Final Call for Entries!

Mark your calendar: January 28, 2021 at midnight (EST) is your last chance to enter the 44th National Magazine Awards

For 2021, there are 29 amazing categories, two special awards, and seven categories that are part of our new, cross-programming initiative. And, if you’re a freelancer or a small magazine, we have a discounted rate for you! 

The submission process can be completed online (because of COVID-19, we are not requiring hard copies), and you can drop us a line at if you have any questions. 

Make sure to also check out 10 Great Reasons to Enter #NMA21 and 8 reasons why young writers and artists should enter the awards

Ready to start the submission process? Click here!

Our sister program, the Digital Publishing Awards, is also accepting entries up until January 29th at midnight (EST). There’s a $500 cash prize for gold winners in creator-focused categories, and submissions can be completed online

Good luck to everyone who enters!

10 Great Reasons to Enter #NMA21

Since 1977, the National Media Awards Foundation has been recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines. Each year, the Foundation grants more than $60,000 in prize money to award-winning writers, illustrators, photographers, and other creators, and bestows the honour and industry recognition of a National Magazine Award to the publishers, editors, art directors and other staff of more than 70 nominated publications.

And although that may be reason enough to enter, many previous winners are happy to give us more.

Here are 10 other reasons why you should consider entering the annual National Magazine Awards:

1. New Readers

Award-winning magazines attract new readers who are hungry for great stories.

2. Bragging Rights

Be able to tell your readers that you are delivering the best and most credible content, recognized by your peers in the magazine industry.

3. Get Noticed

With a National Magazine Award, writers, and artists find new audiences for their creative work and talent. In 2020, our virtual gala saw over nine thousand viewers!

4. Book Deal? 

Publishers take notice of award-winning work, and a National Magazine Award could be a step towards launching a book project or signing with an agent.

5. Find Your Next Job

Award-winning writers are better able to find new editors and publishers interested in their work.

6. Promote Your Innovations

Magazines are growing, and we’re growing with them. The NMAF recognizes achievement in digital content creation and all other enterprising magazine journalism. In fact, this year we’ve introduced an exciting cross-programming initiative, encouraging NMA participants to submit their work to seven additional categories. All entries will compete among those submitted to the Digital Publishing Awards (DPA) and National Magazine Awards: B2B (NMA) programs, and winners will be announced across all three programs—this means that your work will reach an even wider audience!

7. Build Your Confidence

Freelancing is one of the most challenging pursuits for an artist or journalist, and sometimes even lonely. Awards and nominations are benchmarks of progress. (To help out you hard-working freelancers, we offer a Freelancer Support Fund).

8. Celebrate Your Creators

Editors, publishers and art directors have the opportunity to reward the creative talent that helps their magazines sell copies and connect with readers. We’re proud to offer a Small Magazine Rebate, which ensures that the awards represent a broad range of Canadian publications.

9. Even a Nomination is a Celebration

We all start at the beginning, and just getting our work out there, and getting it noticed, is a step on the path to success. Plus, all entries are read by our roster of top-notch Canadian and international judges. (Take a look at the amazing individuals who judged for #NMA20!)

10. Believe in What We Do

After all, magazines are the medium of creativity, passion, and a deep engagement with our readers.

Ready to submit an entry to the 2021 National Magazine Awards? Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s submission requirements, and here’s the link to our online portal. Keep in mind that the the early bird deadline is January 21, 2021 and final deadline is January 28, 2021 at midnight (ET). We can’t wait to receive your work!

Why should young writers and artists enter the NMAs?

Few moments at the annual National Magazine Awards (NMA) gala are as satisfying as discovering which talented up-and-comers are named Canada’s Best Emerging Writer. This category (previously named “Best New Magazine Writer”) recognizes an individual’s early work in Canadian magazines that shows the highest degree of craft and promise. It’s open to students and writers with a maximum three years’ experience in professional journalism, and who have never been nominated for a National Magazine Award, Digital Publishing Award, or National Magazine Award: B2B (see the full requirements here).

Individuals may enter their own work, but editors, colleagues, or mentors are encouraged to nominate the talented young writers they’ve worked with, or even discovered.

Here are just a few reasons we think emerging creators might want to enter this category, and other NMA categories.


Right now, and until January 21, 2021, the early-bird rate is in effect! You’ll save $25 on entry fees and, because the National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is a registered charity, fees paid for submissions may be tax-deductible.

