• 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

 



Check out our Facebook for photos from past NMA Galas

 

Category Definitions

 There are 4 types of categories: Written, Visual, Integrated & Special. Submitters are responsible for ensuring that their submissions conform to the category definitions and restrictions. All submissions must adhere to the NMAF’s Eligibility & Rules and the Canadian magazine industry’s Code of Reader & Advertiser Engagement


Most Written, Visual and Integrated categories include a cash prize of $1,000 for Gold and $500 for Silver. Cash prizes for certain Special categories are noted below.

 

FEES  Ι  SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

WRITTEN CATEGORIES

Open to content from all eligible print magazines, tablet magazines and magazine websites, except where noted in the restrictions.

 

Submission Requirements

Upload a PDF of the complete article (even if from a digital platform). Hard copies are not required for the written categories, except for Editorial Package. PDF documents uploaded during the submission process must have a resolution of 200 dpi and be printable on 8.5 X 11” paper with no text closer than 0.5" to the edge of the page.No double-page spreads. 

 

Editorial Package : Upload a PDF of the complete article and submit one set of originals and six (6) sets of photocopies (even if from a digital platform) with the Entry Form clipped on top. (Entry Forms are generated after you complete the online submission process.)

 

WRITTEN CATEGORIES  DEFINITION RESTRICTIONS

 

Arts & Entertainment

 

Any article on the arts or entertainment.  
Best Short Feature Any non-fiction article of 2,000 words or less. Entries are judged exclusively on the strength and quality of the writing. Opinion columns are not eligible. Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in any other written category.

 

Business

 

Any Article on Business  
Columns

Any set of three (3) columns from a single publication, in print or online (including blogs). Columns with multiple authors are admissible provided the column has a unifying voice or theme.

 

 

Editorial Package

 

*hard copy required

Any collection of articles on a related theme in a single issue that reflects collaboration by editors and writers. Entries may consist of a package of articles or an entire issue.

Open to content from print magazines and magazine websites.

Maximum of three (3) entries per magazine.

Essays Any article in which a writer's perspective is paramount and offers an argument or an intellectual point of view.

Regular columns of columnists are NOT eligible.

 

Fiction

Any work of fiction first published by the magazine.

 

As with all categories, excerpts, serializations or condensations from books or books in progress are NOT eligible.
Health & Medicine

Any article on health or medicine.

 

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance.
Humour

Any humorous piece.

 

 
Investigative Reporting Any article based on original fact-finding and enterprising newsgathering.  
One-of-a-Kind Any non-fiction article whose content or style is so unique that does not fit the definition of any other written category. The intent is to open the competition to written work that is not easily classified. Entries in this category must NOT also be entered in any other written category.

Personal Journalism

 

Any article that focuses on the personal experiences of the writer.  
Poetry

Any work of poetry first published by the magazine (a series of up to three poems by the same author from a single issue is permitted).

 

As with all categories, excerpts, serializations or condensations from books or books in progress are NOT eligible.
Politics & Public Interest

Articles that focus on politics or public issues with the potential to influence national or local public policy.

 

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Society.
Profiles

Any article that focuses on one person or a group.

 

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in any other written category.
Science, Technology & the Environment

Any article on science, technology or environmental issues.

 

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Society.
Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance Any article of service (informational) or how-to (instructional) journalism that covers family, health and wellness, relationships, education, personal finance or careers.

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Health & Medicine or Service: Lifestyle.

 

Service: Lifestyle Any article of service (informational) or how-to (instructional) journalism that deals with interests including, but not limited to, travel, recreation, music, environment, décor, maintenance, hobbies, food, beauty or fashion. Food articles may include recipes but may not consist entirely of recipes.

Articles submitted in this category may NOT also be entered in Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance.

 

Society

Any article directly concerned with social issues.

 

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Politics & Public Interest or Science, Technology & the Environment.

Sports & Recreation

 

Any article on sports or recreation.  
Travel

Any article that relies on a sense of place for its impact.

 

 

 

 

VISUAL CATEGORIES

 

Open to content from all eligible print magazines, tablet magazines and magazine websites, except where noted in the restrictions.

 

Submission Requirements: For all categories except Art Direction for an Entire Issue, upload a PDF of the complete article or spread accompanying the visual submission (double-page PDF spread where possible). No hard copies are required.

For Art Direction for an Entire Issue, upload a PDF of the issue cover, and submit four (4) original issues of the magazine with a copy of the Entry Form taped to each issue. (Entry Forms are generated after you complete the online submission process.)

Tablet Magazine submitters must enter the URL to their iTunes page or app where judges can download the issue to be judged.

 

VISUAL CATEGORIES DEFINITION RESTRICTIONS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue 

 

*hard copy required

 

Art direction of an entire magazine issue.

 

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.
Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article

Art direction of a single magazine article.

 

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.
Fashion

Any fashion layout using photography or illustration

 

Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Homes & Gardens

Any photographic layout for a single article that celebrates interiors or exteriors.  This includes architecture, décor and gardens.

 

Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Illustration & Photo Illustration

Any spread, cover or photo illustration that is a half page or larger (or digital equivalent); colour or black and white; single or series.

 

Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Photojournalism & Photo Essay

Any photograph or series of photographs from a single issue, shot on location, which records events or situations not controlled by the photographer. This category includes photo essays, travel and landscape photographs that accompany a single article, though any accompanying text is not judged.

