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2017 Showcase Awards

Showcase Awards Categories

Written Categories

Alberta Story

Articles in this category must showcase a distinctly Alberta subject, flavour and flair. This is subject to broad interpretation but examples would be non-fiction work about Alberta’s cultural and economic scene; stories about interesting Albertans; or stories told from a distinctly Albertan perspective.

Editorial Package Print

Any collection of articles on a related theme in a single issue that reflects collaboration by editors and writers. This category is open to content from print magazines only. *An article that appears in an editorial package is eligible for entry in other written categories. 

Emerging Writer

Amber Webb

This award is open to current post-secondary students, recent grads or interns with a maximum three years’ professional experience. The award goes to the individual whose early work in AMPA magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

Essay

Articles in this category include those in which a writer’s perspective is paramount. Regular columns are eligible for entry in this category.

Feature Writing (Long)

Articles in this category include any fact-based work of non-fiction of more than 2,000 words. Judging will emphasize writing quality, originality and impact. 

Feature Writing (Short)

Articles in this category include any fact-based work of non-fiction of 2,000 words or less. Judging will emphasize writing quality, originality and impact. 

Fiction

Articles in this category include any work of fiction first published by the magazine.

Poetry

Articles in this category include any work of poetry first published by the magazine. A collection of up to three poems by the same author, all published in the same issue, may also be entered in this category.

Profile

Articles in this category focus on a person or a group.

Service: Business, Education, Health and Medicine

Articles in this category include any how-to journalism, explanatory or informational piece which organizes information of a practical applicability to the reader. Topics can include health and medicine, business, finance, personal finance, technology and education.

Service Lifestyle

Articles in this category include any how-to journalism, explanatory or informational piece which organizes information of a practical applicability to the reader. Topics can include relationships, travel, recreation, sports, music, entertainment, décor, hobbies, food (not entirely consisting of recipes), fashion, etc.

Visual Categories

Art Direction for a Single Issue

The use of compelling imagery and graphic elements that work creatively and engagingly to support the issue’s theme. This award is granted to art directors and their staff or freelance associates for a single magazine issue.

Emerging Visual Creator NEW!

This award is open to either current post-secondary students, or recent grads or interns with a maximum three years’ professional experience. The award goes to the individual whose early work in AMPA magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Entries can include photographs or illustrations. 

Feature Design

The use of compelling imagery and graphic elements that work creatively and engagingly to support the story narrative. This award is granted to art directors and their staff or freelance associates for a single magazine article.

Illustration

A compelling and unique illustration. Entries must be shown in the magazine context, though accompanying text itself is not judged. If the entry is not from an article title page, please upload the title page image as well.

Photograph: Essay or Series

Any series of photographs from a single issue. Entries must be shown in the magazine context, though accompanying text itself is not judged. If the entry is not from an article title page, please upload the title page image as well.

Photograph: Landscape, Still Life and Architecture

A compelling and unique photo of a landscape, still life or architectural subject. Entries must be shown in the context of the article, although accompanying text itself is not judged. If the entry is not from an article title page, please upload the title page image as well.

Photograph: People and Portraiture

A compelling and unique photo of a person or group of people. Entries must be shown in the context of the article, although accompanying text itself is not judged. If the entry is not from an article title page, please upload the title page image as well.

Integrated Categories

Cover

Judges assess entries for graphic elements and cover line content, that they reinforce each other through literal or subtextual means, as well as overall creativity. 

Infographic

Awards are granted on the basis of design and presentation of data and can include any original any original creation of data visualization produced by a magazine, print or digital. Entries must consist of a single infographic or a series of related infographics appearing in a single article. Print magazines must submit of a PDF of the entry. Submissions from magazine websites must contain a URL to the page and a PDF screen capture. Awards are granted on the basis of design and presentation rather than topic.

Digital Categories

Digital Presence Website

A magazine website, website redesign or microsite which:

  • Demonstrates high editorial standards and effective use of the digital medium to reach and engage the intended audience.
  • Demonstrates best practices in navigation and architecture; interactivity; excellent content and outstanding design; and, if applicable, integration with print publication.

Digital Presence Special Feature

A magazine mobile app, multimedia feature or any other specific digital project which:

  • Demonstrates high editorial standards and effective use of the digital medium to reach and engage the intended audience.
  • Demonstrates best practices in navigation and architecture; interactivity; excellent content and outstanding design; and, if applicable, integration with print publication.

