Friday, August 27, 2010

Mag Sessions at Wordfest and Litfest

'Tis that time of year when literary enthusiasts can finally begin marking-up their October calendar pages: the announcement of Wordfest (Calgary) and Litfest (Edmonton) event line-ups.
I just wanted to highlighted the mag sessions that you won't want to miss:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Template Teaser 2: Fact-Checking for Magazines

For the second installment of "Template Teaser" I've turned to another of AMPA's Template Magazine resources, the 2009 Tiny Template: The Law Edition. In her article "Check, please! Fact-checking: A Must for Every Magazine," Cynthia Brouse explains why fact-checkers are especially crucial for magazines:

"Why do magazines employ fact-checkers when newspapers and book publishers usually don't? Readers expect a higher degree of polish and a higher level of reliability from a magazine; they know magazine editors have more time to perfect their product than the average daily news outlet. Also, should an error be made, it takes longer for a magazine to publish a correction; a daily newspaper can address the issue the next day, but many magazines are put to bed weeks or even months in advance of publication."

You can learn more about fact-checking, and gain other valuable information about magazine publishing, in Tiny Template: The Law Edition Magazine

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AMPA's Digital Learning Series Presents: Rhett Soveran

By now, most publishers, big and small have a web presence of some kind. But is it meeting your goals? Are you taking full advantage of the latest tools and techniques for building audiences at minimal cost? Is there more that your site could be doing in order to effectively sell subscriptions, build brand awareness or even (gasp) create revenue?

As part of AMPA’s Digital Learning Series, Rhett Soveran—web editor of WestJet’s inflight up! magazine—will show you how to maximize your Web 2.0 potential. During this three-hour session, he will go through case studies of publishers who are working the web, highlighting what is possible at different budget levels and for different goals. Rhett will also provide personal and interactive analysis and advice on websites you provide as audience members, answering questions you have about maximizing your web potential.

Click here for further details

Friday, August 20, 2010

MagaScene 74; WMA Finalists, Litfest, Jobs, and more!

MagaScene 74 is posted!

Read the profile of Canadian Scrapbooker, hear the news on the WMA Finalists, get dates for great events like Litfest Mag Sessions, read the winning entries of our story contest, peruse the many jobs...and a whole lot more at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Template Teaser 1: Pre-launch Research

In this first of many "Template Teaser" blog posts to come, I've pulled a quote from the Business Planning chapter of AMPA's Template Magazine resource. In his article "Know Your Reader," Derek Sankey explores the need for strong reader research:

"Knowing who you are writing and producing a magazine for may seem obvious to any new publisher, but it's a trick that fools many. Insufficient market research upon launch is one of the main reasons that half of all magazines fail within five years [...] For smaller publishers, who typically plan their publication launch much less formally (if at all), making the effort to conduct consumer research sounds costly and exhausting. Truth be told, it can be. But that research is often what sets successful magazines apart from their competitors--they know their purpose...

You can learn more about reader research, and gain other valuable information about magazine publishing, in Template Magazine: The Definitive How-to Guide to Magazine Publishing in Alberta

Friday, August 13, 2010

Print Will Make a Comeback in 2011

At AMPA, as with most magazine industry affiliates, digital vs. print is a hot topic for discussion. A Junta42 Content Marketing blog post entitled "7 Reasons Print Will Make a Comeback in 2011" provides plenty of food for thought on the issue.

Revisions to the Cultural Industries Project Grant

The Cultural Industries Project Grant program (which offers support for projects creating and producing new cultural work or for assistance with operating expenses) has been rewritten to further encourage start-up companies in sound recording, magazine publishing, book publishing, and film and video production. The grant now requires that applicants must (at a minimum) have their trade name registered with Alberta Corporate Registry where in the past they have requested incorporation. This name registration is a more economical and simpler process.

Links to the program may be found at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts website

The link to the Cultural Industries Project Grant guidelines is

The link to the Cultural Industries Project Grant application form is

Thursday, August 12, 2010

up! Magazine Presents City Specialists

up! Magazine has launched a pilot project to have "City Specialists" in a few cities across Canada. "The idea behind having City Specialists is that they become our local expert who provide us with web exclusive travel stories each month. They are our eyes and ears in their respective city so that if there's something you need to know about they're the ones who tell us.

Read more at:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hotsheets Resource from Magazines Canada

One-page articles, or "hotsheets," were prepared by Magazines Canada to help independent and cultural magazines. Each hotsheet delivers current information on a single topic, written by an expert in the field. They are free to download at:

What Editors Want - A Workshop for Writers

A day for writers with speaker, editor and author Chris Roerden. This workshop is a unique opportunity for writers of all genres to interact with an accomplished professional editor.

