The Magazine School is a free online resource for instructors that gives the story-behind-the-story of the winners of the Western Magazine Awards.
By Janice Paskey
A few years ago, I taught a magazine writing class at Mount Royal University. As part of the course, I asked the students to present a feature story that they liked. Invariably, the articles were from Rolling Stone, Wired, National Geographic, Vanity Fair and a host of other American magazines. Where was our Canadian content?
At the same time, I was judging the National Magazine Awards and the Western Magazine Awards so I knew our homegrown magazine work was superb. So I pitched an idea to the Western Magazine Awards Foundation: let’s make this work more accessible. Give me the award winners, and I’d make a powerpoint to explain the work.
To its credit the WMAF picked up on the idea. Executive director Corey Van’t Haaff asked for a proposal then secured funding, The Magazine School (TMS) was born. I worked with several student researchers to interview the writers, editors, art directors and photographers and find out the story behind the story. A student designer then put together the powerpoint presentation.
Since then, my students have enjoyed the excellent articles, and examining both writer’s voice, research and visual portrayal. We’ve enjoyed many good discussions.
You can download materials free at westernmagazineawards.ca. Just scroll to the bottom to The Magazine School, and apply for login credentials on the form. In a day or two you’ll get your password and can log in and download the powerpoint presentation and pdf of the original entries. See below for a full list of what’s available.
The Magazine School Curriculum (TMS) Project (Western Magazine Awards Foundation)
“Structural Change,” John Sinal, Vancouver Magazine. Best Photographic Feature or Series.
“Preparing the Vessel,” Danae Thompson, Swerve. Best Art Direction-Article.
“The Campaign in Full Sentences,” Chris Koentges. Swerve. Gold Award, Best Article – Alberta/NWT.
“Intimate Strangers,” Eve Joseph, Malahat Review. Gold Award, Best Article – BC/Yukon
“Life in the Fur Lane,” Claudine Gervais, Going Places. Gold Award, Best Article-Manitoba.
“Beijing Notes,” by Chuqiao (Teresa) Yang, Grain Magazine. Gold Award, Best Article – Saskatchewan.
“Mr. Tree,” by Jeremy Klaszus, Alberta Views. Gold Award Best Article-Alberta/NWT.
“Foodville: Part One,” by Timothy Taylor, Vancouver Review. Gold Award, Best Article – BC/Yukon
“Getting Their Kicks,” by John Campbell, Westworld Saskatchewan. Gold Award, Best Article – Saskatchewan[node:ad]
“The Geography of Ambiguity,” by Mary Horodyski, Prairie Fire. Human Experience.
“You’re Invited,” art directed by Danae Thompson, photographed by Leah Hennel. Swerve Best Art Direction – Article.
July Cover, Catherine Mullaly, BCBusiness. Best Art Direction – Cover.
“The Real Deal,” Clinton Hussey, Western Living. Best Photograph – Architectural, Landscape, or Still Life.
“Saving Skid Row,” by Venturi + Karpa, The Beaver. Best Photograph – Feature or Series.
TMS 2009 Articles
1. “Helen Koentges,” Chris Koentges, Swerve. Gold Award, Best Article-Alberta/NWT.
2. “Playing Tourist in the Downtown Eastside,” Chris Koentges, Up! Gold Award, Best Article – BC/Yukon.
3. “The Little Boat That Could,” Allan Casey, Westworld Saskatchewan. Gold Award, Best Article – Saskatchewan.
4. “Ten Photos that Changed Canada,” The Beaver, Gold Award, Best Article-Manitoba.
Visual Teaching Presentations
Visual Awards: Photography
“Structural Change,” John Sinal, Vancouver, Best Photograph Feature or Series. TMS 2011.
“The Real Deal,” Clinton Hussey, Western Living. Best Photograph – Architectural, Landscape, or Still Life. TMS 2010
“Saving Skid Row,” Venturi + Karpa, The Beaver. Best Photograph – Feature or Series. TMS 2010
“Ten Photos that Changed Canada,” The Beaver. TMS 2009
Visual Awards: Art Direction
“Preparing the Vessel,” Danae Thompson, Swerve. Best Art Direction – Single Article. TMS 2011.
“You’re Invited,” Danae Thompson, photographed by Leah Hennel. Swerve. Best Art Direction – Article. TMS 2010
July Cover, Catherine Mullaly, BCBusiness, Best Art Direction – Cover. TMS 2010