29th Annual NATJA Awards Competition Guidelines

Entry Guidelines for 29th Annual NATJA Awards Competition

Entry Period: October 1st - November 30th

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

General Guidelines · Downloadable Entry Form Guidelines · Online Entry Guidelines · Entry Deadline · Judging · Entry Award/Note · Announcement of Winners · Prizes & Recognition · Frequently Asked Questions


1.        Entries must have been FIRST published or distributed between SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 and SEPTEMBER 30, 2020. Content that was previously submitted in a NATJA Awards Competition, but has been re-purposed for another publication does not qualify.

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, 2021 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 at https://awards.natja.org.

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 on the website. NATJA members receive special entry fees.

6.        Review each category and ensure that the content meets the qualifications for the category/ies in which it is being submitted. Content not appropriate to the category/ies may be disqualified from the competition at the discretion of the judges.

7.        Once submitted, there are no refunds and entries are non-returnable.

8.        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. 

9.        Publications that are NATJA publication members in good standing may submit up to five (5) entries by staff journalists/photographers at the NATJA media member rate.

10.        Publications or their editors who are media members of the North American Travel Journalists Assoc. (NATJA) may not submit on behalf of writers who are not dues paying members of NATJA at the “NATJA Media Member” rate. However, they can submit on behalf of writers who are NATJA dues paying members at the member rate.

11.        In the event of multiple bylines, a minimum of one contributor must be a NATJA member to qualify for the member rate.

12.        Foreign publication submissions must be translated into the English language.

13.        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.

14.        Once an entry and all corresponding materials are submitted, NATJA will confirm receipt of entry submission via email.


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.

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.        Online content MUST include either a hard copy of the article, photograph, podcast (on CD or flash/USB drive), video (on DVD or flash/USB drive), OR a direct link to the content (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/my-story-url). Failure to provide either a hard copy or a direct link may result in disqualification of the entry. Please use short link services such as bit.ly for long URLs. It is recommended that you test your link before submitting it. Any broken links or content behind a paywall will be disqualified.

9.        Photography submissions should include a tear sheet (or print out for online publications) of the article/publication in which the photograph originally appeared. NATJA strongly recommends that photography entries be submitted as originally published and as good quality prints. Submission of photography without reference to the article or publication in which it originally appeared may be subject to disqualification.

10.    Once the entry form is completed and all materials are gathered, the submission can be sent to NATJA 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.


1.        The Online Submission Portal is open to members and non-members. The Portal is accessible through https://awards.natja.org

2.        Scanned copies of articles, submitted as PDF, PNG, or JPG file types, are acceptable.

3.        Photography submissions must include a link, JPG or PDF scan of the article/publication where the image appeared. Scanned tear sheets and photos should be at a minimum of 150 dpi and 2000 pixels on the longest side. In addition to providing the article/publication where the image appeared, you can upload the image as a JPG or PNG through the form.

4.        Each entry must provide contact information for the submitter and the journalist/photographer.

5.        You are required to complete all information marked with an asterisk (*).

6.        You can submit more than one body of work into 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 works.

8.        Once you have added all your entries, to the main form, you will see your total outstanding balance.

9.        Click on “Next” to see a preview of your submission form. Double-check that all your information is accurate, 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 [email protected]


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.


New applicants must be qualified active media. To join NATJA, go online at www.natja.org/join and fill out the application.


Postmark deadline for all submissions: NOVEMBER 30, 2020. Mailed-in entries must be postmarked by this date. Online entry submission will be open until NOVEMBER 30, 2020 11:59pm Pacific Time.


All categories will be judged by a panel of individuals selected by NATJA. The panel will be comprised of working media professionals, retired travel journalists, educators, and industry professionals. The judging panel may select more than one award per category but reserves the right not to award in any given category. 


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.


Winners will be announced by February 2021. Award distribution will be at the sole discretion of the judging panels and/or the NATJA Advisory Board.


  • The winners announcement is circulated to all competition entrants, in addition to media outlets, NATJA members, and mailing lists.
  • Prizes are awarded per category as: Gold Prize, Silver Prize, and Bronze Prize.
  • At the discretion of the judges, Honorable Mentions may also be named for individual categories. Honorable Mentions will also receive a certificate.
  • All winners are permitted to display the NATJA "Winner's Seal" on reprints, dust jackets, covers, and websites/blogs.
  • Gold Prize winners in media categories (categories 100 - 163) may be eligible to select a bonus prize. The list of bonus prizes will be available at www.natja.org. Please note that the list is subject to changes.
  • Bonus prize offerings and validity dates are at the discretion of the donor.
  • No more than two prizes will be awarded for multiple Gold Prize wins.
  • The final list of available bonus prizes will be sent via email to Gold Prize winners after the winners announcement is released.
  • Winner certificates and bonus prizes are distributed by mail. It is up to the submitters to provide NATJA with current mailing address information. NATJA is not responsible for misdelivered awards.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

2.        I am submitting multiple entries into the competition. Do I need to mail 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 its own entry form. Fees for multiple submissions can be paid on one (1) check or one (1) credit card form. You can also submit online at www.natja.org/awards.

3.        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.

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

Submission fees are in U.S. dollars. If your only banking option is a Canadian-based check, you must add a $5 conversion fee per entry. This fee does not apply to credit card charges.

5.        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.

6.        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. Conversion fee does not apply to online and credit card charges.