If you submit after January 21, you can still take advantage of the Freelancer Support Fund! This fund is available to anyone who is not a staff member of a publication whose work they are submitting, and whose byline appears on the work they are submitting. Check out the full details here, and make sure to submit by the final deadline of January 28, 2021 at midnight (ET).


Students are encouraged to submit, and the awards are open to work published in college and university magazines as well as any other eligible Canadian magazine.


While there is only one entry allowed per person for the Best Emerging Writer category, there is no limit to the number of submissions from a single publication. Freelancers, and emerging writers, are also encourages to submit to categories like Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Personal Journalism, and so many more.


The winner of each category will be announced at the 44th annual National Magazine Awards celebration. In 2020, our gala pivoted from an in-person event (with more than 300 of Canada’s top magazine publishers, editors, writers, and art directors) to a virtual livestream that saw over 9000 viewers. Freelancers and emerging creators will reap the benefits of this huge leap in virtual reach!

Winning work (and nominees) will also be promoted in NMAF publications, press releases, promotional campaigns — anything and everything we can do to celebrate emerging creative talent in our industry.


Got a Gold award in a creator-focused category? That medal also comes with a $1000 cash prize, and the right to call yourself a National Magazine Award winner in every bio for the rest of your life!


The winner of Best Emerging Writer joins a group of award laureates that includes Kate Black, Max Binks-Collier, Jessica Rose, Amorina Kingdon, Desmond Cole, Genna Buck, Catherine McIntyre, Sierra Skye Gemma, Liam Casey, and Matthieu Aikins. Check out the full list of incredible creators here.


Nominations and wins translate to financial support, career growth, and recognition from industry professionals—all of the ingredients freelancers and young creators need to build a robust career in Canadian media and publishing.

Check out what these creators have to say about the impact of winning an NMA:


The greatness of Canadian magazines is sustained by the talented, innovative and dynamic young people who love what they do and work hard to do it. At the NMAs we, like the rest of the Canadian magazine industry, want to recognize and celebrate this. We can’t do it without you.

So, round up your best work from 2020, and enter #NMA21!

Final Call for Entries

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Missed the early bird deadline? Fear not: you can still enter submissions for the 42nd National Magazine Awards until midnight (ET) on January 18th, 2019. There are 29 categories, honouring everything from investigative reporting to portrait and lifestyle photography. Browse through the full list of categories here.

Submitting is easy, and, if you hit a snag, you can always email us at for a speedy response.

Still on the fence? Here are three great reasons to enter your work in this year’s awards:

  1. Your work will be read by the best of the best, as all entries are judged by top-notch, Canadian and international, experts.
  2. There’s a $1000 cash prize for Gold winners of written and visual categories.
  3. Celebrate Your Creators: Editors, publishers and art directors have the opportunity to reward creative talent.

Ready to start the submission process? Click here!

If your work is digital-focused or serves the B2B industry, check out our sister programs, the Digital Publishing Awards and the National Magazine Awards: B2B. The DPAs are accepting entries until January 31st, and the NMA: B2Bs are open for entries until February 1st.

Early-Bird Deadline for the National Magazine Awards


Thinking of submitting an entry to the 2019 National Magazine Awards? Act quick! Though the call for entries will remain open until January 18th, the early-bird rate comes to an end on Monday, January 14th.

Submitting an entry is easy; download our quick reference guide (this has all the info on categories, eligibility, and more) and follow these six steps:

  1. Review the Categories, Rules, FAQ
  2. Register online at
  3. Enter the details of each submission
  4. Upload a PDF of each submission
  5. Pay the required entry fees 
  6. Courier hard copies (if required)

Freelancers, don’t forget that the support fund offers a discounted entry rate of $50.00 per submission. After the early bird deadline, this rate jumps to $62.50.

Small magazines, take note that our rebate is offered on a first come, first served basis. Get your entries in now to secure a free second entry (offered to magazines whose annual revenue is $200,000 or less).

Got questions? Shoot us an email at, and we’ll get you answers. You can call us, too, at 416-939-6200. 

If you’re looking for digital categories, head on over to The DPAs are accepting entries until January 31, 2019. B2B mags, you’ll be happy to hear that we’ve launched a new program, the National Magazine Awards: B2B. The deadline for submitting entries to that program is February 1, 2019.