- Learn the ins and outs of the submission process
- Find out what first level readers really want
- Acquire tips on how to improve your manuscript’s odds of surviving the initial process
- Participate in exercises covering several topics and emphasizing that elusive “voice.”
- Learn from hands-on editing with samples provided by Chris.

CHRIS ROERDEN has edited thousands of manuscripts for such publishers as St. Martin’s Press, Berkley Prime Crime, Rodale, Viking and more. Her own two non-fiction books include Don’t Murder Your Mystery, which won the Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction, and Don’t Sabotage Your Submission, which won the 21st annual Benjamin Franklin Award™ for Literary Criticism, was shortlisted for ForeWord Magazine’s Writing Book of the Year, and won the Florida Writers' Book of the Year Award for 2009.

DATE: September 25th, 2010
LOCATION: Calgary, Greenwood Inn
WORKSHOP: 9:30am to 4:30pm
FEE: $99.00 ARWA members/ $129 non-members*

*Presented by the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association

Registration and Membership Information:

Friday, August 6, 2010

WMA Finalists Include AMPA Members Aplenty

The Finalists for the 2010 Western Magazines Awards (WMA) have been announced, and we're thrilled to see that so many AMPA members have made the cut. Although our congratulations extend to all of the WMA 2010 Finalists, the list below highlights those who hold a special place in our hearts. For a full list of all Finalists, please visit

And so, without further ado, we present a select list of the WMA 2010 Finalists:

Trade Magazine of the Year
Alberta Oil

Alberta Venture

Western Living


Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Chris Turner, Prodigal Band, AlbertaViews
Geo Takach, Mythologized and Misunderstood, AlbertaViews
Kim Gray, Magic Hour, AlbertaViews

Jennifer Cockrall- King, Retail Therapy, Alberta Venture

Chris Turner, Kill (Your) Bill, AlbertaViews
Andrew Nikifouk, Out of Sight, Avenue

Jeremy Klaszus, Mr. Tree, AlbertaViews

Science, Technology, and Medicine
Jeff Gailus, The Upside of Underground, Alberta Venture

Travel and Leisure
Daniel Wood, When the Gods Were Blind, Westworld
Jim Sutherland, My Bonnie Game, Westworld

Gold Award Best Article - Alberta/NWT
Chris Turner, Prodigal Band, AlbertaViews
Jeremy Klaszus, Mr. Tree, AlbertaViews
Andrew Nikifouk, Out of Sight, Avenue

Gold Award Best Article - Saskatchewan
Tyler Hopson, Room for a Cue, Western Living
Darrell Noakes, It’s a Gasp, Gasp, Gasp, Westworld
John Campbell, Getting Their Kicks, Westworld

Best Art Direction Article
Randall Watson, Cookie Monsters, Western Living
Randall Watson, Designers of the Year, Western Living

Best Illustration or Illustration Feature
Chad VanGaalen, A Concrete Dreamer’s Guide to Calgary, up! Magazine
Roger Xavier, Menu a Mano, up! Magazine

Best Photograph Architectural, Landscape, or Still Life
Brent Mykytyshyn, By Their Own Hand, Avenue
Clinton Hussey, The Real Deal, Western Living

Best Photographic Feature or Series
George Webber, Magic Hour, AlbertaViews

Best Photograph - People and Portraiture
Colin Way, Sheldon Popiel, Avenue

The WMA Gala Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, October 15, 2010 at Vancouver's Century Plaza Hotel and Spa, featuring a day of professional development at Magazines West, and then an evening celebrating the best of Western Canadian magazine publishing.

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a Small Circ World After All

Good news for those small to mid-size print and digital periodical publications previously excluded from the Canada Periodical Fund because of small circulation numbers.

The Canada Periodical Fund has just launched its Business Innovation Applicant's guide. This component offers project funding to eligible small and mid-sized print and digital periodical publishers. It encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers. Visit the AMPA website for further details.

Something else that may be of interest to those in the small circ mag business: Episode 17 of Magazines Canada's AudioMag podcast series. John Shelling, Managing Editor of BlackFlash, talks about the joys and stresses of running a small circulation magazine with a skeleton staff. Learn about how he handled the tough task of taking over at a one-person publishing venture.

To listen to and/or download any of the Magazines Canada AudioMag podcasts, visit: