Deadline for the 2009 awards: Monday, January 11, 2010
The National Newspaper Awards were established in 1949 by the Toronto Press Club with the financial and moral support of the late C. George McCullagh.
Since 1989, the awards have been governed by a Board of Governors representing both daily newspapers and the public. The awards are administered by the Canadian Daily Newspaper Awards Programme Administration Corporation.
The NNAs are housed at the Canadian Newspaper Association, 890 Yonge St.,Suite 200, Toronto, ON. M4W 3P4. Tel: 416-923-3567; Fax: 416-923-7206; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Newspaper Awards are funded through an annual fund-raising program (to which almost 65% of Canadian newspapers contribute), entry fees, newspaper corporate donations to assist in the awards gala, and ticket sales to the gala.
There are 22 categories: Breaking News; Investigations; Presentation; Sports; Business; Politics; Long Feature Writing; Multimedia Feature; Short Feature Writing; Columns; Editorial Writing; Arts and Entertainment; Editorial Cartooning; Special Project; News Feature Photography; Spot News Photography; Sports Photography; Feature Photography; International Reporting; Explanatory Journalism; and Local Reporting (for newspapers under 30,000 circulation).
Entry fee is $40 per entry, plus GST. Entry fee for those with newspapers under 30,000 circulation is $25, plus GST.
Judging is done by prominent people selected from across the country. Most have had extensive media experience. There are three judges in each category and they arrive at a consensus decision after examining the entries over a seven-week period.
Tips on entering
Based on experience and tips from judges who must plough through some 1,400 entries each year, here are some tips about entering.
Take some time to assemble entries neatly. Judges do complain about how haphazardly things appear to be thrown together.
If you can, staple the components of an entry in this order, top to bottom: entry ballot, covering letter (if any, from either a senior editor or yourself), and then the entry.
Do not send background pieces or testimonials. The judges are instructed to judge only those works that are being submitted for the competition. However, a covering letter from the competitor or senior editor to provide some background and explain the circumstances behind the story is always useful for the judges.
Covering letters that contain nothing more than information serving to introduce the competitor as a "fine person and outstanding journalist" are not necessary.
Be specific in indicating to the judges what stories they are to judge or not judge. Your covering letter could explain why certain stories are being submitted over others.