The submissions to the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards are in, and we are excited to have over 1000 submissions and 197 Canadian magazines represented in this year’s program, competing for awards in 25 categories.
Our thanks to all of the publishers, editors, art directors and creators who submitted their work this year, especially to the more than 200 freelancers who participated.
The National Magazine Awards Foundation strives above all to represent and support the work of Canada’s creators. It’s why, for forty years now, we have facilitated an awards program that celebrates the excellence, determination and innovation that characterize the best of our country’s journalism.
Now we turn to our judges—120 of the leading experts in magazine publishing, design and creation from across Canada and the world—to lend their expertise in service to their peers.
The role of the judges is central to the NMAs. Their judgment, perspectives and integrity represent the very best of journalism, too. Their appraisal of these submissions will not only reward the individuals and teams who’ve achieved success, but it will also become the measure by which our future work is appreciated by readers and audiences across the country. The NMAF offers its sincerest thanks to all of our judges for taking on this important role.
How does judging work? Great question. We believe all awards programs should be clear and transparent about their judging procedures, and our goal has always been the same. That’s why we publish our Judging Process–so you know exactly what the judges are looking for when they review your entry to the National Magazine Awards.
The nominations for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards will be announced on April 20.
Subscribe to our MagAwards Blog or Newsletter to receive the nominations to your inbox, and follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for updates throughout the spring, including the announcement of the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards Gala. Awards in Writing and Visual categories include a cash prize of $1000.
New for 2017, the NMAF presents the International Impact Award. Deadline March 1.
This award honours a Canadian who is making a significant contribution to a field of magazine journalism beyond the borders of Canada.
This award may recognize writers, photographers, illustrators, editors, publishers, art directors, circulation experts, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, production managers, digital journalism gurus—in short, anyone working in magazine journalism. It cannot be given posthumously.
Nominations must consist of:
A cover letter indicating the candidate’s name, title, and a summary of their career achievements, including links to or examples of their work;
At least two (2) supporting letters from other individuals–colleagues, mentors, teachers or others.
All nominations will be considered by the Board of Directors of the NMAF, which will select 1 winner to receive his or her award at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. The award includes 2 tickets to the National Magazine Awards, an Awards Certificate, and promotion in NMAF publications reaching the entire Canadian magazine industry.
The NMAF is excited to announce the Call for Entries for the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, honouring excellence by Canada’s digital publishers and creators in 22 awards categories. Submissions are now being accepted at digitalpublishingawards.ca and the deadline is January 31.
“In our second year as Canada’s preeminent digital awards competition, the 2017 DPAs have expanded to reflect new trends and attitudes in digital publishing and content. Over the past year, Canadian publishers and creators have thrilled audiences with informative and innovative digital journalism and storytelling. We are looking forward to rewarding the very best of Canada’s digital creators.”
— Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF
Submissions are open to Canadian digital publishers and content creators whose work appeared in them during 2016. Eligible publications—including those that support established brands in magazine, newspaper, broadcast, B2B and other journalism, as well as those that serve their audiences exclusively as digital brands—is one with a permanent editorial staff in Canada and published in either English or French or a combination of both.
Awards for individual creators include a cash prize of $500.
WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR After a successful inaugural year in 2016, the Digital Publishing Awards has expanded its program under the guidance of our Advisory Committee, feedback from participants and judges, and the NMAF Board of Directors.
The top overall prize—General Excellence in Digital Publishing—will be presented in two divisions, for large and small publications.
Other new categories include:
Best Social Storytelling
Best Online Video in 3 divisions:
Short (under 2 minutes)
Feature (2-5 minutes)
Mini-Doc (more than 5 minutes
Best News Coverage in 2 divisions:
Provincial & Local
National & International
Best Personal Essay
Best Arts & Culture
Best Service Feature: Lifestyle
Best Service Feature: Family, Health & Careers
Best Fashion & Beauty
Emerging Excellence Award
Digital Publishing Leadership Award
RULES & JUDGING For a complete guide to eligible publications and content, please see the DPA Rules.
For a complete description of judging procedures, please see the DPA Judging Process.
To nominate a colleague as a judge, please see the DPA Call for Judges.
SUBMISSIONS & DEADLINE Submissions can be made online at digitalpublishingawards.ca.
The entry fee for most awards is $95 at the Early-Bird rate (by January 20).
The final deadline for all entries is January 31.
ABOUT THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS The Digital Publishing Awards promote and reward the achievements of those who create digital publishing content in Canada—the writers and editors, designers and developers, video and podcast producers, photographers and illustrators, and many others. The DPA program recognizes, celebrates and promotes to a national audience the innovative publishing teams that produce digital content in Canadian media.
The Digital Publishing Awards are produced by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, a not-for-profit, registered charity that has administered Canada’s annual National Magazine Awards since 1977. With a reputation for facilitating a rigorous, fair and transparent awards program in which content creators are recognized and rewarded for outstanding achievement in magazine journalism, the NMAF is proud to present the Digital Publishing Awards in partnership with Canada’s leading producers and creators of digital publishing.
