This year’s National Magazine Awards will feature 29 categories, including 10 categories from the Magazine Grands Prix program. There are 4 types of awards categories: Written and Visual (which include a cash prize of $1,000 for Gold medal winners), Editorial, Grand Prix: Best magazine and Special.
Submitters are responsible for ensuring that their submissions conform to the category definitions and restrictions. Please review the Eligibility & Rules.
WRITING & VISUAL AWARDS
Writing Awards recognize excellence by Canadian magazine writers.Visual Awards recognize excellence by Canadian magazine visual artists, stylists and creative directors. Awards, including cash prizes and certificates, are presented to the creators. Art directors, editors and publishers may receive recognition, certificates and awards seals. There will be a maximum of 10 finalists for each award. Silver awards include a certificate and winner’s seal. Gold awards include a certificate, winner’s seal and a $1000 cash prize.
WRITING & VISUAL AWARDS
$105 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 15
$125 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 22
Notes: Freelancers submitting their own work may be eligible for the Freelancer Support Fund, which allows independent writers and creators to submit 2 entries for the price of one! Please enter as an “individual” when using the submission portal. For all Writing Awards, no hard copies are required. Submitters must upload a PDF version of each entry in its entirety. PDF versions must be printable at 8.5×11 format (single-page spreads). Do NOT submit double-page spreads for Writing Awards. Please ensure all text is no closer than 0.5” from the page edge.
1. Long-Form Feature Writing: 6000+
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of minimum 6001 words in length, in any field or subject.
2. Long-Form Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story between 3500-6000 words in length, in any field or subject..
3. Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story between 2000-3500 words in length, in any field or subject.
4. Short Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of maximum 2000 words in length, in any field or subject.
Honours outstanding magazine writing by a regular columnist. Entries consist of any three columns by a single author in single publication.
Honours outstanding magazine writing in which the writer’s perspective is paramount and offers an argument or an intellectual point of view. The regular columns of columnists are not eligible in Essays.
7. Investigative Reporting
Honours outstanding magazine writing based on original fact-finding, enterprising newsgathering, and/or news reporting in any field or subject. Entries should include a background statement (max 500 words) providing context for the investigation and any details of the investigative process that may be relevant to the jury’s consideration.
Honours a work of short fiction first published by the magazine.
9. Personal Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on the personal experiences of the writer.
Honours a work of poetry first published by the magazine. Entries may consist of a single poem or a series of up to three poems by the same author from a single issue.
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on one person or a group.
12. Service Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that is driven by informational or instructional content in any field or subject.
13. Best Emerging Writer
Honours a writer whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This category is 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. Entries must consist of a single feature article (with a 2000 word count minimum). Entrants may also include up to two (2) additional feature articles (for these additional articles, there are no word count requirements and submission is optional). A reference letter from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility, and providing context for the work, is also required.
14. Illustration (incl. Spot & Photo Illustration)
Honours outstanding illustration, single or series accompanying a single article, including cover, photo and spot illustration.
15. Portrait Photography
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, for a single article on one or more people.
16. Lifestyle Photography
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, of a lifestyle subject including food, products, fashion, beauty, décor, homes and landscapes.
17. Photo Essay & Photojournalism
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, shot on location which records events or situations not controlled by the photographer.
18. One of a Kind Storytelling
Honours outstanding magazine storytelling whose content or style is so unique that it does not fit the definition of any other category. Entries may consist of (but are not limited to) text, photographs and visual art, graphic narratives and comics, infographics, digital media, or any combination of elements serving a single story. The intent of this award is to recognize achievement in magazine storytelling that is not easily classified.
EDITORIAL AWARDS (awarded to a magazine’s editorial staff)
The seven Editorial Awards recognize excellence by a team of magazine editors, art directors, creators and other contributors. There will be a maximum of 10 finalists for each award. Gold and Silver awards include a certificate for each contributor and the winner’s seal.
$125 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 15
$150 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 22
19. Art Direction of a Single Article
Honours outstanding art direction of a single magazine article, reflecting the creative use of design and visual elements to enhance reader experience.
