May 1: Nominations Announcement

May 29: Winners' Circle

June 1: Awards Gala

"How does judging work?"


Great question. We believe all awards programs should be clear and transparent about their judging procedures, and our goal has always been the same. That's why we publish our Judging Process--so you know exactly what the judges are looking for when they review your entry to the National Magazine Awards.


Obviously, the quality, creativity and originality of the work are paramount in consideration for a National Magazine Award. We also ask our judges to consider the Editorial Mandate of the publication in their appraisal of the entry, so that they reflect on the work's specific target audience when deciding how to score. Each entry should also be appropriate to the category's definition, and the judges evaluate this as well. 


We also strive to construct diverse juries where different perspectives are brought to bear on each entry, including those of experienced magazine writers, editors, art directors, illustrators, photographers, circulators, publishers, digital creators and other journalism experts. 


As a bilingual awards program, we have separate French- and English-language juries that evaluate entries for the Writing Awards. These juries receive identical judging and scoring procedures. While we no longer have a distinct second, bilingual judging tier, we will convene a Bilingual Advisory Panel to review the results of the different juries in the event that the top scores from each jury in the same category are within 3% of each other.


The juries for Visual, Integrated and Special Awards include bilingual judges. 


We do our best to avoid conflicts of interest, so our search for judges stretches across the continent and often beyond.


And we do all this with the help of volunteers and the support of a small number of paid contract facilitators. We also continually strive to ensure the judging process remains transparent, and to do that we need your ongoing support, help and advice. Please take the time to read the complete list of rules and the description of the judging process.


If you have any ideas on how to make the awards program even better, or you would like to volunteer your time as a judge or committee member, please email us at


Thank you for participating in the National Magazine Awards. We look forward to a great year ahead, Celebrating Canadian Creators. 


Nino Di Cara
National Media Awards Foundation