Our thanks to all NMA40 Submitters! Let the Judging Commence

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.

The NMAF is also accepting nominations for the Outstanding Achievement Award and the new International Impact Award. Deadline March 1.

Thank you for participating in the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. We look forward to a great year ahead, Celebrating Canadian Creators.

Call for Entries: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to present a bold new lineup of awards for 2017—our 40th anniversary of Celebrating Canadian Creators.

We are now accepting submissions. Deadline January 20.

This year’s National Magazine Awards will feature 25 categories structured to emphasize the unique forms and functions of magazine journalism. Writing and Visual Awards include a cash prize of $1000 to the Gold Medal winners.

“For our 40th anniversary year, the NMAF challenged itself to make our awards programs more valuable and more prestigious to Canadian creators. I’m grateful to our participants, partners and stakeholders for consistently reminding us how important the NMAF brand is as a leader in our industry, and for guiding us towards a stronger and better National Magazine Awards. We look forward to honouring your work this year, and establishing new benchmarks of excellence in journalism.”
– Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF

In most categories, there will be a maximum of 10 finalists determined by the jury, and the top two will win the Gold and Silver medals. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
Read more about these awards and category definitions.

How and why did the NMAF decide to eliminate certain categories this year?
Check out our FAQ for all the answers.

GUIDE TO THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NMAs
Download our Guide to the 40th National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, criteria, submissions guidelines, rules, deadlines and more.

FREELANCER SUPPORT FUND
Last month the NMAF announced a new program for freelancers to save 50% on entries to the National Magazine Awards. Find out more.

SMALL MAGAZINE REBATE
Magazines with under $200,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate, equal to 1 FREE ENTRY. Apply by January 13. Find out more.

JUDGING PROCESS
The NMAF has announced changes to its judging process, including more robust criteria and scoring procedures, and an amalgamation of the two-tiered judging system for written categories.
Read about the new NMAF Judging Process.

Find out how to get involved as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.

Read about our new International Judges.

HOW TO SUBMIT
1. Review the Categories, Rules, FAQ, & Instructions
2. Register online at submissions.magazine-awards.com
3. Enter the details of each submission
4. Upload a PDF of each submission
5. Pay the required entry fees ($95 for most entries)
6. Courier hard copies (if required)

DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS
Last month the NMAF announced an expanded program for the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, featuring 22 categories recognizing excellence by the creators of Canadian Digital Publications, including online and tablet magazines. Submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2.

DEADLINES
January 13: NMA Early Bird Deadline
January 20: NMA Final Deadline
January 27: Magazine of the Year Deadline
January 31: Digital Publishing Awards Deadline

40th ANNIVERSARY GALA
We’ll be announcing the details of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala later this winter. Stay tuned right here on the NMA blog.

READY TO SUBMIT?
Click here and get started

Call for Judges: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is getting ready to honour the best in Canadian magazine and digital journalism at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards and 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards. The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s awards programs, and join the great tradition of recognizing achievement by the creators of Canadian magazines and digital publications.

One of the reasons I volunteer as a judge for the NMAs is that the process is very well organized, completely transparent and fair. I really enjoy the discussion with my fellow judges. It’s collegial, and I almost always learn something. And every year I discover a few outstanding new writers who have produced great work. That’s a gift.
Kelly Toughill, Director, School of Journalism, University of King’s College, Halifax, NS

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its new strategic mission to Celebrate Canadian Creators wherever they publish.
  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards or Digital Publishing Awards;
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award or Digital Publishing Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA or DPA categories (such as health, business, photojournalism, science, service, politics, fiction, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • BilingualNot all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

Judging will take place during February and March 2017, and the NMAF is currently hard at work revising our judging procedures and awards criteria thanks to your feedback and participation in our surveys and working groups. We’ll be announcing our new Judging Procedure soon.

Contact us at staff@magazine-awards.com for more information and to nominate someone to the jury.

