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

final call for entries graphic

The early bird deadline has passed, but you still have until January 22nd at midnight ET to get your entries in for the 43rd annual National Magazine Awards. This year, there are 29 categories, recognizing the best of what Canada’s creators have to offer. Categories range from Personal Journalism to Lifestyle Photography, with discounts available to Freelancers and Small Magazines

The submission process can be completed online, and questions (if you have them) can be sent to staff@magazine-awards.com

Ready to start the submission process? Click here!

Our sister program, the Digital Publishing Awards, is also accepting entries up until January 23rd. Individual creators who win gold receive a $500 cash prize, and submissions can be completed online.

Early Bird Deadline for the 43rd Annual National Magazine Awards

National Magazine Awards Early Bird Deadline Reminder.

Early birds, you’re almost out of time! Get your entries in by January 15, 2020 to save on entry fees. Regular rates will then resume, until the final submissions deadline on January 22, 2020.

So, ready to get started? Follow these six, simple steps to submit an entry:

  1. Review the Categories, Rules, FAQ
  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 
  6. Courier hard copies (if required)

You can also download our handy 2020 NMA Submissions Guide, for full details on the award categories.

Freelancer Support Fund & Small Magazine Rebate

Here are the full details on the Freelancer Support Fund and the Small magazine Rebate. Gold winners in writing and visual award categories will receive a $1000 cash prize, while our year-long national publicity efforts aim to promote all finalists and winners.

The NMA team is always happy to answer your questions and assist with the submissions process. Shoot an email to staff@magazine-awards.com, or give us a call at 416-939-6200.

Looking for digital categories? Visit digitalpublishingawards.ca for our roster of categories and submissions requirements. Submissions to the DPAs are open until January 23rd, 2020.

If you’re a B2B publication eager to have your magazine’s excellence recognized, head on over to nmab2b.com for program details. The final submissions deadline for the NMA: B2B program is January 17, 2020.

We look forward to receiving your entries!

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 submissions.magazine-awards.com
  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 staff@magazine-awards.com, 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 digitalpublishingawards.ca. 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.

Freelancers: Save 50% on Registration Fees


Our popular Freelancer Support Fund is returning for the 2019 awards season! The fund is open to Canadian freelance writers, photographers, and illustrators who enter their own work for consideration. Freelancers can submit their first two entries at the discounted rate of $50 per submission, or 50% off the regular rate.

Who’s Eligible?

Freelancers who are not staff members of a publication whose work they are submitting, and whose byline appears on the work they are submitting.

How do I Apply?

Once you’ve submitting your entries and are ready to pay, select the “Freelancer Support Fund” option. We’ll email you an invoice that reflects the discounted entry fee. That’s it!

Here’s even more info on the fund. Remember to get your submission in by the early bird deadline of January 11, 2019. After that, the freelancer rate offered is $62.50.

The final deadline for submissions is January 18, 2019.

Click here to begin the submission process.