Below are answers to commonly asked questions about the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards. If you do not see your question here, or if you require more information, please contact us at


Who may compete in the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards (CCNAwards)?

The CCNAwards are open to all English and French non-daily community newspapers across Canada. In addition, there is a separate division for Campus Newspapers, which is open to all newspapers serving post-secondary institutions across Canada.

My newspaper is an associate member of News Media Canada. May I enter all categories?

Yes. Associate members, including Canadian Forces Base Newspapers, may enter any category in the applicable circulation class, in the same manner as general members. The same entry fees apply for general and associate members.

May I join News Media Canada in order to be eligible for members' discounted entry fee?

Yes. To become a member of News Media Canada, contact the Member Services department at Payment of your membership fee in full must be received up front in order to be eligible for member rates in the CCNAwards. For more information about the services that News Media Canada provides, visit the Become a Member page.

Entering the Competition

When is the entry deadline?

The final entry deadline for the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards is Monday, April 30, 2018. News Media Canada members who submit their entries by the earlybird deadline of Friday, April 13, 2018, will be eligible for the earlybird draw.

What is the earlybird draw?

The earlybird draw is a prize draw open to News Media Canada members who submit their entries and payment by the earlybird deadline. The 2018 earlybird deadline is April 13.

Newspapers must complete their registration online and submit digital entries and payment by the deadline. Hard copy entries must be postmarked or courier-dated by the earlybird deadline. Newspapers meeting these requirements will be included in a draw to win back their full entry fee.

Where can I get a copy of the entry book?

Download the entry book in PDF format here. There are separate entry books for community newspapers and campus newspapers. If you have trouble opening the entry book file, please email

How do I log into the online entry system?

The CCNAwards has teamed up with NewspaperToolbox to provide an online entry platform for this year’s competition allowing you to submit all your entry details and entries online. This online contest entry system is designed to make the process of entering contests quick and easy.

Once the competition has launched, there will be a link posted on the CCNAwards homepage directing entrants to the online entry site.

For digital entries, what file formats will be accepted?

PDF, JPEG, DOC, GIF, XLS, PPT, FLV, MPG, WMV, MPEG, PNG, MOV, MP4. A URL link to your website can be uploaded website entries.

Remove spaces and special characters from file names before uploading them into the entry system (e.g., News Media Canada July Issue.pdf should be News-Media-Canada-July-Issue.pdf) Do not exceed a maximum file size of 3 MB.

Which categories require hard copy entries?

The following categories will require a hard copy of your tearsheets to be submitted:

  • General Excellence
  • Best Canadian Forces Base Newspaper
  • Best Holiday Edition
  • Outstanding Community Service
  • Best Agricultural Edition
  • Best Campus Newspaper
  • Best Sports Coverage

Please send hard copy entries and entry forms to:

Which circulation figure is used for entering classes in each category?

News Media Canada uses the latest audited or sworn average total circulation figure for your edition of record. (To view your circulation figures in our searchable database, click here.) CCNAwards personnel will ensure that all entries are submitted in the correct classes.

How many entries may I submit in each category?

A maximum of three (3) entries per member newspaper may be submitted into EACH of the following Premier Awards, Special Competitions and Campus Newspaper categories for the applicable circulation class:

Premier Awards:

  • Best News Story
  • Best Feature Story
  • Best Feature Series
  • Best Columnist
  • Best Reporter Initiative
  • Best Historical Story
  • Best Local Cartoon
  • Best Spot News Photo Coverage
  • Best Feature News Photo
  • Best Feature Photo
  • Best Sports Photo
  • Best Photo Essay
  • Best Photo Illustration

Special Competitions:

  • Best Environmental Writing
  • Best Rural Reporting
  • Best Business Writing
  • Best Agricultural Story

Campus Newspapers:

  • Best Campus News Story
  • Best Campus Feature Story
  • Best Campus Photography

A maximum of one (1) entry per member newspaper may be submitted into EACH of the following Premier Awards, Special Competitions and Campus Newspaper categories:

Premier Awards:

  • Best National Editorial
  • Best Local Editorial
  • Best Community Service
  • Best Headline Writing
  • Best Coverage of the Arts
  • Best Sports Coverage
  • Best Holiday Edition
  • Best Website
  • Best Multimedia Feature
  • Best Canadian Forces Base Newspaper

Special Competitions:

  • Best Agricultural Edition

Campus Newspaper Categories:

  • Outstanding Campus Newspaper
  • Best Campus Website

May I submit a work in multiple categories?

