail Mary Hatcheries,” published in Hakai Magazine

Sakeina Syed for “End of the Line,” published in Maisonneuve

Aviva Coopersmith for “The Lie That Made Me,” published in Toronto Life

2022 Winner

From three talented, promising nominees, Stephanie Bai was awarded the Best Emerging Writer title for “Seeking Sanctuary,” published in Maisonneuve. The jury was impressed with the way Bai weaved reporting and storytelling techniques:

Stephanie Bai‘s “Seeking Sanctuary” is an exceptional blend of original reporting and beautiful storytelling. It tells the story of a Toronto church and other community organizations assisting unhoused citizens at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It stands out because of its impact — the piece can serve as a mirror, revealing municipal failures to address Toronto’s housing crisis. But it can also be read as a time capsule of sorts — one that preserves the memory of people who went above and beyond to support their unhoused neighbours, or one that honours the resilience of those who continue to survive in the city despite their circumstances. With this piece, Bai proves that the future of journalism rests in great hands.

— NMA Jury

Previous Winners of Best Emerging Writer

2020 — Sherina Harris — “The Butterfly Effect” (The Walrus)
2019 — Kate Black — “Awkward Cause” (Maisonneuve)

Note that, in 2019, the category was re-named Best Emerging Writer, with changes made to the submission requirements and eligibility.

Previous Winners of Best New Magazine Writer

2018 — Max Binks-Collier — “Distant Relatives” (Maisonneuve)
2017 — Jessica Rose — “Lost and Found” (Toronto Life)
2016 — Amorina Kingdon — “The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion (Hakai Magazine)
2015 — Desmond Cole The Skin I’m In (Toronto Life)
2014 — Genna Buck — “Finding a Place” (Maisonneuve)
2013 — Catherine McIntyre — “Clusterf*ck” (THIS Magazine)
2012 — Sierra Skye Gemma — “The Wrong Way” (The New Quarterly)
2011 — Liam Casey — “Suicide Notes” (Ryerson Review of Journalism)
2010 — Matthieu Aikins — “Last Stand in Kandahar” (The Walrus)
2009 — Danielle Groen — “This is Your Brain on Love” (Chatelaine)
2008 — Kris Demeanor —”Get a Real Job” (unlimited)
2007 — Patrick White — “Red Rush” (The Walrus)
2006 — Jeremy Klaszus — “Big Oil on Trial” (AlbertaViews)
2005 — Larry Frolick — “The Wired Cabin” (Outpost); “Danger Signs” (The Walrus)
2004 — Sophie Lees (AlbertaViews)
2003 — Chantal Srivastava (L’actualité)
2002 — Jean-Francois Bégin (L’actualité)
2001 — Jonathan Trudel (L’actualité)
2000 — Matthew McKinnon

Previous Winners of Best New Visual Creator

2014 — Hudson Christie — “A Portrait of the Artist with Testicles in Hand” (Maisonneuve)
2011 — The Coveteur — “Gifts” (Report on Business)
2009 — Byron Eggenschwiler — “Tales from Riverheights Terrace” (Swerve)

Previous Winners of Best Student Writer

2008 — Chris Watt — “Iraq’s Walking Dead,” (Maisonneuve)
2007 — Julia Belluz — “I,” (Ryerson Review of Journalism)
2006 — Buffy Cram — “Man Hands,” (Prairie Fire)
2005 — Leigh Doyle — “So Long,” (Ryerson Review of Journalism)