Entry Period: September 1 - November 15

Note: Please read the following requirements carefully, as any entry that does not fully meet all requirements will be disqualified.

General Guidelines

  1. Entries must have been FIRST published or distributed between OCTOBER 1, 2021 and SEPTEMBER 30, 2022. Content that was previously submitted in a NATJA Awards Competition, regardless of whether or not it placed, does not qualify for submission.
  2. Membership into NATJA is not required to submit. For current NATJA members who submit at the reduced member rate, membership must be in good standing through March 1, 2023, to be eligible for an award and/or prize.
  3. Complete and submit an Entry Form for each entry per category.
  4. Everyone can submit entries using the entry form starting on Page 9 of the downloadable Guidelines & Entry Form. Online submissions are also accepted through the Online Submission Portal.
  5. A fee is required per entry, per category, per the FEES schedule on Page 4 of the downloadable Entry Guidelines & Form or on the Entry Fees page. NATJA members receive special entry fees.
  6. Multiple submissions can be made per category. Content may also be submitted in multiple categories.
  7. Review each category and ensure that the content meets the qualifications for the category in which it is being submitted. Content not appropriate to the category may be disqualified from the competition at the discretion of the judges.
  8. Once submitted, there are no refunds and entries are non-returnable.
  9. Publications and individuals submitting entries on behalf of a journalist/photographer must provide contact information for the journalist/photographer in the JOURNALIST AND/OR PHOTOGRAPHER INFORMATION section.
  10. Publications that have a NATJA Publication Membership and are in good standing may submit up to five (5) entries by staff journalists/photographers at the NATJA media member rate. Additional entries, for staff and freelance contributors, may be submitted at the non-member rate.
  11. Editors with an individual NATJA Media Membership may not submit on behalf of non-member journalists at the “NATJA Media Member” rate. These submissions must be made at the “Non-Member Media Rate.” However, editors who are members can submit on behalf of writers who are NATJA dues paying members at the member rate.
  12. Online content that is behind a paywall must include a hard copy of the article, photograph, book, podcast (on flash/USB drive), video (on flash/USB drive), etc. Content that requires payment to access may be subject to disqualification if NATJA is unable to obtain a physical or digital copy.
  13. Photography submissions should include either a link or copy of the article or publication in which the photo was published. Submission of photography without reference to the article or publication in which it originally appeared may be subject to disqualification.
  14. For content with 4 or more journalists/content creators in the byline, a minimum of two contributors must be NATJA members to qualify for the member rate.
  15. Foreign publication submissions must be translated into the English language.
  16. By submission, the submitter grants NATJA permission to publish the submission, in whole or part, in conjunction with any publication noting, commenting on, or discussing the NATJA Awards Competition winners. In any such publication, credit shall be noted as provided on the entry form.
  17. Once an entry and all corresponding materials are submitted, NATJA will confirm receipt of entry submission via email.

Online Entry Form Guidelines

  1. The Online Submission Portal is open to members and non-members. The Portal is accessible here.
  2. For Canadian Submitters: The Online Submission Portal gives you the option to complete the Entry Form and pay for your entries in Canadian dollars. Make sure to select the correct form from the Online Submission Portal.
  3. Scanned copies of articles, submitted as PDF, PNG, or JPG file types, are acceptable.
  4. Each entry must provide contact information for the submitter and the journalist/photographer. Publications that submit on behalf of journalists will be responsible for notifying the journalist in the event that their work places in the competition.
  5. You are required to complete all information marked with “(Required)” on the form.
  6. You can submit more than one body of work to the competition using one form. For example, you are submitting two stories, each in different categories, and need to complete an entry form for each (see below for how to do this). Your total for all your entries will be automatically calculated. You can also submit an unlimited number of submission forms through the Online Submission Portal.
  7. To submit more than one body of work, in the “Your Entries” section, click on “Add Entry”. In the window that displays, accurately enter all the details pertaining to that body of work. Once you have filled out all the fields, click on “Save Entry” at the bottom to save your submission. You will return to the main form, where you can click on “Add Entry” to submit additional work.
  8. Once you have added all your entries to the main form, you will see your total balance.
  9. Before submitting, double-check that all your information is accurate and complete and that your total balance matches your own calculations. If you need to revise any portion of your submission, click on “Previous” to return to the previous page and make edits.
  10. From the preview page, you can print or PDF your submission form to keep a complete copy for your records.
  11. After previewing and reviewing your form, click on “Next” to go to the Payment page. Enter your billing information, and once done, click on “Submit.” If there are no errors, you will see a confirmation message.
  12. You will receive a receipt for your submission via email to the address provided under “Your Email.” Please make sure to check your spam folder. If you do not receive the receipt, you can contact NATJA at awards@natja.org.