Yes, you may submit a work in multiple categories, provided that the entry meets the criteria of each selected category. For example, a feature article may be submitted in Best Feature Story and Outstanding Reporter Initiative.

If a work was published in more than one newspaper, can each newspaper submit that work?

No. Only the newspaper with the highest total circulation figure may submit that work. Any duplicates will be disqualified by CCNAwards staff, committee or judges at any time that they are discovered during the competition.

How will I be able to remember which works we submitted?

The online entry system will allow you to print copies of your entry form and entries submitted. Keep these copies in a handy location so that you can readily refer to them when we announce the winners. Due to the high volume of entries, News Media Canada is unable to trace individual entries following submission to judges.

What forms of payment does News Media Canada accept?

News Media Canada accepts the following forms of payment:

  • cheque or money order payable to News Media Canada;
  • VISA;
  • MasterCard.

If you are paying by cheque or money order, please indicate the name of your newspaper so that it is readily identifiable by CCNAwards staff.

My newspaper must submit cheque requisitions to our corporate head office, and cheques take a few weeks to be issued. May we submit our entries by the deadline, and then send the cheque later?

To avoid delays in the entry process, please pay your entry fee by credit card on the online entry site, or purchase a money order from a bank or the post office. It is in your best interest to include your payment with your entry package. Delays in sending payment may result in your entries being withheld from the competition and possibly disqualified.

My newspaper wishes to enter the Outstanding Columnist category. However, our selected columnist only publishes a column every other week. Can we still enter?

Yes. Send three consecutive columns whether they are weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Attach an explanatory letter from the editor or publisher, explaining the circumstances.

I would like to enter the Arts Coverage category. What do I submit?

The category definition for Best Coverage of the Arts mentions that 3 to 5 different works must be submitted. A work is defined as a single story, feature, editorial, stand-alone photo, or photo essay. If a story turns onto a second page, be sure to submit both tearsheets. Similarly, if you are submitting a photo essay, submit all tearsheets on which the photo essay was published.

A full arts section, or all pages of arts coverage from an issue, will be judged as multiple works.

The premise behind this category is to showcase the best specific examples of arts coverage in your community.


How are the CCNAwards judged?

CCNAward entries are peer-judged by industry experts in print and digital news media publishing and journalism. In addition to sharing their expertise, judges can benefit from the opportunity to see the range of work being published across the country. For more information about judging, including how to participate as a judge, visit the Judge Nomination page.

What is involved in judging?

Judging involves scrutinizing all entries in print or online and assigning scores according to criteria set out by the awards committee. Scores and judges’ comments are submitted on the online entry system. General Excellence judges will also be required to submit comments on individual entries and will receive an honorarium for this extra work.

Judging is expected to take approximately three to four weeks, based on spending a couple of hours per day. Judges may ask colleagues to assist them in judging, provided that they have significant experience in the type of work being judged. The names of judges will be published alongside the category that they judged in the winners book.

For more information about judging, including how to participate as a judge, visit the Judge Nomination page.

How can I become a judge?

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a judge, complete the judge nomination form online here. Indicate your or your candidate’s areas of expertise (e.g., editorial, advertising, etc.) so that awards staff can align them with a suitable category. More information about eligibility criteria for judges can be found on the judge nomination page.


When will the winners be announced?

The CCNAwards final standings, consisting of the top three newspapers in all categories and classes, will be announced in June. They will be announced on this website and in News Media Canada’s industry newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.

What is a Blue Ribbon?

A Blue Ribbon award is given in the General Excellence division to any paper in the national competition that deserves recognition for excellence, as determined by the General Excellent judge(s). Recipients receive a certificate and a reproduction-quality logo that may be printed on the papers masthead or front page.

Sponsoring the Awards

I would like to sponsor an award. Whom do I contact?

Contact Kelly Gorven, Awards Coordinator, at