Are you an emerging Canadian magazine journalist? Have you published your first feature story in a Canadian consumer, B2B or university magazine within the last 2 years? Chances are you’re eligible to be named Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.
The National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer goes to the journalist whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. The award includes a cash prize of $1000, an awards certificate, and nationwide recognition.
ELIGIBILITY Eligible work–including profiles, personal essays, reporting, literary journalism and other non-fiction genres–must have been published in a Canadian magazine (print, online or tablet) between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Candidates must not have published any feature-length magazine work prior to 2015. The intent is to restrict this award to students and emerging writers with a maximum of 2 years’ experience in professional journalism. One entry per person. See the NMAF’s rules for further information about eligible publications.
HOW TO ENTER Enter your submissions at magazine-awards.com. Submissions may be made by the writer or their editor or teacher, and must include a PDF of the work as well as a letter of reference (see requirements below). The deadline for applications is January 20. The cost to enter is $95 (freelancers who enter their own work may be eligible for the Freelancer Support Fund and an entry fee of just $50).
Upload a PDF of a letter of reference from a teacher, editor, mentor or colleague, which should introduce the candidate to the jury, attest to their eligibility for this award, and provide context for the work submitted. Both the story and letter are reviewed by the judges.
Pay the submission fee by cheque or credit card.
FINALISTS AND WINNERS
A shortlist of up to 5 finalists will be announced in the spring, and all finalists receive a certificate and recognition in NMAF publications and at the gala. The winner will be revealed at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala.
There is a cash prize of $1000 and an awards certificate, and the right to call yourself a National Magazine Award winner. We’ll interview you for our blog and newsletter, and promote you and your work to art directors and magazine readers nationwide.
ABOUT THE NMAF
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. The annual program of awards are presented in the spring and are followed by a year-long national publicity campaign and several professional development opportunities.
1. This year’s National Magazine Awards program has 25 categories (plus 3 special awards), down from 40 in 2016. Why did you eliminate so many awards? Yes, this year’s NMAs are very different. Over the last few years, many people have told us that having so many categories diminishes the individual value of a National Magazine Award—and makes the NMA gala a very long show. The first NMAs (in 1977) had just 15 awards, and since then we’ve gradually expanded, mostly adding subject-specific awards. For our 40th anniversary we envisioned a new Strategic Direction for the NMAF with an emphasis on increasing the value and prestige of a National Magazine Award. A tighter awards program focusing on the unique forms (rather than subjects) of magazine creation is the result of a long and deliberative process. Plus, a program of 25 awards is more aligned with other prestigious awards programs like the Ellies and Oscars.
We know it’ll take some getting used to, but we hope you’ll agree that the new NMAs (and expanded DPAs) are a better and brighter reflection of the Canadian magazine and digital publishing landscape.
2. How did you decide to eliminate certain categories? This year’s exciting new awards program is a reflection of the following processes:
Feedback from previous participants, nominees and winners;
3. I used to enter written categories like Arts & Entertainment, Business, Politics, Society, Travel, etc. Where can I enter these stories now? The new NMAs emphasize form over subject, so we encourage you to enter your work for Writing Awards based on your story’s form. Is it a Long-Form feature, a Short Feature, a Profile, an Essay, an Investigative piece, a Service piece, etc? Also, bear in mind that if your story was published in a digital format, it may be eligible for a Digital Publishing Award.
4. I used to enter visual categories likeFashion, Homes & Gardens, Still-Life Photography, etc.Where can I enter these stories now? Many of these magazine stories may be eligible in the new category called Photography: Lifestyle. Also, in a move reflecting trends in Fashion & Beauty publishing, we have created a Digital Publishing Award for Best Fashion & Beauty Story. The DPAs have other categories that may be attractive for visual creators and publishers, too.
5. What else is new this year with NMA categories?
Editorial Package is now an Integrated Award (it used to be a Writing Award), to better reflect collaboration by the entire editorial team. Former submitters in Best Single Issue may now submit to this category, too.
Single Service Article Package has been re-imagined as Service Editorial Package, again reflecting collaboration by the entire editorial team.
Submitters to Magazine of the Year will need to complete a comprehensive application form, highlighting their achievements over the past year in 4 criteria: Quality, Innovation, Impact, and Brand Awareness. We wanted to make the Magazine of the Year award more objective and evidence-based. And this year’s jury will expand from 3 to 5 judges, including at least 1 international judge. Submitters to the former award for Best Magazine Brand will recognize these criteria and are encouraged to submit for Magazine of the Year.
There’s a new, special award—the Foundation Award for International Impact—recognizing a Canadian who is making a significant contribution to a field of magazine journalism beyond the borders of Canada. The deadline to nominate someone is March 1.
6. Who wins National Magazine Awards? NMAs are awarded to content creators. In Written and Visual categories, this means it is the individual writer, photographer, illustrator or stylist who receives recognition (and the prize money). In Integrated categories, the entire team of staff and contributors are rewarded.
