Tips for getting your NMA submissions in on time

[This post has been updated] The submissions deadline for the 2011 National Magazine Awards is Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5pm Eastern Time — in other words, very soon.

If you’re just getting started or worried that you won’t get everything in on time, here are a couple of quick tips:

1. Submit low- or medium-resolution PDFs. All entries require PDFs, but if you’re submitting a host of entries and trying to upload hi-res PDFs for each, it will take longer for you to complete steps 1 and 2 of the 4-step submissions process. Save valuable time by preparing PDFs with a smaller file size. UPDATE: Don’t worry about what to name your PDF file, as our system will automatically rename your file to match your Entry Form number.

2. Verify your Paypal account. If you choose to pay by credit card in Step 2, you will be forwarded to the Paypal site to enter your credit card information. Occasionally for payments larger than $1000 Paypal will hold the payment for verification if you don’t already have a pre-verified Paypal account associated with your credit card. If Paypal won’t process your payment due to an unverified account, you may return to Step 2 and select the option to pay by cheque.

3. Estimate the transit time. Don’t forget, your hard copies must reach our office by 5pm on Friday, so if you are not in Toronto you should prepare to send your hard-copy material by a reliable overnight courier service if the deadline is getting close. Even if you are in Toronto, make sure you give yourself or your courier plenty of time to reach our office. If your entries don’t get to us by 5pm on Friday, or if they arrive over the weekend or on Monday Jan 16, you will be assessed a late fee of $25 per entry.

4. Send your cheque next week. If you’ve elected to pay by cheque but your company can’t issue it in time, you should still submit all your hard-copy material by the deadline, with a note on your Master Form stating that the cheque will follow. When you send your cheque next week please staple it to an extra copy of your Master Form. Payment must be received by Friday January 20 or your entries may be disqualified.

5. Relax. If you’ve done everything right, completed the online forms and sent your hard-copy material in, don’t worry about a thing. We cannot verify that we’ve received your submission until after the deadline. Rest assured, if you don’t hear from us by the week following the deadline then you did a perfect job and your submission was received in good order.

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