Guidelines and Rules for Showcase Awards

The Showcase Awards competition is open to work published in an issue dated 2016 in any current AMPA member magazine

  • All entries must be the work of Canadian content creators.
  • It is the responsibility of the magazine to enter according to the guidelines. Entries that don’t conform to the rules or fit category definitions may be disqualified without notice. Entry fees will not be refunded
  • No entries will be returned. No refunds will be granted
  • All decisions made by the judges are final
  • Judges reserve the right to not grant an award in a category if, in their opinion, no entry merits one
  • AMPA reserves the right to cancel any category that does not receive enough submissions to provide a legitimate competition. In this case entry fees will be refunded to the submitters.
  • AMPA reserves the right to use the winning entries in the awards program for exhibit, educational purposes, online and/or in a publication of collected work, but not for sale or profit
  • The number of finalists in each category will be proportionate to the number of entries submitted in each category to a maximum of 10 finalists
  • Finalists will be announced in February, prior to the Awards Gala on March 16, 2017
  • Advertorial and/or promotional content is inadmissible
  • See specific rules below and in category descriptions

Specific Rules for Written Categories

  • Awards for writing are open to staff or freelance contributors
  • With the exception of the fiction and poetry categories, all written submissions must be non-fiction
  • The same work may not be entered in multiple written categories, unless the rules indicate otherwise
  • Awards are for articles published as “first rights” only
  • There is no limit to the number of entries per magazine per category, but the same work may not be submitted to more than one written category. The same work, however, may be entered in a written category as well as a visual or integrated category

Specific Rules for Visual Categories

  • Awards are open to staff or freelance contributors
  • The same work may be entered in multiple categories, unless the rules indicate otherwise

Specific Rules for Digital Categories

  • For judging purposes entires must still be live online through to March 2017.

Judging for Showcase Awards

Judges in all categories receive written instructions and an explanation of the judging process. Judges are responsible for the selection of finalists by first working individually to submit scores from 0 to 100. From these scores, the top submissions are compiled and a gold and silver winner and up to eight finalists are determined. In certain categories judges will  proceed to a second round of judging to deliberate and determine finalists, silver and gold winners. The judges’ decision is final. See specific judging criteria for respective categories.

Conflict of Interest:

A judge shall be considered ineligible to adjudicate a panel in which: his/her name appears on the masthead of the magazine entered in that category; is entered as a writer or other contributor in that category.

Category Review:

AMPA reviews its award categories annually. Stakeholders are welcome to provide feedback on the clarity of category descriptions, relevance, and omissions.

Judging for All Written Categories

All entries are adjudicated by a carefully selected panel of three industry professionals who give equal weight to the following: writing style and engaging voice, content, creativity and originality, appropriateness for target audience and engagement of readers, and overall impact.

Judging for All Visual Categories

Aesthetic considerations are the main focus of entries in visual categories (creativity, visual impact, how images and graphic elements work together, the appropriateness of the materials for the magazine medium and intended audience. Additionally, judges assess how well the treatment engages the reader.

Judging for Integrated Categories

Specific Judging for Cover

Judges assess entries for creativity, cover line content, and that images, graphic elements and text are synergistic and reinforce each other through literal or subtextual means.

Judging for Digital Categories

Judges assess overall experience, content, structure, navigation, visual design, functionality and interactivity.

How to Enter Showcase Awards

To prepare your materials in advance, consult the Showcase Awards Checklist.