20. Best Editorial Package
Honours an outstanding collection of articles and content on a related theme in a single issue, which reflects collaboration by writers, editors, art directors and/or visual creators. Elements may include (but are not limited to) annotations, illustrations, photography, sidebars, infographics and captions. Entries may consist of a series of related feature articles and content packaged together, or an entire special or thematic issue.
21. Art Direction Grand Prix
Honours an individual responsible for the best art direction of an entire issue of a magazine. Entries must consist of six original copies of the issue to be judged as well as a background statement (max 250 words) providing context for the art direction.
22. Editor Grand Prix
Honours an individual who is making an outstanding impact on a magazine as an editor. Entries must consist of a letter of nomination on behalf of the candidate, which may come from a publisher, mentor or other colleague, and which should provide biographical information as well as a summary of achievements over the past year. Up to two additional supporting letters of recommendation may be included. This award is not limited to editors-in-chief but is intended to recognize any Canadian staff or freelance magazine editor.
23. Cover Grand Prix
Honours outstanding creation of a magazine cover, reflecting collaboration by editors, circulators and art directors to enhance reader experience.
24. Issue Grand Prix
Honours an outstanding issue, which will be judged in terms of overall quality and originality of the content as well as its relevance to the intended readers.
25. Publisher Grand Prix
Honours the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms, which may include, in addition to a print or digital magazine: websites, special issues or other publications, mobile apps, social media platforms, television shows, podcasts, events, merchandising or any other initiatives or forms of audience engagement.
GRAND PRIX: BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS (awarded to a magazine; one entry per magazine title)
The four Best Magazine Awards honour the magazines that most consistently engage, surprise and serve the needs of their readers. These awards recognize outstanding achievement in magazine publishing over the past year. The jury shall evaluate each magazine according to four general criteria—quality, currency, design and reader experience. Each submitter will be asked, on the entry form, to provide a brief statement on each of the criteria for the jury’s consideration.
There will be 3 finalists for each award and one overall winner. A publication may enter two of the Best Magazine categories. Entries from digital-only publications are eligible. Each entry should consist of six copies of any two print issues from the past year, and/or links to digital issues and content.
BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS
$125 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 15
$150 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 22
26. Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest
Honours the most outstanding Canadian magazine whose editorial mandate focuses on general interest content, including but not limited to news, current events, society, politics, business, and science.
27. Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle
Honours the most outstanding Canadian magazine whose editorial mandate focuses on lifestyle, fashion and beauty content, and/or has a clear service orientation, focusing on informational or instructional content in any field or subject. This category includes publications focussing on entertainment, fashion, beauty or style, food and beverage, outdoor activities, travel and tourism, home design, health and wellness, personal finance, parenting, recreation, and hobbies.
28. Best Magazine: Art, Literary & Culture
Honours the most outstanding Canadian magazine whose editorial mandate focuses on the literary, culture or visual arts, including but not limited to fiction, poetry, drama, literary criticism, photography, or visual arts.
29. Best Magazine: Special Interest
Honours the most outstanding Canadian magazine serving a highly niche audience. A niche audience may include but not limited to children and young adult, industry professionals, students, regional or specific communities of readers. Special Interest issues are not eligible.
Awards include a certificate and winner’s seal.
Magazine Grand Prix
Honours the magazine that delivers the best consistency, packaging and reader experience; that demonstrates overall excellence in bringing teams together to create a spectacular product; is aspirational and inspiring, helping to take magazine media to the next level.
No submissions are required for this award. Finalists are automatically generated from the winners of Best Magazine Awards and compete for this awards’ honour.
Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Honours an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the Canadian magazine industry. This award may recognize creators, editors, publishers, art directors, circulation experts, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, production managers—in short, anyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously.
Entries 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, as well as at least two supporting letters from other individuals. There is no entry fee for this award. The deadline for entries for this award is March 2, 2020.
LOOKING FOR DIGITAL CATEGORIES?
Written and visual content from tablet magazines and magazine websites is eligible in most NMA categories. You may also submit digital content in our Digital Publishing Awards program, which was created specifically for Canadian digital publishers. Submissions for the 2020 Digital Publishing Awards are being accepted from December 9th, 2019 to January 23rd, 2020.