The 2021 National Magazine Awards feature 29 categories. There are four divisions of awards categories:
- Written & Visual (which include a cash prize of $1,000 for Gold medal winners)
- Grand Prix: Best magazine
- Special (no entry fees)
Please note: in categories with cash prizes, the remuneration goes to the creator(s) of the work, not the magazine/publication.
Call for Entries : December 7, 2020 – January 24, 2021
Submitters are responsible for ensuring that their submissions conform to the category definitions and restrictions. Please review the Eligibility & Rules.
Learn more about the award categories, including how to submit, by selecting from the divisions below.
WRITING & VISUAL AWARDS
These 18 awards, including cash prizes and certificates, are presented to the writers or visual creators. Art directors, editors and publishers may receive recognition, a certificate and winner’s seal. 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.
$105/submission (+HST) Early Bird Rate
$125/submission (+HST) Regular Rate
Freelancers: 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!
- Long-Form Feature Writing: 6000+ Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of minimum 6001 words in length, in any field or subject. [How to Submit]
- Long-Form Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story between 3500-6000 words in length, in any field or subject. [How to Submit]
- Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story between 2000-3500 words in length, in any field or subject. [How to Submit]
- Short Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of maximum 2000 words in length, in any field or subject. [How to Submit]
Honours outstanding magazine writing by a regular columnist. Entries consist of any three columns by a single author in a single publication. [How to Submit]
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. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
Honours a work of short fiction first published by the magazine. [How to Submit]
- Personal Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on the personal experiences of the writer. [How to Submit]
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. [How to Submit]
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on one person or a group. [How to Submit]
- Service Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that is driven by informational or instructional content in any field or subject. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
- Illustration (incl. Spot & Photo Illustration)
Honours outstanding illustration, single or series accompanying a single article, including cover, photo and spot illustration. [How to Submit]
- Portrait Photography
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, for a single article on one or more people. [How to Submit]
- Lifestyle Photography
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, of a lifestyle or still-life subject including food, products, fashion, beauty, décor, homes and landscapes. [How to Submit]
- Photo Essay & Photojournalism
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, shot on location which records events or situations not controlled by the photographer. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
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/submission (+HST) Early Bird Rate
$150/submission (+HST) Regular Rate
- 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. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
- Art Direction Grand Prix
Honours an individual responsible for the best art direction of an entire issue of a magazine. [How to Submit]
- Editor Grand Prix
Honours an individual who is making an outstanding impact on a magazine as an editor. This category is open to editor-in-chiefs as well as senior-level editing staff who have demonstrated a high degree of excellence in their field. [How to Submit]
- Cover Grand Prix
Honours outstanding creation of a magazine cover, reflecting collaboration by editors, circulators and art directors to enhance reader experience. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
GRAND PRIX: BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS
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.
$125 (+HST) Early Bird Rate
$150 (+HST) Regular Rate
- 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, sports, politics, business, science. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
- 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. [How to Submit]
SPECIAL AWARDS (No entry fee)
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.
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. [How to Submit]
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 2021 Digital Publishing Awards will be accepted from December 9th, 2020 to January 23rd, 2021.