The NMAF is proud to have some of Canada’s most respected journalists and experts serve on its past juries.

stevesI judge for the NMAs because I want to give back to the magazine industry and contribute its health. It also gives me the chance to see where other magazines in the country are having their successes.
Steven Sandor, Editor, Avenue Edmonton, AB


The NMAs focus on creators, the people who are create the work that makes everything else possible. Given all of the challenges that creators face in earning a living, participating in a process that recognizes and rewards their efforts is, I think, important and valuable work.
Kim Pittaway, former editor, Chatelaine, and journalism teacher, Dartmouth, NS


I think the NMAs themselves are a valuable measure of the accomplishments of Canadian magazine writers and editors. As to the process, we were given sufficient time and a workable structure both leading up to and in the conversation itself. My fellow judges offered interesting insights into the work considered and the process was both engaged and congenial.
Kim Jernigan, former editor, The New Quarterly, Waterloo, ON



I enjoy being part of any process that involves visual communication. It helps me to learn more about my work as well as connect with others in the industry.
Brent Morrison, Art Director, Swerve magazine, Calgary, AB


I enjoy the process because it gives me the opportunity to contribute both individually and collectively. Entering my own scores for each entry validates the time I spend reviewing and assessing each submission; discussing my assessments with the other judges during our conference call provides the opportunity to weigh the value of those assessments against the opinions of other industry experts and (on occasion) to argue in favour of work which I feel may have been undervalued.
Dawn Chafe, Executive Editor, Atlantic Business Magazine, St. John’s, NL



Having been involved since the 1980s, as a board member, president (1991) a member of a special review committee (Strategic Speculation) and a frequent judge, I have a real investment in the event. What I like most of all is the emphasis the awards have nurtured of rewarding the effort of individual creators (rather than the publications, which get to bask in the reflected glory anyway.) Some no longer seem to value, or understand, this. But it is one of the things which makes the MagAwards special.
D.B. Scott, publisher, Canadian Magazines blog, Cambridge, ON


I enjoy the chance to dive deep into excellent work that I might have missed the first time around. It’s also a chance to (literally) cast my vote for storytelling that serves the reader and the material, not just the reputation of the writer or magazine.
Susan Catto, editor, Hello! Canada, Toronto, ON


The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in November for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines and digital publications in 2016. The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala and the 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards soiree will be held in the spring of 2017.

For more information, please contact staff@magazine-awards.com.

NMAF Announces New Strategic Initiatives & Board Members

[This post has been updated.]
The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce a number of important changes and new initiatives as we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Magazine Awards and an exciting new year for the Digital Publishing Awards.

At its AGM and meeting of August 30th, the NMAF Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan that will ensure the National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards continue their important role in recognizing and celebrating Canadian creators.

These changes are designed to maintain and advance the NMAF’s 40-year status as the gold standard of creative excellence and the pinnacle of professional achievement for award recipients. Specific initiatives include:

  • Refining the categories of the National Magazine Awards to a more focused number of awards;
  • A reformatted awards event to facilitate more conversation and networking;
  • Introducing a more rigorous definition and criteria of the Magazine of the Year award;
  • Expanding the Digital Publishing Awards;
  • A more streamlined judging process for assessing English and French submissions in the same category;
  • Enhancing the national footprint of the awards through more regional events and closer collaboration with regional institutions outside of Ontario;
  • Being more inclusive of the diversity in Canadian magazine and digital publishing;
  • In a first for any Canadian publishing awards, raising the profile of Canadian creators on the international stage, by:
    • recognizing the excellence of Canadian contributors to international media, and
    • introducing judges from the international magazine community.

The NMAF invites all members of the Canadian magazine industry—whether you regularly participate in the awards or not—to join us in this process, whether volunteering to serve on the board, committees or working groups; volunteering as a judge; or simply providing your input on how the NMAF can best serve Canada’s magazine and digital creators. Get in touch with us at staff@magazine-awards.com.

NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The NMAF is pleased to announce that Nino Di Cara has been elected Board President for a two-year term effective August 30. Mr. Di Cara is the Executive Vice-President, Content Marketing, at Bookmark (formerly Spafax), and previously held senior titles at Rogers Communications and TC Media.

