• Dec 8: Call for Submissions
  • Jan 11: Early-Bird Deadline
  • Jan 15: Final Submissions Deadline
  • Mar 1: Outstanding Achievement
  • May 2: Announcement of Finalists
  • Jun 10: 39th National Magazine Awards


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Eligibility and Rules


Updated for 2015

The 39th annual National Magazine Awards competition is open to Canadian print or digital publications and to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents (landed immigrants) whose work has appeared in them during the 2015 calendar year. A print, website or tablet magazine that enters the magazine awards should not have also entered newspaper or other broadcast awards.
For this competition, the NMAF's guiding principle for magazine publishing is that the publication--whether print, web or tablet--must self describe as a magazine; be editorial in nature (that is, it must have and submit a clear editorial mandate); be the product of an editorial process; and be published regularly. Print Magazines and Tablet Magazines must be published at least twice per year. magazine websites and digital publications must have been launched before December 1, 2015 to be eligible. The NMAF reserves the right for its judges to decide whether a publication qualifies as a magazine. 


All submissions must satisfy the following rules:


  1. A Canadian magazine (print, website or tablet) or magazine supplement is one at least 51% Canadian owned and published in either English or French or a combination of both.
  2. Original work which appears in the December 2015-January 2016 issue of a bi-monthly magazine is eligible, but not that which appeared in a December 2014-January 2015 issue. A single issue dated January or Winter 2016 (even if it appears on the newsstand in December 2015) is NOT eligible for submission. Submissions from Tablet Magazines and Magazine Websites must be original work that was first published during the 2015 calendar year.
  3. Individual entries, written or visual, displaying advertorial and/or promotional content will be ruled inadmissible.
  4. Entries from Print Magazines, Digital Magazines or Magazine Websites that contain significant violations of the Canadian Magazine Industry Code of Reader and Advertiser Engagement may be considered ineligible for an award.


A Note on Sponsored Content  


The NMAF requires that all submitters disclose sponsored content on the entry form. Sponsored content is not necessarily ineligible for awards, provided that the submitter affirms that no third party exerted an undue influence on or played an inappropriate role in the editorial process (including but not limited to research, reporting, writing, content and image creation, editing). The NMAF entrusts its juries with the final decision as to whether sponsored content should be considered for an award. For further information or to clarify the eligibility of any piece submitted, please contact 416-939-6200 or staff@magazine-awards.com.  


  1. Awards are intended for Canadian content creators and as such:

    a.)  Awards for illustrations are limited to Canadian illustrators and are open only to work commissioned by the magazine.

    b.) Awards for photography are limited to Canadian photographers. Note: Previously published photos and/or stock photography will be ruled inadmissible except in the Integrated categories of "Words & Pictures" and "Magazine Covers."  

    c.)  Awards for art direction are open to Canadian art directors and their staff or freelance associates.

    d.)  Awards for writing are open to Canadian staff or freelance contributors.

    e.)  Awards for visual and integrated categories are open to Canadian editors, art directors and freelance contributors.
  2. Excerpts, serializations or condensations from books or books in progress are inadmissible - except when the writer's/photographer's work originated as a print or digital publication assignment and was primarily financed by the publication and edited as the publication’s own copy.
  3. Work entered as Fiction is not eligible for entry in other categories.
  4. Except where stated, there is no limit on the number of entries submitted per category.
  5. Finalists will be proportionate to the number of entries submitted in a category up to a maximum of ten finalists.
  6. No entries will be returned.
  7. All submissions must be accompanied by permission, not for sale or profit, to use the entries of finalists in the Awards presentation program, exhibit, website and digital book, and to include any winning entry in perpetuity in the Award Archive(s) on the Foundation’s website. The Foundation reserves the right to use the entries of finalists in the Awards presentation program/exhibit/digital book/website but not for sale or profit.
  8. Entries that do not conform to the rules or fit category definitions may be disqualified without notice. Entry fees for disqualified or withdrawn submissions will not be refunded.
  9. The NMAF reserves the right to cancel any category that does not receive enough submissions to provide a legitimate competition, or any category in which the jury decides no entry is of sufficient quality to merit a National Magazine Award. In this case entry fees will be refunded to the submitters.
  10. The decision of the judges will be final.