Updates for the 2017-18 National Magazine Awards will be posted here on November 1, 2017. Call for entries opens December 4, 2017.

Category Definitions

 

This year’s National Magazine Awards will feature 25 categories structured to emphasize the unique forms and functions of magazine journalism. There are 4 types of categories: Written, Visual, Integrated & Special. All Written and Visual categories include a cash prize of $1,000 for Gold medal winners.

 

Submitters are responsible for ensuring that their submissions conform to the category definitions and restrictions. Please review the Eligibility & Rules.

 

FEES  Ι  SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

 

GUIDE TO THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS (2016)
Download our Guide to the 40th National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, criteria, submissions guidelines, rules, deadlines and more. 

 

Wondering how and why the NMAF decided to decrease the number of awards? Read our FAQ.

 

 

LOOKING FOR DIGITAL AWARDS?
Last month the NMAF announced an expanded program for the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, featuring 22 categories recognizing excellence by the creators of Canadian Digital Publications, including online and tablet magazines. Submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2 and close on January 31. Read the full 2017 DPA category list here.

 

 

WRITING AWARDS

Writing Awards recognize excellence by Canadian magazine writers. Awards, including cash prizes and certificates, are presented to the creators. 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 cash prize of $1000.

 

WRITING AWARDS SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

$95 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 13

$120 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 20

 

Notes: Freelancers submitting their own work may be eligible for the Freelancer Support Fund, by which the entry fees on your first two entries are just $50 (+HST) each. 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 8.5x11 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

Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of minimum 3000 words in length, in any field or subject.

 

2. Feature Writing
Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story between 1500-3000 words in length, in any field or subject.

 

3. Short Feature Writing

Honours outstanding feature writing of a magazine story of maximum 1500 words in length, in any field or subject.

 

4. Columns

Honours outstanding magazine writing by a regular columnist. Entries consist of any three columns by a single author in single publication.

 

5. Essays
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.

 

6. Investigative Reporting
Honours outstanding magazine writing based on original fact-finding, enterprising newsgathering, and/or news reporting in any field or subject.

 

7. Fiction
Honours a work of short fiction first published by the magazine.

 

8. One of a Kind
Honours outstanding magazine writing in a non-fiction article whose content or style is so unique that does not fit the definition of any other written category. Entries in this category may not also be entered for any other writing award, but may be entered in other visual and integrated awards.

 

9. Personal Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on the personal experiences of the writer.

 

10. Poetry
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.

 

11. Professional Article

Honours outstanding magazine writing dealing with subjects, practices, events or developments of importance to a professional industry. This award recognizes excellence in business-to-business journalism.

 

12. Profiles
Honours outstanding magazine writing that focuses on one person or a group.

 

13. Service Journalism
Honours outstanding magazine writing that is driven by informational or instructional content in any field or subject. This award does not include recognition of visual elements or design in a service story. The integrated award Service Editorial Package recognizes a service story including all written, visual and design elements.

 

14. Best New Magazine Writer
Honours a writer whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Entries consist of a single feature story along with a reference letter from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the work. Open to students and writers with a maximum 2 years' experience in professional journalism.

 

 

VISUAL AWARDS

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 cash prize of $1000.

 

VISUAL AWARDS SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

$95 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 13

$120 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 20

$150 (+HST) for Art Direction of an Entire Issue ($175 after January 13)

 

Notes: Freelancers submitting their own work may be eligible for the Freelancer Support Fund, by which the entry fees on your first two entries are just $50 (+HST) each. For Art Direction of an Entire Issue, submissions require four (4) original issues of the magazine. For all Visual Awards except Art Direction of an Entire Issue, no hard copies are required. Submitters must upload a PDF version of each entry in its entirety. Please submit PDFs as double-page spreads for Visual Awards.

 

 

15. Art Direction of an Entire Issue

Honours outstanding art direction of an entire magazine issue.

 

16. Art Direction of a Single Article

Honours outstanding art direction of a single magazine article.

 

17. Illustration (incl. Spot & Photo Illustration)

Honours outstanding illustration, single or series accompanying a single article, including cover, photo and spot illustration.

 

18. Photography: Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, shot on location which records events or situations not controlled by the photographer.

 

19. Photography: Portraits
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, for a single article on one or more people.

 

20. Photography: Lifestyle
Honours outstanding photography, single photograph or series, of a lifestyle subject including food, products, fashion, beauty, décor, homes and landscapes.

 

21. Best New Magazine Illustrator*
Honours an illustrator or graphic artist whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Entries consist of single or series of illustrations or designs accompanying a
magazine article, along with a reference letter from a teacher, mentor, art director or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the work. Open to students and illustrators with a maximum 3 years' experience in professional journalism.

*The awards for Best New Magazine Photographer and Best New Magazine Illustrator are presented in alternating years.

 

 

INTEGRATED AWARDS

Integrated Awards recognize excellence by a team of magazine creators, editors, art directors and other contributors. There will be a maximum of 10 finalists for each award. Gold and Silver awards include certificates for each contributor and winner’s seal.

 

INTEGRATED AWARDS SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

$95 (+HST) Early Bird Rate, by January 13

$120 (+HST) Regular Rate, by January 20

$150 (+HST) for Editorial Package ($175 after January 13)

 

Notes: For Editorial Package, submissions require four (4) sets of original tear sheets or complete issues of the submission. For all Integrated Awards except Editorial Package, no hard copies are required. Submitters must upload a PDF version of each entry in its entirety. Please submit PDFs as double-page spreads for Integrated Awards. (Magazine Covers may be single- page.)

 

22. Best Magazine Cover
Honours outstanding creation of a magazine cover, reflecting collaboration by editors, circulators and art directors.

 

23. 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.

 

24. Best Service Editorial Package
Honours an outstanding service article or package that displays superior creation and

presentation of visual and written components and that 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. This award is intended for articles that are driven more by informational or instructional content than by storytelling. This award does not include multiple feature articles packaged together.

 

25. Best Words & Pictures
Honours an outstanding single article that relies for its impact on the successful integration of text and visuals as inseparable elements, and which reflects collaboration by writers, editors, art directors and/or visual creators.
This award includes service stories, feature stories, photography and illustration spreads, and comics or graphic novel shorts, with an emphasis on the ability of text and visual elements to tell the story together.

 

 

SPECIAL AWARDS

Our special awards recognize outstanding achievement in three areas. Awards include a certificate and winner’s seal.

 

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 1.

 

 

Foundation Award for International Impact

Honours a Canadian who is making a significant contribution to a field of magazine journalism beyond the borders of Canada. 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 1.

 

 

Magazine of the Year

Honours the magazine that most consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in magazine publishing over the past year. The jury shall evaluate each magazine according to four general criteria—quality, innovation, impact, and brand awareness—and its success relative to the magazine’s editorial mandate. There will be 5 finalists for this award and one overall winner. 

 

Entries consist of a completed application form in which the submitter must provide details on each of the four general criteria, as well as six (6) sets of any three issues of the magazine from 2016. Submitters may choose to submit additional supporting documentation, such as event materials, special editions or publications, branded merchandise, media kits, etc. The entry fee for this award is $150 (Early-Bird rate) and $175 (Regular rate). The deadline for entries for this award is January 27. Hard-copy material must also be received by January 27.

 

 

Looking for Digital Categories? Written and visual content from tablet magazines and magazine websites is eligible in most written, visual, integrated and special categories. There are also 22 categories specific to digital content in our Digital Publishing Awards, a new bilingual program created specifically for Canadian digital publishers. Submissions for the Digital Publishing Awards are being accepted until January 31, 2017.