Mr. Di Cara has been elected with a broad mandate to spearhead new strategic initiatives for the NMAF, as well as to engage and work collaboratively with the Foundation’s stakeholders—creators, publishers, judges, partners, sponsors and more—to build on the NMAF’s core mission to Celebrate Canadian Creators.

To help achieve this exciting agenda for 2017 and beyond, the NMAF is pleased to announce the first wave of new additions to its board:

JoAnne Caza is a member of the Mercedes-Benz Canada executive team. She heads up the Communications and Public Relations department which is responsible for several of the marketing activities at Mercedes-Benz Canada. She is the company’s spokesperson and the PR aspect of her job includes day-to-day media relations on a corporate front as well for all of Mercedes-Benz’ brands.

Derek Finkle is the founder of Canadian Writers Group which represents independent Canadian writers, and which aligned with Parcel, a brand strategy and communications design firm, in 2016. He is the former editor of Toro magazine, contributing editor of Saturday Night, and a National Magazine Award-winning writer. He is the author of the book No Claim to Mercy, an examination of the troubling Robert Baltovich murder case. No Claim to Mercy won the Crime Writers’ Arthur Ellis Award for best non-fiction and was named a Notable Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail.

Tom Gierasimczuk is an award-winning journalist and media executive with a proven record of developing effective multi-platform, editorially driven marketing strategies that engage audiences and infuse brand communication with purpose and utility. Tom has built media properties for clients ranging from WestJet Airlines to Microsoft while working in senior leadership roles with Canada’s largest media and communications companies including Rogers Media, Transcontinental, Canada Wide Media and Yellow Pages, where he was Publisher and GM of Vancouver magazine and Western Living.

Peter McNeill is the National Director of KPMG Enterprise and a marketing executive with over twenty years of experience providing leadership and strategy to both start-ups and major Fortune 500 brands. He specializes in Global Brand Building and Management, Marketing Programs, Partnerships & Alliances, Marketing Strategy, People Management, Public Relations, Digital Media, Business Development. He has previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of United Way of York Region.

Raf Katigbak is Creative Lead at Virtue, the agency arm of VICE. He started at VICE as a columnist in the magazine in 2004, eventually becoming the Canadian editor of the publication, and then Senior Editor of the ‪VICE.com website. Over the years, he’s produced engaging, multi-platform content including documentaries, photo essays, and field reports, and written stories for a variety of publications and companies including The Montreal Mirror, En Route, and ALDO.

Dan McPhee is Head of Media Platforms at Google Canada. He is a trailblazing sales and marketing strategy thought leader, specializing in helping organizations capture market share while improving their bottom line. Combining deep business knowledge with a complete understanding of today’s consumer, Dan transforms business units into profitable market leaders that know how to win, and win the moments that matter.

Erin Millar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Discourse Media. She is an author, public speaker, magazine writer, and former president of Canadian University Press. She has reported from 15 countries around the world and her work has been translated into 34 languages. She teaches journalism at Quest University.

Our new electives join an existing NMAF Board of Directors that includes:

  • Liana Bell, CA, CPA, Partner, Clark-Henning LLP (Treasurer)
  • Joyce Byrne, Publisher, Avenue Magazine (Past President)
  • Julie Cailliau, Editor-in-Chief, Les Affaires
  • Christopher Frey, Toronto Correspondent, Monocle
  • Curtis Gillespie, Editor, Eighteen Bridges
  • David Hayes, Freelance Journalist
  • Judith Pereira, Senior Editor, Report on Business
  • Marnie Peters, Associate Vice-President, Public Relations, Royal Ontario Museum
  • Paul Roelofs, Creative Director & Publication Designer, Vancouver Magazine & Western Living
  • Terry Sellwood, former President, Cottage Life Media (Executive-At-Large)
  • Melony Ward, Publisher, Canada’s History & Kayak
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, Publisher, THIS Magazine

MORE TO COME
We are humbled by the fact that, according to feedback from our stakeholder surveys, Canadian magazine publishers and creators continue hold the NMAF brand in the highest regard as a not-for-profit, charitable organization that facilitates trustworthy, inclusive and transparent awards programs that reflect the strength and breadth of magazine and digital publishing across Canada.

