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The National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media honor magazines and websites that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy enterprise and imaginative design. Originally limited to print magazines, the awards now recognize magazine-quality journalism published in any medium. Founded in 1966, the awards are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and are administered by ASME.
This year, National Magazine Awards will be presented in 24 categories. Finalists in each category will receive certificates of recognition. Each winner will receive an “Ellie,” modeled on the symbol of the awards, Alexander Calder’s stabile “Elephant Walking.” The recipients of the ASME lifetime-achievement award, the ASME Award for Fiction and the ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30 will also be honored.
Awards entry, judging and presentation will take place later this year than in previous years because of the public-health crisis. The deadline for entries is now Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The judging will be conducted virtually in mid-March. Finalists and winners are scheduled to be honored at Brooklyn Steel, in the Williamsburg neighborhood of New York City, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Among the notable changes for 2021 are the discontinuation of the Website category (digital-only publications are encouraged to enter General Excellence instead) and the introduction of a new award for community journalism. ASME will also present a special award for coverage of race in America. ASME members will again be able to enter three entries in any award in which the previous limit was two. Because the judging will be conducted virtually, the submission of print magazines is no longer required except in the General Excellence, Design and Photography categories.
Given the importance to magazines and websites of diversity in staffing and coverage, ASME now asks all publications entering the National Magazine Awards to provide information about the gender and ethnicity of editorial staff as well as efforts by editorial leaders to address issues of equity and inclusion. This information will be used by ASME to evaluate the composition of the editorial workforce at magazines and websites in general and will also be provided to judges in General Excellence as explained in the section on entry statements on page 5 and the category description on page 6 of the call for entries.
Visit Ellies2020.org for information about last year’s winners and finalists