7. What is the prize money? A Gold Medal for a Writing or Visual Award includes a cash prize of $1000.
8. Where does my submission fee go? The NMAF is a non-profit organization and all entry fees go towards prize money, the administrative costs of sorting submissions and facilitating the judging process.
9. Who is eligible for a National Magazine Award? To be named as a creator on any submission, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Your work must be published in a Canadian magazine, print, online or tablet.
10. I’m a freelancer. Can I enter my own work? Yes! Not only can you submit your own work, but you may also be eligible for our new Freelancer Support Fund, which allows freelancers to submit their first two (2) entries at the discounted rate of $50 per submission.
11. What is a magazine? The NMAF’s guiding principle for magazine publishing is that the publication, whether print, tablet or website, must self describe as a magazine; be editorial in nature (that is, it must have and submit a clear editorial mandate); be the product of an editorial process; and be published regularly.
12. In which category is my work eligible? You decide which of the NMA Categories is best suited to your work. Most written and visual work may be entered in more than one category except where specific restrictions are stated. (There is a separate fee for each individual entry.) The judges—not the NMAF—will determine whether your entry is appropriate to the category’s definition.
13. Who are the judges for the NMAs? In composing its judging panels the NMAF strives for diversity of geography, language and expertise. Judges are recognized experts in a particular field of magazine publishing, editing, design, content creation and business, and may have an expertise in a subject relevant to a particular category. Read more about the Judging Process.
14. How many judges evaluate my work? Submissions in written categories are evaluated by separate English- and French-language juries for each category, and each jury receives identical scoring procedures and criteria. Each jury is composed of a diverse panel of 3 experts. Submissions in visual, integrated and special award categories are evaluated by juries of 3-5 members, one or more of whom is bilingual.
15. What are judges looking for? Judges in written categories look for excellence in writing style, content, overall impact and successful engagement of the intended reader, as well as the entry’s relevance to the category’s definition. Judges in visual categories assess the aesthetic as well as the practical concerns of each entry, evaluating the functionality of the visual material and its appropriateness to the category, to the text it accompanies and to the magazine medium. Judges in integrated and special categories follow the guidelines of each category’s definition. See the NMAF’s Judging Process for full details.
16. Do the juries know who the submitter is on an entry? [UPDATED]
No. Judges do not get to see who submitted an entry (e.g. if it was a magazine editor or a freelancer).
17. What happens if a category does not receive enough submissions? For categories with 15 or fewer submissions, the NMAF reserves the right to name only 5 finalists and a single overall Gold winner. If not enough submissions are received to provide a legitimate competition, the NMAF reserves the right to cancel that category after submissions are complete. In the event of a category cancellation all submissions fees will be refunded in that category.
18. Are full-book entries eligible in written categories? In most cases, entries in written categories are open only to individual articles. However, in the case where the entire issue of the magazine constitutes a single article (such as a listings issue), that issue may be eligible as long as it fits the category definition. The NMAF reserves the right for its judges to determine whether a full-book entry is eligible. The integrated category Editorial Package is specifically open to a collection of articles on a related theme in a single issue. Where the entire issue of a magazine consists of a single editorial package, that entire issue may be eligible in this category.
19. We’re a small magazine. Is there a special offer for our entry fees? Yes! The NMAF offers a Small Magazine Rebate to print and digital magazines with an annual revenue of under $200,000. Deadline to apply is January 13. Read more here.
20. Are there categories just for digital publications? Yes. While written and visual content published online or in tablet editions is eligible in most NMA categories, there are also 22 categories specific to digital content in our Digital Publishing Awards. Submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards open on January 2. Deadline: January 31.
21. Can I submit work that was commissioned for a print magazine but published online? Yes, any story published by a Canadian magazine, whether published in print or online, is eligible for a National Magazine Award.
22. What types of digital and web-based magazines are eligible for the NMAs? An eligible digital publication may be a magazine website, tablet edition or publication, or an online-only magazine. Review the Eligibility and Rules for clarification.
23. What exactly is meant by a Magazine Website? A Magazine Website may be either the companion website of a print magazine title or an online-only publication that self-identifies as a magazine.
24. What exactly is meant by a Tablet Magazine? A Tablet Magazine is a publication that produces a complete issue of a magazine but distributes it digitally on a tablet platform.
25. How do I submit an individual entry that appeared in a tablet edition? A PDF of the entire entry is required for all submissions and you will be prompted to upload your PDF in the online submission form. Please upload an original PDF, not a snapshot taken from the tablet edition and subsequently converted to a PDF.
26. How do I submit a full-book tablet edition for consideration? This includes tablet magazine entries for Art Direction for an Entire Issue and Editorial Package. The submission form for these categories will require the iTunes URL to your magazine app. We request that the issue be made available for free or that a promotion code be provided. If judges are required to pay for content, the NMAF will invoice the submitter for the additional expenses.
27. Can online content really compete against print in written categories? Yes. Judges in written categories look for excellence in writing style, content, overall impact and successful engagement of the intended reader, as well as the entry’s relevance to the category’s definition. Whether published in print or online, it is the quality of the work that counts.