We encourage all Canadian publishers, editors, art directors, staff and contributors to join us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards and the 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards.

The NMAF will provide regular updates this fall regarding strategic initiatives and changes to its awards programs.

Call for Submissions: 39th annual National Magazine Awards

The 39th annual National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions at magazine-awards.com, recognizing excellence in Canadian magazine publishing in 2015.

If you’ve entered in the past, you’ll need to reset your password this year. If you’re new to the NMAs, click the option to register.

TOTAL AWARDS (39)
– 21 written categories
– 9 visual categories
– 5 integrated categories
– 4 special categories:
Magazine of the Year ]
Best Magazine Brand ]
Best New Magazine Writer ]
Best New Magazine Photographer ]

DIGITAL CATEGORIES?
This year the NMAF will offer digital categories as part of the new Digital Publishing Awards programStarting January 4 you’ll be able to enter your tablet, web, video, podcast, multimedia and other content in the Digital Publishing Awards.

Reminder: Written & visual content from digital and tablet magazines and magazine websites is still eligible in most NMA categories.

WHAT DO I NEED TO SUBMIT?
Before logging into the online submissions portal, make sure you have the following:
– name & email of the author/creator & editor/art director of each entry;
– title, date and publication of each entry;
– PDF of each entry (see instructions for PDF specs)
– statement of your magazine’s editorial mandate (max 300 words)
– form of payment (credit card or cheque)

Hard copies of entries are only required for the categories Editorial Package, Magazine Covers, Best Single Issue, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Best Magazine Brand, and Magazine of the Year.

ENTRY FEES
For most categories, the entry fee is $95 if you submit by the early bird deadline of January 11. For large and full-book categories, the entry fee is $150. For Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Magazine Photographer, the entry fee is only $25.

SMALL MAGAZINE REBATE
Are you the publisher of a small magazine (under $200,000 in annual revenue)? You may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate to receive 1 free entry to this year’s National Magazine Awards. You must apply by January 11.

DEADLINES
– Early-bird deadline: Monday, January 11
– Final deadline: Friday, January 15

PRIZES
All Gold Medal winners in written and visual categories and some integrated categories receive a cash prize of $1000. Silver Medal winners receive $500. Winners of Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Magazine Photographer receive $500. All winners and finalists receive awards certificates.

CAN FREELANCERS ENTER?
Yes, freelancers as well as publishers and magazine staff members can enter their own work in the National Magazine Awards.

ELIGIBILITY & RULES
Review the NMAF’s Eligibility & Rules guidelines before submitting.

FAQ
Got questions? We’ve got answers.

WHAT’S NEW?
Enter the NMAs regularly? Not much has changed this year, except this.

FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Each year the NMAF recognizes an individual whose contribution to the Canadian magazine industry deserves special distinction. Nominations for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement can come from anyone in the industry. There is no fee to nominate someone. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2016.

CALL FOR JUDGES
There’s still time to nominate yourself or a colleague to judge for this year’s National Magazine Awards.

NOMINEES & WINNERS
Finalists for all awards will be announced by May 2, and the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala will be held on June 10. The date of the Digital Publishing Awards event will be announced in the spring. Follow us on Twitter and on the Magazine Awards blog for news and updates.

Questions? Contact staff [at] magazine-awards.com.

Good luck to this year’s entries. We look forward to recognizing excellence in Canadian magazine publishing from 2015.

Call for Judges: National Magazine Awards

This year the Canadian magazine industry will celebrate the 39th annual National Magazine Awards. Submissions open on December 1 for awards in 39 categories, and we are looking for volunteer judges to serve on our juries.

