Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sweeping changes being made to National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has opened most written categories to digital submissions and said that small magazines may be subsidized to submit as many entries as they wish.
The new rules are just in time for the January 14 deadline for submission of entries for the 34th National Magazine Awards which will be presented in Toronto on June 10, 2011.
While the awards every year make minor changes to its judging and entry rules, these are some of the most substantial changes in many years.
The foundation has announced that it intends "to best reflect the ever-evolving landscape of the journalism industry" by
  • the merger of two categories -- "best new writer" and "best new visual creator" -- into one award for best new creative talent; 
  • the reservation of two written digital categories  for digital-only submissions -- "best digital design" and "best multi-media feature";
  • creation of  a new visual category -- "conceptual photography" --- described as "any photograph or series of photographs in which an idea or concept is portrayed."
  • extending co-financing (application subsidy) to written publications with revenue of less than $250,000 and digital publications with revenue of less than $25,000; 
in addition, print or digital magazines that contain significant violations of the Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines may be considered ineligible for an award.
With the new "co-financing" arrangement, the foundation is acknowledging that under-financed cultural and literary publications and small digital publications would be constrained from entry because of lack of money:
Though the NMAF would like to see as many Canadian publications as possible represented at the National Magazine Awards, it is understood that entry fees may hinder smaller publications from their submitting work. Therefore, the NMAF has revised the co-financing application to allow written publications (with a revenue of <$250, 000) and digital publications (with a revenue of <$25, 000) to submit as many entries as desired with the promise of financial aid from the NMAF.
The deadline for application for funding assistance is December 9 on a first-come, first-served basis for what the foundation says are limited funds; accepted entries will be notified by December 16. They must pay in full for their entries by the normal January 14 deadline and will have part of their entry fee rebated by February 28.  (The rebate for print magazines is on a sliding scale, depending on circulation. A normal entry to the awards is $85. With assistance, a print magazine with less than 2,000 circulation would end up paying $45 for its first entry, $55 for its second and $70 for third and subsequent entries. The same discounts pertain to digital entries.) 

Full details of the categories, rules, entry and co-financing information is available at
The awards have also announced they are looking for judges from across Canada and nominations or enquiries may be made at the NMAF office.  

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