National Magazine Awards Foundation announces the Call for Entries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2016  The National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to present a bold new lineup of awards for 2017—our 40th anniversary of Celebrating Canadian Creators. Submissions open on December 1, and the deadline for entries is January 20.

This year's National Magazine Awards will feature 25 categories structured to emphasize the unique forms and functions of magazine journalism. This year's exciting new awards program is a reflection of the following processes:

  • Feedback from previous participants, nominees and winners;
  • A comprehensive survey of 2016 NMA judges;
  • An expanded Digital Publishing Awards program;
  • A blue-ribbon Advisory Committee, which studied various proposals and made recommendations to the NMAF. The committee consisted of:
    • Curtis Gillespie, NMA-winning writer, and publisher and editor of Eighteen Bridges.
    • Kim Pittaway, writer, editor, teacher and recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award.
    • Danielle Groen, NMA-winning freelance writer and former editor at Chatelaine and The Grid.
  • A final discussion and approval by the NMAF's new Board of Directors.


"For our 40th anniversary year, the NMAF challenged itself to make our awards programs more valuable and more prestigious to Canadian creators. I'm grateful to our participants, partners and stakeholders for consistently reminding us how important the NMAF brand is as a leader in our industry, and for guiding us towards a stronger and better National Magazine Awards. We look forward to honouring your work this year, and establishing new benchmarks of excellence in journalism."

--Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF


There are 14 Writing Awards, recognizing excellence by Canadian writers in print or digital magazines. Each award includes a cash prize of $1000 to the winning creator.

1.    Long-Form Feature Writing (over 3000 words) (NEW)

2.    Feature Writing (1500-3000 words) (NEW)

3.    Short Article (under 1500 words)

4.    Columns

5.    Essays

6.    Investigative Reporting

7.    Fiction

8.    One of a Kind

9.    Personal Journalism

10.  Poetry

11.  Professional Article (NEW)

12.  Profiles

13.  Service Journalism

14.  Best New Magazine Writer


There are 7 Visual Awards, recognizing excellence by Canadian photographers, illustrators and art directors in print or digital magazines. Each award includes a cash prize of $1000 to the winning creator.

15.  Art Direction of an Entire Issue

16.  Art Direction of a Single Article

17.  Illustration

18.  Photography: Photojournalism & Photo Essay

19.  Photography: Portraits

20.  Photography: Lifestyle (NEW)

21.  Best New Magazine Illustrator

There are 4 Integrated Awards, recognizing excellence by a team of magazine creators, editors and art directors in print or digital magazines.

22.  Best Magazine Cover

23.  Best Editorial Package

24.  Best Service Editorial Package

25.  Best Words & Pictures

In most categories, there will be a maximum of 10 finalists determined by the jury, and the top two will win the Gold and Silver medals. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention. Read more about these awards and category definitions.

How and why did the NMAF decide to eliminate certain categories this year? Check out our FAQ for all the answers.

The most prestigious prize presented by the National Magazine Awards Foundation is Magazine of the Year.

This award 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.

New this year: The jury shall evaluate each candidate for Magazine of the Year according to four general criteria—quality, innovation, impact, and brand awareness—and its success relative to the magazine's editorial mandate. Each submitter will need to complete an application form providing details supporting each criterion. There will be 5 finalists for this award and one overall winner.


A new Special Award this year is the Foundation Award for International Impact. This award 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 nominations to this award is March 1, 2017.

This award honours an individual's innovation and creativity through contributions to the Canadian magazine industry. Read more about this award.

Last month the NMAF announced a new program for freelancers to save 50% on entries to the National Magazine Awards. Find out more.

Magazines with under $200,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate, equal to 1 FREE ENTRY. Find out more.

The NMAF has announced changes to its judging process, including more robust criteria and scoring procedures, and an amalgamation of the two-tiered judging system for written categories. Read about the new NMAF Judging Process.

Find out how to get involved as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.

Read about our new International Judges.

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.

This year's National Magazine Awards submissions will open on December 1. The Early-Bird deadline is January 13, and the final deadline is January 20 (January 27 for Magazine of the Year).

SOURCE National Magazine Awards Foundation

For further information: For more information about the National Magazine Awards Foundation, please contact: Émilie Pontbriand, Communications Manager, 416.939.6200,


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