Download a PDF version of the Competition Guidelines.
General rules and guidelines apply to all entries.
Additional rules and guidelines may also apply to specific categories as detailed after this section.
- The Western Magazine Awards competition is open to magazines that are 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 competition.
- For the 2014 Western Magazine Awards, the magazines must be published at least twice in 2013. Annual magazines that have published for at least two years may also submit work, but may not enter the Magazine of the Year categories.
- The awards are open to Canadian citizens and full-time residents of Canada.
- The Western Magazine Awards 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.
- For the 2014 Western Magazine Awards, work must have appeared in an issue dated 2013. Work that appeared in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of a magazine is eligible. Work in a December 2012/January 2013 issue is not eligible.
- The Western Magazine Awards 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 judges' request.
- 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 binding.
- Entrants must notify the Western Magazine Awards Foundation in the event that any submission is, or subsequently becomes, the subject of any legal action. The Foundation reserves the right to take steps to avoid legal complications that could arise from republication. This includes disqualification from the Western Magazine Awards competition.
- 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 Western Magazine Awards Foundation must be notified.
RULES FOR WRITTEN ENTRIES
All 12 Written Categories are open to print and online magazines.
- All judging is done online. All entries must be submitted digitally by PDF unless another option is indicated under the packaging instructions. 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 eligible.
- In case of dispute, the decision of the Board of the Western Magazine Awards Foundation 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.
- The Service category accepts explanatory articles sorting out information of a practical and day-to-day applicability to the reader.
- The New Writer Award (which has replaced the Student Writer 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 Western Magazine Awards Foundation intends that all articles meeting the above criteria should be eligible for an award. If you have any questions, please contact the WMAF office.
RULES FOR MAGAZINES OF THE YEAR
- 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.
- To be considered a Trade Magazine, the publication must serve a particular profession or industry and have a rate card and active advertising sales team.
- To be considered a New Magazine, the publication must have had one year of full production within the two calendar years prior to the awards year. (e.g. for the 2014 awards, publication in 2012 to 2013). This allows semiannual magazines to submit three consecutive issues.
- A magazine may only enter this category once.
RULES FOR VISUAL CATEGORIES
- All visual entries MUST be uploaded to the web site as a PDF unless another option is indicated under the packaging instructions.
- 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 director.
- 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 portraiture.
- 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 of Directors.
- The Western Magazine Awards Foundation will post the new application form on February 24, 2014. Nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award will be accepted from April 30th, 2014. There is no fee to nominate an individual.