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the generously donated time and expertise of over 200 volunteer judges, who sit on three-member peer juries for our written, visual, integrated and special awards. Judging takes place between late January and late March, depending on the category.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards (naturally you cannot serve as a judge in a category where your magazine is entered, but potentially in other categories);
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian magazines (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA categories (such as health, business, photojournalism, science, sports, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, politics, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all written categories are judged by both unilingual and bilingual juries, and most other categories include one or more bilingual members on their juries.

For more information, review the NMAF’s Judging Process on our website, as well as the Eligibility & Rules.

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a candidate to judge, please contact the NMAF at
Email: staff@magazine-awards.com
Twitter DM
@MagAwards

Please include your name, contact information and a brief bio or summary of your expertise.

Call for Judges: 2014 National Magazine Awards

Judge_image

This year the Canadian magazine industry will celebrate the 38th annual National Magazine Awards. Submissions open on December 1 for awards in over 40 categories, and we are looking for volunteer judges to serve on our juries.

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the generously donated time and expertise of over 200 volunteer judges, who sit on three-member peer juries for our written, visual, integrated and special awards. Judging takes place between early February and mid-April, depending on the category.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards (naturally you cannot serve as a judge in a category where your magazine is entered, but potentially in other categories);
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian magazines (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award yourself);
  • Journalist with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA categories (such as health, business, photojournalism, science, sports, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, poetry, etc);
  • Bilingual (obviously not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all written categories are judged by both unilingual and bilingual juries, and most other categories include one or more bilingual members on their juries).

For more information, review the NMAF’s Judging Process on our website, as well as the Eligibility & Rules.

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a candidate to judge, please contact the NMAF at staff [at] magazine-awards.com. Please include your name, contact information and a brief bio or summary of your expertise.

Call for Judges: The 37th annual National Magazine Awards

This year the Canadian magazine industry will celebrate the 37th annual National Magazine Awards. Submissions open on December 1 for awards in 48 categories, and we are looking for volunteer judges to serve on our juries for these categories.

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the generously donated time and expertise of over 200 volunteer judges, who sit on three-member peer juries for our written, visual, integrated and special awards.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards (naturally you cannot serve as a judge in a category where your magazine is entered, but potentially in other categories);
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian magazines (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award yourself);
  • Journalist with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA categories (such as health, business, science, sports, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, poetry, etc);
  • Bilingual (obviously not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all written categories are judged by both unilingual and bilingual juries, and most other categories include one or more bilingual members on their juries).

For more information, review the NMAF’s Judging Process on our website, as well as the Eligibility & Rules and Previous Judges.

To submit yourself or a colleague as a candidate to judge, please contact the NMAF at staff [at] magazine-awards.com. Please include your name, contact information and a brief bio or summary of your expertise.

Call for Participants: NMAF Round Table on Eligibility & Judging

[This post has been updated] Each autumn the NMAF convenes one or more Round-Table discussions with members of the industry to help us ensure we are representing the needs of our stakeholders.

On Thursday, September 26 [Update: at 2:30pm] in Toronto the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) will host an industry Round-Table discussion concerning its policies on magazine eligibility and its judging process. All stakeholders and representatives of participating magazines are invited attend, but must RSVP not later than Friday, September 20.

Agenda: The NMAF has proposed two general topics for discussion and feedback; however, we also invite attendees to table other questions, concerns and ideas regarding the policies, procedures and roles of the NMAF in the magazine industry.

  1. Magazine Eligibility: What defines a magazine and who may participate in the National Magazine Awards?
  2. Digital Magazines & Content: Is the NMAF serving the needs of the industry and representing relevant creators?

Participants: Members of the NMAF Board of Directors and Judging Committee will join industry representatives for a 90-minute open discussion. Ideal participants will fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • General familiarity with NMAF’s operations, stakeholders and roles in the Canadian magazine industry;
  • Prior service as an NMA judge, particularly judges who’ve participated in multiple years and/or multiple categories;
  • Interest in / experience with being involved with the broad issues of the NMAF and the Canadian magazine industry at large;
  • Working in / knowledge of digital magazine production or digital aspect of the magazine industry;
  • General seniority or prominence in the industry;
  • Representation from a variety of participating magazines, magazine companies, and geographic regions of Canada.