 

Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Portrait Photography Any photograph or series of photographs for a single article on one or more people. Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Spot Illustration

Any illustration less than half a page (or digital equivalent); colour or black and white, single or series.

 

Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or residents.
Still-Life Photography Any photograph or series of photographs of an object or objects, for a single article, including but not limited to food, beauty products and other products. Eligible content must be originally commissioned by the magazine, and all content creators must be Canadian citizens or resident.

 

 

INTEGRATED CATEGORIES


Open to content from all eligible print magazines, tablet magazines and magazine websites, except where noted in the restrictions.

 

Submission Requirements: Upload a PDF of the complete submission; double-page spread where possible. (for Best Single Issue, upload a PDF of the cover only); AND Submit four (4) sets of original copies of each submission with a copy of the Entry Form taped to the back of each. (Entry Forms are generated after you complete the online submission process.) For Infographics, no hard copies or printed entry forms are required.


Tablet Magazine submitters must enter the URL to their iTunes page or app where judges can download the issue or content to be judged.

 

INTEGRATED CATEGORIES DEFINITION RESTRICTIONS

Best Single Issue

 

 

*hard copy required

Any single issue, which will be judged in terms of the overall quality and originality of the content and its relevance to the intended readers. Editors must include four (4) copies of a cover letter (max 1 page) to summarize the issue's goals.

 

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.

 

There is no cash prize with this award.

Magazine Covers

 

*hard copy required

 

 

Any single magazine cover.

 

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.
Single Service Article Package Any single service article that displays superior packaging of visual and written components and that reflects collaboration by the editorial team. Packaging elements could include (but are not limited to) annotations, illustrations, photography, sidebars and captions. This category is intended for single articles that are driven more by instructional content than by storytelling.

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Words & Pictures.

This category does NOT include related articles packaged together.

Words & Pictures

Any article that relies for its impact on the successful integration of text and visuals as inseparable elements.

 

Entries from Magazine Websites are NOT eligible.

Entries in this category may NOT also be entered in Single Service Article Package nor Creative Photography.

Infographics
 
Any original creation of data visualization produced by a magazine, print or digital. Entries may consist of a single infographic or a series of related infographics appearing in a single article. Submissions from print and tablet magazines must consist of a PDF of the entry. Submissions from magazine websites must consist of a URL to the page and a PDF screen capture. No hard copies are required.

 

 

SPECIAL CATEGORIES

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL CATEGORIES                                                                                            

DEFINITION   
RESTRICTIONS          
Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

This award recognizes an individual's innovation and creativity through contributions to the Canadian magazine industry.

 


The deadline for entries in this category ONLY is March 1, 2016.

There is no cash prize with this award.

 

Read more about this category.

 

Submission requirements: Applications for Outstanding Achievement consist of a letter indicating the candidates name, title and career achievements, with supporting letters from at least two (2) other individuals.

 

Best New Magazine Writer

This award will go to a writer whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

 

Eligible work must have been published between January 1 and December 31, 2015, and must be at least 1000 words in length.

 

This award includes a cash prize of $500.

 

Read more about this category.

 

 

Open to non-fiction work only. Articles published in university or college magazines are eligible. Candidates must not have published any magazine work longer than 1000 words prior to 2014. The intent is to restrict this award to magazine writers with a maximum of 2 years’ experience in professional journalism. One entry per person.

Submission requirements:Upload a PDF of the article and and a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the submitted work. 

 

 

Best New Photographer

This award will go to a photographer whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

 

Eligible work must be a single or series of photographs accompanying a single magazine article or editorial package. Eligible work must have been published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015.

 

This award includes a cash prize of $500.

 

Read more about this category.

Entrants should not have published any full-page magazine work prior to 2013. The intent is to restrict this award to image creators with a maximum of 3 years' experience in professional journalism. Entries from university/college magazines are eligible. One entry per person.

 

Submission requirements: Upload a PDF of the entire piece(s) and a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, art director or colleague, attesting to the candidate’s eligibility and providing context for the work to be judged. 

 

 

Magazine of the Year

 

 

*hard copy required

This award will go to the print magazine that most consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers.

 

 


Open exclusively to Print Magazines published at least twice per year.

There is no cash prize with this award.

 

Read more about this category.

Submission requirements: Applications for Magazine of the Year must consist of five (5) sets of any three (3) issues of the magazine from 2015. (In the event that the magazine publishes only two issues per year, five sets of those two issues will suffice.) Editors must include five (5) copies of a cover letter of no more than one page. The letter will a) outline the mandate of the magazine, and b) summarize the magazine’s achievements during the year. A copy of this letter must be clipped or stapled inside each set of issues. Entrants must also upload a PDF of the cover of one of the issues.

 

 

Best Magazine Brand

 

 

*hard copy required

This award will go to the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through at least three platforms. The platforms may include a print or digital magazine, a website, SIP(s), mobile app(s), tablet, social media, television shows, radio broadcasts or podcasts, live events, innovations in print or digital media and other forms of audience engagement.

 

 


There is no cash prize with this award.

 

Submission requirements: Publishers must submit four (4) copies of a submissions package, which must include:

  1. A cover letter (maximum two pages) summarizing the strength of the publication’s brand identity against its editorial mandate, and the achievements and innovations during the past year. The cover letter may be the jury’s introduction to your brand, and thus should contain all relevant information on your brand identity and extensions.
  2. Any print edition of the magazine from 2015.
  3. Any supporting documentation, including links to social media and digital initiatives, event materials, special editions or publications, products, media kits, etc.