  • If you don’t already have an AMPA website user account, you’ll need to create your own account to access awards entry forms
  • You have the option to add and upload multiple entries at any time (up to the submissions deadline) by logging in to your website account, with just one payment at the end for all entries.
  • All submissions must include the magazine’s editorial mandate.
  • Each entry must include a high-resolution (300 dpi) image no larger than 20 MB, in PDF format, of the published work (with the exception of Art Direction for a Single Issue and Editorial Package, please see below).
  • The image filename should be formatted accordingly: categoryabbreviation_magazine_entrytitle (no spaces or punctuation symbols). (e.g. Illustration entry Due Diligence from Alberta Oil would be: I_AlbertaOil_DueDiligence.pdf).
    Category abbreviations are as follows:
    • Alberta Story = A
    • Art Direction for a Single Issue = AD
    • Cover = C
    • Digital Presence: Website = DPW
    • Digital Presence: Special  Feature = DPSF
    • Editorial Package (print) = EP
    • Emerging Writer = EW
    • Emerging Visual Creator = EVC
    • Essay = E
    • Feature Design = FD
    • Feature Writing Long (more than 2,000 words) = FWL
    • Feature Writing Short (2,000 words or less) = FWS
    • Fiction = F
    • Illustration = I
    • Infographic =IG
    • Photograph: Landscape, Still Life and Architecture = PL
    • Photograph: People and Portraiture = PP
    • Photograph: Essay or Series = PE
    • Poetry = P
    • Profile = PR
    • Service Lifestyle  = SL
    • Service Business = SB
  • Each entry for “Digital Presence Website" and "Digital Special Feature” must include an image with the above file specifications (e.g., screenshot of homepage) and a URL (live from the date of entry through March 2017).
  • For Art Direction for a Single Issue, please upload the issue cover, and send four copies of this issue to the AMPA office (#304, 1240 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary AB T2N 3P7) by Dec. 12, 2016 at 4 p.m.
  • For Editorial Package, please upload the issue cover, and send four copies of the issue to the AMPA office (#304, 1240 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary AB T2N 3P7) by Dec. 12, 2016 at 4 p.m.
  • Entry fees and deadlines:
    • Early bird: $40 ($30 for literary magazines) per entry submitted by 4 p.m. Nov. 24, 2016
    • Regular: $45 ($35 for literary magazines) per entry submitted after 4 p.m. Nov. 24, 2016
    • Final deadline for entries and payment is Friday Dec. 8, 2016
    • Payment can be made via PayPal (including credit cards) or by cheque. The online form will prompt selection of payment method

2017 Achievement Awards

Achievement Awards Categories

The Achievement Awards recognize the innovation and creativity made by an individual or publication to the magazine industry.

Achievement in Publishing

The individual has demonstrated a history of creating excellent magazine content and/or products; achieved long-term success in the magazine industry; and made significant contributions to the Alberta magazine industry, including volunteer work, advocacy, leadership and collaboration.

  • A nominee can be anyone who works with an AMPA member magazine, has made a significant contribution to Alberta’s magazine publishing industry, and is a current resident of Alberta.
  • To qualify, a nominee must have worked a minimum of five years in the Alberta magazine industry.
  • The award is open to all magazine professionals in various areas of publishing, including but not limited to publishers, editors, art directors, freelancers, sales managers and circulation experts.
  • The nomination form requires information about: the candidate’s career in magazine publishing to date (ie: companies/organizations worked for, positions held, key responsibilities); key highlights in the candidate’s career (special accomplishments or unique individual successes); the candidate’s contributions to the Alberta magazine publishing industry, and how they have made a difference and helped improve the industry as a whole
  • Nominations require two letters of support, and four copies of two issues that demonstrate the nominee’s best work mailed to the AMPA office at #304, 1240 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7.

Best New Magazine

The magazine demonstrates excellence in editorial and design, fulfills a niche within the industry, and has strong potential for long-term sustainability.

  • To qualify, the magazine must have a head office in Alberta (but does not have to be an AMPA member magazine), and have begun publishing after June 2014.
  • Magazines that don’t abide by the national Magazine Advertising-Editorial Guidelines aren’t eligible. (View these guidelines).
  • The nomination form requires information about: the magazine (including the editorial mandate, audience, staff positions, frequency, circulation and distribution); how the magazine fulfills a niche within the industry; and why the magazine has strong potential for long-term sustainability.
  • Nominations require four copies of two recent issues that demonstrate the publication’s best work mailed to the AMPA office at #304, 1240 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7.

Editor of the Year

The individual has achieved standards of excellence in the creation of an Alberta magazine or magazines, demonstrating that they: fulfill the stated mandate or vision of the magazine through editorial content that is engaging and relevant to its target audience; and maintain high standards of editorial quality throughout the magazine.

The individual also demonstrates strong qualities of resourcefulness, collaboration and vision, as demonstrated by the nominee’s ability to: bring out excellence in writers; maximize economic and people resources in the creation of superior content; and engage stakeholders in venues beyond the magazine in ways that strengthen the magazine’s brand and sustainability.

  • A nominee can be anyone who works with an AMPA member magazine, has made a significant contribution to Alberta’s magazine publishing industry, and is a current resident of Alberta. Previous winners are eligible for this award.
  • To qualify, magazine editors must have been employed by an AMPA member magazine and worked on at least two consecutive issues in the year 2015.
  • The nomination form requires information about: the magazine (including circulation, frequency, mandate, audience, staff positions and editorial budget); the candidate’s duties at the magazine; and the candidate’s achievements relative to the editor position
  • Nominations require two letters of support, and four copies of two issues from the past year that demonstrate the candidate’s best work mailed to the AMPA office at #304, 1240 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7.

