General Rules and
*General rules and
guidelines apply to all entries. Additional rules and guidelines may also apply to specific categories as
detailed after this section.
- For every category, the magazines must be headquartered in Western Canada,
defined as BC, AB, SK, MB, Yukon and NWT. Magazines headquartered outside of Western Canada are not eligible
to enter the Western Magazine Awards.
- The 31st Annual Western Magazine Awards competition is open to Canadian magazines published at least two
times in 2012 whose main editorial offices are located in any of the four western provinces, Yukon or
Northwest Territories. Annual magazines that have published for at least two years may submit work, but may
not enter Magazine of the Year categories.
- The awards are open to Canadian citizens and full-time residents of Canada.
- The WMAs are open to print magazines, except for Best Online Magazine (which is for online magazines only)
and the 12 Written categories, which are open to both print and online magazines.
- Work must have appeared in an issue dated 2012. Work that appeared in the December 2012/January 2013
issue of a magazine is eligible. Work in a December 2011/January 2012 issue is not.
- The Foundation considers self-description as the most important criterion in defining a magazine; e.g.
if you call yourself a magazine, you are a magazine. However, the Foundation will make the final
determination. Publications that enter as newspapers in other award programs are not eligible.
- Newsprint supplements to daily newspapers are eligible if they are self-described as magazines and, in
general, are substantially distinct from the newspapers in which they appear.
- No entries will be returned.
- No refunds will be granted under any circumstances.
- The Western Magazine Awards reserves the right to use the winning entries in the awards program, for
exhibit, for educational purposes, for promotion and/or in a publication of collected works.
- A maximum of five finalists will be named in each category.
- The judges reserve the right not to grant an award if, in their opinion, no entry merits one.
- Entrants may be required to provide supporting documents (notes, references and other material) at the
- Individual entries displaying advertorial and/or promotional content will be ruled inadmissible.
- Awards in the written categories are not open to articles published under "second rights", e.g. an
article that had been published previously in any format.
- All decisions of the Board or of the judges regarding all aspects of the competition are final and
- Entrants must notify the Foundation in the event that any submission is, or subsequently becomes, the
subject of any legal action, so the Foundation may take appropriate steps to avoid legal complications that
could arise from republication.
- If an apology or retraction related to an article has been printed prior to submission, it must be
attached to the entry. If an article that has been entered becomes the subject of an apology or retraction
before the awards presentation, the Foundation must be notified.
Rules for Written Entries
(Visual Rules and Magazine of the Year Rules follow)
Rules for Written categories
All 12 Written Categories are open to print and online magazines.
- All judging is done online so you MUST upload a PDF of each entry when submitting to the competition. No
tearsheets are required.
- Awards for writing are open to staff or freelance contributors.
- Excerpts, condensations or serializations from books or books in progress are inadmissible.
- With the exception of the Fiction category, all written submissions must be non-fiction.
- The same written work may be entered as many times, in as many categories as you like. You do not need
to choose only one category. All written entries may also be entered in the Gold Awards. Each category and
each Gold Award must be entered separately and must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee.
- An article made up of two or more components will be eligible if one component is presented as dominant
and the others as subordinate to it, regardless of whether the components are written by the same or
different writers. Thus, an editorial package consisting of a major article with one or more sidebars or
companion stories, none of which are longer than one half the major article's length, would be deemed
- In case of dispute, the decision of the Board of the WMAF is final.
- For the Regular Column or Department category, the entry must consist of three samples by the same
writer or team. Please use the overall title of the Column as the name of the piece entered (do not enter
three different names for the three submissions).
- To qualify for the Gold Award for a given province, the publication's editorial office must be located
in that province. This is now the sole criteria to be met for the Gold Award.
- The Service category, refers to any explanatory article sorting out information of a practical and
day-to-day applicability to the reader.
-New Writer Award (replaces Student Writer Award) will be given to a new writer whose early work shows a
high degree of skill and potential. This award is open to student and non-student magazine writers with less
than two years of experience writing for Canadian magazines. Entries must have appeared in Western Canadian
publications, either print or online. Articles published in university or college magazines are eligible. A
person can only win this award once.
- The intent of the Foundation is that all articles meeting the above criteria should be eligible for an
award. If you have any questions, please contact the Foundation office for assistance.
Magazines of the Year categories
Best Online Magazine
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve the needs of its target audience through content,
design and use of online media. This category is open to both the companion web sites of print magazine
titles based in Western Canada or an online-only publication that self-identifies as a magazine based in
Western Canada. The publication must carry some original editorial content (content published firstly online)
and content written and/or edited by Canadian citizens or residents. Websites that are strictly promotional
sites or act as a brochure site for a publication or broadcast outlet are ineligible unless they feature some
original journalistic content. Content must be generated by the staff of the magazine and not syndicated or
Trade Magazine and New Magazine
To qualify for Trade Magazine of the Year, a magazine must fulfil all of the following
- be published in Western Canada
- serve a particular profession or industry
- have a rate card and active advertising sales team
To be considered a New Magazine, you must have had your first year of full production in
the calendar year 2011 or 2012. The WMAF allows New Magazines to enter if they first published in the
past two years, instead of one year. This allows New Magazines to submit three consecutive issues. A magazine
may only enter this category once.
Rules for Visual
- All visual entries MUST be uploaded to the web site as a PDF.
- Best Photograph and Best Illustration entries must be shown in context. If the entry is not from a title
page, please also upload the title page image.
- Awards for photographs and illustrations are open only to works commissioned by the magazine.
- Winners of awards for photography or illustration may be required to provide, on loan, prints,
transparencies or original artwork.
- Awards for illustration and photography are granted to the creator of the work, not the art
- Awards for art direction are open only to art directors and their staff or freelance associates.
- Best Photograph - Architectural, Landscape or Still Life category, refers to all photography except
- Best Photograph - Architectural, Landscape or Still Life and Best Photograph - People and Portraiture
Categories are for single image entries only.
- Entrants in the photography categories must declare the nature of any substantial and unapparent
manipulations of images - such as major retouching, multiple exposures or computer/darkroom enhancement - for
the consideration of the judges.
Lifetime Achievement Award
In 1998, the Western Magazine Awards Foundation introduced the annual Lifetime Achievement Award. The
award is open to anyone in the magazine industry, from circulation managers to designers.
Nominations are welcome from everyone in the industry.
The winner of the award will be selected by a committee of the Western Magazine Awards Foundation Board.
The WMAF will post the new application form on February 18, 2013. Nominations for the Lifetime Achievement
Award will be accepted (using the new form) from February 18 until March 31, 2013. There is no fee to
nominate an individual.