Participants from outside Toronto may attend via teleconference. Participants in Toronto are encouraged to attend in person.

Those interested to attend should please contact NMAF Special Projects Manager Richard Johnson not later than Friday, September 20.

Email: richard.johnson [at] magazine-awards.com

Confirmed participants will receive a detailed agenda and other event information by Monday, September 23.

Call for National Magazine Awards Judges

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on over two hundred volunteer judges to evaluate the collection of nearly 2000 wonderful submissions we receive from magazines and individuals across the country. [Version française ici]

These judges are not only leaders and experts in their field but also committed to ensuring a strong and vibrant Canadian magazine industry where excellence today serves as the standard for tomorrow’s creators.

This year we are looking for new judges to serve on English, French and bilingual juries for written categories, as well as juries for visual, integrated and special categories, including digital-publishing experts.

Judges ideally should be veterans of the magazine industry in editing, publishing, writing, art direction, illustration, photography, digital production or circulation, or offer expertise in a particular field pertinent to the National Magazine Awards.

Whether you have judged in the past or are new to the National Magazine Awards, we welcome and will consider all candidates.

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a judge, or for more information, please review the NMAF Judging Process and contact our office at staff [at] magazine-awards.com.

National Magazine Awards > Frequently Asked Questions

This post has been updated for 2012. With the annual NMA submissions season about to begin on December 1, the NMAF is rolling out some answers to some general questions about the awards. If you have a question not addressed here, leave a comment or contact us. [Version française ici]

1. Who wins National Magazine Awards?
NMAs are awarded to content creators. In most categories this means it is the individual writer, photographer, illustrator or stylist who receives recognition and the award (and the prize money). In certain package and full-book categories the editors, art directors or a team of staff and contributors are rewarded. The magazine or website that published the winning work shares in the bragging rights and enjoys a spike in popularity. To search for past winners by year, category, individual or magazine, visit the NMAF Awards Archive.

2. What is the prize money?
A Gold NMA includes a cash prize of $1000. A Silver NMA includes a cash prize of $500. Where there is more than one creator named on a single winning entry, the cash prize will be split evenly between those creators. If there is a tie for Gold or Silver between two or more winning entries, both entries will receive a share of the stipulated cash prize. (When there is a tie for Gold in a categor, a Silver award is not given. If there are three or fewer nominees, then only a Gold award will be given.)

3. 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.

4. 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 original (not stock or previously published in any form), commissioned by the magazine or website and published within the eligible calendar year. Magazine and websites must be a majority Canadian owned, publish at least two issues per year and meet Canadian magazine industry’s Code of Reader & Advertiser Engagement. See the NMAF’s Eligibility and Rules for full details before submitting.

5. 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. A print or tablet publication must be published at least twice per year. A magazine website must have been launched before December 1, 2012. All magazines must meet the requirements of the NMAF’s Eligibility and Rules.

6. In which category is my work eligible?
It is the responsibility of the submitter to determine 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. Any entry deemed by judges to be entered in the wrong category will be disqualified.

7. Who are the judges for the NMAs?
Each year the NMAF relies on the expertise of more than two hundred volunteer judges to evaluate and rank all submissions. 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.

8. How many judges evaluate my work?
Submissions in written categories are evaluated in a first tier by separate English- and French-language juries for each category. A shortlist of top entries from those panels, proportional by language, goes on to a second, bilingual jury for each category. Thus by the time a winner is selected, six judges have weighed in equally on all finalists. Submissions in visual, integrated and special award categories are evaluated by juries of 3-5 members, one or more of whom is bilingual.

9. 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.

10. What happens if a category does not receive enough submissions?
Categories are offered on a trial basis when they are first introduced. 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.