PDF Form Guidelines

  1. Members and non-members can submit to the NATJA Awards Competition using the downloadable Guidelines & Entry Form (PDF).
  2. Photocopies of stories and the entry form are acceptable.
  3. Please write LEGIBLY when filling out the form. Information provided on the form by the submitter will be reflected when winners and finalists are announced.
  4. Each entry must provide contact information for the submitter and the journalist/photographer, if different than the person submitting. Publications that submit on behalf of journalists will be responsible for notifying the journalist in the event that their work places in the competition.
  5. All applicable Entry Information must be provided on the entry form.
  6. Each entry must identify a single category name and number.
  7. Please enter ONLY ONE SUBMISSION ON EACH ENTRY FORM. For additional entries, please use additional entry forms.
  8. Once the entry form is completed and all materials are gathered, the submission can be sent to NATJA via email to awards@natja.org or via mail or a carrier such as FedEx or UPS. If submitting more than one entry, you can send all entries and materials in one package. NATJA strongly recommends tracking your package to ensure its timely delivery.

Membership Options

You do not have to be a NATJA Member to be eligible to submit to the NATJA Awards Competition. However, only current members in good standing are eligible for the discounted entry fee.

Joining NATJA

NATJA accepts applications from qualified active media, destination marketing organizations, publications, publishers, and more. To learn more about how to become a NATJA member and membership benefits, click here.

Entry Deadline

Deadline for all submissions: November 15, 2022. Mailed-in entries must be postmarked by this date. Emailed and online entry submissions will be open until November 15, 2022, 11:59pm Pacific Time.


All categories will be judged by a panel of individuals selected by NATJA. Judges are comprised of media and marketing professionals and faculty from the communication and journalism schools at Syracuse University and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. The judging panel may select more than one award per category but reserves the right not to award in any given category.

Entry/Award Note

In the event of errors, discrepancies, challenges, or other issues, the panel of judges and/or NATJA Advisory Board will have full rights and authority to make any appropriate decision, changes, or adjustments to entries, categories, or awards.

Whenever possible, NATJA will share with entrants, upon request, any notes provided by judges with regard to their entry. Comments are strictly at the discretion of judges.

Announcement of Winners

Winners will be announced by February 2023. Award distribution will be at the sole discretion of the judging panel and/or the NATJA Advisory Board.

Prizes & Recognition

  • The announcement of winners is circulated to all competition entrants, in addition to media outlets, NATJA members, and mailing lists.
  • NATJA’s intention is to award Gold, Silver, and Bronze in each category.
  • Honorable Mentions may also be named for individual categories at the discretion of the judges.
  • Digital certificates are distributed by email to Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners and Honorable Mentions.
  • Printed certificates may be requested up to the deadline provided upon delivery of the digital certificates. A fee of $20USD will apply for the first printed certificate. Each additional printed certificate mailed in the same shipment will incur a $5USD fee. Awardee must provide NATJA with their current mailing address information. NATJA is not responsible for misdelivered certificates.
  • Requests for printed certificates delivered outside of the United States and Canada will require a shipping fee of $25USD.
  • All winners are permitted to display the NATJA “Winner’s Seal” on reprints, dust jackets, covers, and websites/blogs.
  • Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in Media categories (categories 100 – 162, and category 301) may be eligible to receive a cash prize. Cash prizes will be awarded either in US or Canadian dollars, based on the currency in which the winner submitted or was submitted to the awards competition. Prizes will be awarded as follows:
    • Gold Award: $400
    • Silver Award: $200
    • Bronze Award: $100
  • A maximum of three prizes will be given to any individual with multiple awards in the Media categories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you charge a submission fee for the awards competition?

All the fees collected for the awards competition go towards the administration of the awards competition and prizes.

I am submitting multiple entries as hard copies into the competition. Do I need to mail or email each entry separately? Should a separate check be included with each entry?

All your entries can be mailed in one package. Each entry must have a separate entry form. Fees for multiple submissions can be paid on one (1) check or one (1) credit card form. You can also submit online here.

Can I submit multiple entries through the Online Submission Portal?

Yes, you can submit more than one entry through the Online Submission Portal. On the submission form, you will be able to add multiple entries by clicking on the “Add Entry” button.

I live in Canada. Can I send a check-in Canadian dollars?

To pay in Canadian dollars, we encourage you to submit through the Online Submission Portal, as you will have the option to pay your submission fees in Canadian dollars. Submission fees paid by check should be in U.S. dollars. If your only banking option is to pay by Canadian-based check, you must add a $5 conversion fee per entry, for a total of $40CAD per entry for media categories. This fee does not apply to credit card charges.

Are photocopies of articles and/or the entry form acceptable?

Yes, we do accept photocopies of articles and the entry form. Photography entries must be submitted as published (for print publication) or as good quality prints, along with a copy of the article in which they appeared.

I am an international journalist, publication, or CVB/DMO. Can I submit to the awards competition?

Yes, international submissions are welcome. Please keep in mind that stories and marketing material must be written in English for the content to be judged properly. Additionally, if sending a check in your local currency with your submission, you must add a $5 conversion fee per entry. The conversion fee does not apply to online and credit card charges.