Magazine of the Year

The magazine consistently engages and serves the needs of its readers.

  • To qualify, the publication must be an AMPA member magazine and have a head office in Alberta
  • The nomination form requires information about: the magazine (including the editorial mandate, audience, staff positions, frequency, circulation and distribution); and a summary of the magazine’s achievements during the past year.
  • Nominations require four copies of two recent issues from the past year that demonstrate the publication’s best work mailed to the AMPA office at #304, 1240 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7.

Volunteer of the Year

The individual can be anyone who has worked with an AMPA member magazine, has demonstrated that they bettered the Alberta magazine industry through their involvement, and has inspired others to take part in the industry.

  • To qualify, a candidate must have contributed more than 30 volunteer hours in 2016 to an AMPA member magazine or to AMPA.
  • The nomination form requires information about: the candidate’s magazine-related volunteer activities this past year; volunteer activities the nominee has been involved with in their lifetime (including non-magazine related work); and why the candidate volunteers for the Alberta magazine industry
  • Nominations require two letters of support.

Guidelines and Rules for Achievement Awards

  • Nominees must be current AMPA member magazines (with the exception of the Best New Magazine award)
  • Individual nominees must be current residents of Alberta
  • Publication nominees must have a head office in Alberta
  • Previous nominees are eligible for the Achievement in Publishing award, but not previous winners.
  • AMPA reserves the right to use the winning nomination materials in the awards program for exhibit, educational purposes, online and/or in a publication of collected work, but not for sale or profit

Judging for Achievement Awards

Individuals from the AMPA Board of Directors, as well as a previous Achievement Award winner and one industry expert, will make up the judging committee. The committee will consider submitted nominations, along with nominations from the committee itself to select a winner. See specific judging criteria for applicable categories.

Specific Judging for Achievement in Publishing

The winner will have demonstrated:

  • A history of creating excellent magazine content and/or products
  • Long-term success in the magazine industry
  • Significant contributions to the Alberta magazine industry, including volunteer work, advocacy, leadership and collaboration

Specific Judging for Best New Magazine

The winner is a magazine that demonstrates excellence in editorial and design, fulfills a niche within the industry, and has strong potential for long-term sustainability.

Specific Judging for Editor of the Year

The winner will have achieved standards of excellence in the creation of an Alberta magazine or magazines, demonstrating that they:

  • fulfill the stated mandate or vision of the magazine through editorial content that is engaging and relevant to its target audience
  • maintain high standards of editorial quality throughout the magazine

Judges will also recognize the nominee who demonstrates strong qualities of resourcefulness, collaboration and vision, as demonstrated by the nominee’s ability to:

  • bring out excellence in writers
  • maximize economic and people resources in the creation of superior content
  • engage stakeholders in venues beyond the magazine in ways that strengthen the magazine’s brand and sustainability

Specific Judging for Magazine of the Year

The winner is a magazine that consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers, and demonstrates significant achievements during the past year.

Specific Judging for Volunteer of the Year

The winner will have demonstrated that they bettered the Alberta magazine industry through their involvement and have inspired others to take part in the industry. Nominees will be evaluated on both their volunteer contributions in 2016 and their past history of volunteer involvement. 

How to Nominate for Achievement Awards

To prepare your materials in advance, consult the Achievement Awards Checklist.

  • If you don’t already have an AMPA website user account, you will need to create one to access Achievement Awards nomination forms: 
  • You have the option to add and upload multiple nominations at any time (up to the submissions deadline) by logging in to your website account
  • Complete one online form for each nominee
  • All decisions made by the judges are final
  • Judges reserve the right to not grant an award in a category if, in their opinion, no entry merits one
  • See specific category descriptions for support material requirements
  • The support letter filenames should be formatted accordingly: categoryabbreviation_NomineeFullname_Letter# (no spaces or punctuation symbols). (e.g. filename of the 2nd letter of support nominating Rob Tanner for Achievement in Publishing: AP_RobTanner_2). Category abbreviations are as follows:
    • Achievement in Publishing = AP
    • Best New Magazine = BNM
    • Editor of the Year = EY
    • Magazine of the Year = MY
    • Volunteer of the Year = VY
  • There is no fee for nominations
  • Deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2016. All support materials must be at the AMPA office by 4 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2016.

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Alberta Magazine Publishers Association
#304, 1240 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7

T: (403) 262-0081
F: (403) 670-0492
E: Alberta Magazines

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AMPA acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Multimedia Development Fund (AMDF) towards our project costs.

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