11. We’re a small magazine. Could you help me with the submission fees?
Yes! The NMAF offers co-financing to print and digital magazines with an annual revenue of under $250,000 and that meet one of two circulations levels. Although as a charity we have a total fixed amount we are able to offer, there is no limit to the number of submissions a publication may enter.  The application process is simple and funds are allocated on a first come, first served basis. The deadline for applications is December 14, 2012. Read more here.

TABLET MAGAZINES AND MAGAZINE WEBSITES

12. What types of digital and web-based magazines are eligible for the NMAs?
An eligible digital publication may be a Magazine Website or a Tablet Magazine. All publications wishing to enter the NMAs must meet the requirements of the NMAF’s Eligibility and Rules.

13. 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. Content from magazine websites may enter most awards categories with some exceptions. See the list of categories for details.

14. 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. Like a print magazine issue it should be a static creation, as opposed to a website that is updated frequently. Tablet magazines may enter most awards categories with some exceptions. See the list of categories for details.

15. Are there categories just for digital publications?
Yes. The categories Blogs, Editorial Package–Web, Magazine Website Design and Magazine Website of the Year are open exclusively to magazine websites. The category Tablet Magazine of the Year is open exclusively to tablet editions. The category Online Videos is open to magazine websites and tablet editions.

16. How do I submit an individual entry that appeared in a tablet edition?
Written-category submissions require three (3) sets of photocopies of the entry no matter the platform of publication. A PDF of the entire entry is required for all submissions (in all categories) 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.

17. How do I submit a full-book tablet edition for consideration?
These include Tablet Magazine entries for Art Direction for an Entire Issue, Best Single Issue and Tablet Magazine of the Year. The submission form for these categories will require the iTunes URL to your magazine app. We’ll also require one of two things: either that the issue to be judged be made free to download or a promotional code (or similar) be included to ensure that the issue may be viewed by the NMA judges for free. This step is important – requiring judges to pay for tablet entries would be like asking them to buy magazines at the newsstand to evaluate print entries. Any full-book Digital Magazine entry that requires payment to be viewed will be disqualified. A PDF is also required for these categories; submitters may upload a PDF of just the cover of the issue.

18. 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. Any article that meets these requirements likely will be received well by the judges, whether it was originally published in print or online. (All submitters in written categories, whether print or digital, must submit six sets of photocopies of their work in accordance with the submissions guidelines. Judges will have access to both print and digital (PDF) versions of all entries as well as the editorial mandate of the publication.)

19. Is a blog eligible for a National Magazine Award?
Yes. New this year the NMAF is offering a written category for Blogs, which is open to submissions from a regular series of original written content produced by a magazine website that has a recognizable unifying voice or theme. Entries may consist of up to ten (10) blog posts by one or more authors. A blog or collection of blogs produced by a magazine website may be a component of an entry in the categories Editorial Package–Web and Magazine Website of the Year.

20. Who are the judges for digital categories?
Juries for the categories open exclusively to magazine websites and tablet magazines are composed of 3-4 individuals at least one of whom is bilingual. Each judging panel evaluates its assigned entries and convenes by teleconference to determine the finalists and winners. Each panel consists of at least one digital publishing editor, one designer and one writer and/or publisher. Read more about the NMAF Judging Process for all categories.

21. When do the judges evaluate digital categories?
Juries for Magazine Website Design and Magazine Website of the Year have approximately one month (from mid-February to mid-March following the submissions deadline) to evaluate live online content before meeting to decide on finalists and winners. This means that the design and content of the websites that appear during this one-month window will form the basis for evaluating entries in these categories.

Call for Judges

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on over two hundred volunteer judges to evaluate the trove of wonderful submissions we receive from magazines and individuals across the country.

This year we are looking for new judges to serve on English, French and bilingual juries for written categories, as well as juries for visual, digital, integrated and special categories. Judges ideally should be veterans of the magazine industry in editing, publishing, writing, creative direction, illustration, photography or circulation, or offer expertise in a particular field pertinent to the National Magazine Awards.

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a judge, or for more information, peruse the list of NMA Categories and the NMAF Judging Process, and contact our office at staff [at] magazine-awards.com.