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All consumer and business magazines and websites edited and published in the United States are eligible to enter the National Magazine Awards. ASME defines a magazine as a print or digital publication issued or updated regularly in a consistent format, shaped by a distinctive editorial perspective and trusted by readers to provide timely information relevant to their interests. Such publications are also often characterized by the use of print or digital technologies to create a visually rich, immersive experience. Magazine-quality journalism published in other media, including newspapers, is also eligible for entry.

Entries are subject to the following conditions:

1. Print magazines must have been published at least four times during 2020 and must still be in existence at the end of the year.

2. Digital publications must have been launched before June 30, 2020, and must still be active at the end of the year.

3. Newspapers and radio and television stations and networks are eligible to enter all categories except General Excellence, Design and Photography. Content submitted by news- and broadcast-media organizations must share the characteristics of print and digital magazine journalism, including extensive reporting, informed analysis, stylish writing, a distinctive point of view and the use of graphics to enrich the experience of the reader.

4. The following are not eligible to enter the National Magazine Awards: company publications intended primarily for and distributed solely to employees and their associates or customers; marketing and promotional websites; print or digital newsletters except as part of an entry in General Excellence and Digital Storytelling; and magazines published in languages other than English and Spanish.

Only chief editors may enter their publications in the Ellie Awards. Other magazine personnel, including writers and photographers as well as former editors, may not submit entries without the approval of the chief editor. The administrators of the Ellie Awards reserve the right to determine if an entry is eligible for submission.

The following conditions also apply:

5. Print content must be dated 2020 except for single-part entries dated December 2020/January 2021 and multipart entries that include one issue dated December 2020/January 2021 or one article dated January 2021 (content dated December 2019/January 2020 is not eligible for entry). Content with comparable dates, such as Fall 2020/Winter 2021, will also be accepted.

6. Digital content must have been largely produced in 2020. Screenshots may be requested to verify publication dates.

7. Articles, photographs and other print and digital content cannot be entered in more than one category except as part of an entry in General Excellence, Design, Photography and the ASME Award for Coverage of Race in America. 

8. Special sections or special issues of print magazines are eligible only if they were distributed to the full and customary list of subscribers and newsstands except for entries in General Excellence, Design and Photography, which may include one special-interest or newsstand-only publication.

9. Excerpts serialized from fiction and nonfiction books are not eligible except as part of an entry in General Excellence, Design and Photography. 

10. Programs intended solely for broadcast on radio and television are not eligible for entry.

11. A web vertical may submit entries separately from its parent site if the vertical has an independent brand identity.

12. Print entries that include content funded or produced in partnership by two or more media organizations will not be accepted in any category in which one of the partners has already submitted the maximum number of entries allowed. Media organizations that fund or partner in the production of a finalist or winner will each receive a certificate of recognition or an Ellie.

13. Entries found to be in violation of commonly accepted editorial standards, including the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers, may be disqualified at any time.

14. The administrators of the Ellie Awards may at their own discretion extend the deadline for entry in any category.

See the Rules and Eligibility section for each category for more information.

Entry Statement
Each submission must include a three-part statement describing the publication and the entry. Part 1 should describe the editorial mission of the publication and should include information about audience size and reader demographics. Part 1 may be based on the description of the editorial mission contained in media kits. Part 1 should be no longer than 100 words. Part 2 should provide information about the overall size of the full-time staff as well as its composition by gender and ethnicity. Editors are also encouraged to describe in Part 2 any efforts at their publications to address issues of diversity and inclusion, including representation of the LGBTQ community, in both hiring and assigning. Information about hiring and assigning will be used by ASME to evaluate editorial staffing at magazines and websites in general but will not be disclosed by title except to judges in General Excellence, where it may be used as explained in the category description. Part 2 should be no longer than 100 words. Part 3 should describe the entry and the reasons it deserves to be recognized. Part 3 should be no longer than 300 words but may include links to other information, including content related to the entry. Entries may also include examples of media coverage as well as correspondence from readers attesting to the significance of the entry; such materials should be uploaded at ellieawards.org. Any significant challenge to the accuracy or fairness of an entry, including corrections or retractions, must be noted in Part 3.

Multipart Entries
Entries in some categories may consist of as many as three thematically linked articles. Articles published under a common rubric such as “Health” or “Money” do not qualify as thematically linked unless the articles address a specific topic, such as ways to stop smoking or saving for retirement. Entries composed of two or more articles are judged in part on their consistency. Editors may wish to enter a single strong article rather than a series of uneven quality.