Entry Instructions and Guidelines


All individuals submitting entries should read these instructions carefully.

For general information and assistance with entering, contact the Program Director: info@nna-ccj.ca.

For information and assistance on rule interpretations and categories, contact the Executive Director: exec@nna-ccj.ca.

Rules of Entry can be found here. Category descriptions can be found here.



Individuals submitting entries must obtain log-in credentials by registering in the entry portal. Registered entrants may submit entries on behalf of more than one individual. To obtain log-in credentials, click the Register now link.




If you are entering on behalf of a news organization, it will be billed for the entry. If you are paying personally for the entry, contact the Program Director (info@nna-ccj.ca) to make payment arrangements. Entries that are not paid for will be disqualified.



2021 FEES

• $40 for newspaper organizations that participate in our Benefactor program
• $50 for newspaper organizations that do not participate in the Benefactor program
• $20 for digital organizations and freelance journalists submitting their own entries




Submitting an entry involves uploading, typing or pasting content into various input fields; these include the name(s) of the journalist(s) who did the work being submitted, the work itself, publication dates and (optional in most cases, but highly recommended) a supporting letter providing information about the entry.

During the entry process, you can click on “Help” icons (red question marks on the entry form) for information about what to include in any input field.

Even if you are submitting only online work through the provision of URL(s), you must include some text in the “Story 1” field. This applies to all categories except the four Photo categories and Editorial Cartooning; in those categories, a .JPG image that meets the technical requirements must be entered in the first “Photograph” or “Cartoon” field. Most other fields allow and/or require plain text to be entered.

The entry system will disconnect if you take too long to complete the submission, so you are strongly advised to have all content you are including in the entry accessible when you start the submission process.

Once an entry has been submitted, blank fields cannot be reopened to add content. So if, for instance, you have every part of the entry ready for submission except a supporting letter, enter some text into the Supporting Letter field (such as “to be added later”). You can then edit the submitted entry later to paste in the letter.

URLs linking to the entered work may be submitted. NEW FOR 2021: URL fields have been eliminated – all URLs must be pasted as text into a story field. URLs must be complete, including the http:// or https:// suffix, so that administrators and judges can copy and paste them into a browser.

If you are submitting multiple URLs in an entry, paste them all into a single field, with a blank line between each URL. This will make it easiest for judges to access the entered work.

If log-in credentials are required to review entered work (for instance, stories behind paywalls), entrants must supply a working username and password for use by NNA administrators and judges. Include log-in credentials only in the supporting letter, NOT in any other entry field; if the entry is a finalist, everything included in entry fields (except the supporting letter field) will be published on the NNA website.

If you paste in text rather than URLs (which is optional in most cases, but mandatory in the Short Feature and Long Feature categories), put a blank line between each paragraph. This will help judges read the work.

Entrants are permitted to submit hard-copy work in two categories: Project of the Year and Presentation. To do so, you must create an entry in the online entry system (following the steps outlined below), indicate that the contents of the entry will be submitted in hard copy, and contact the Program Director (info@nna-ccj.ca) to make arrangements. Our deadline to receive hard-copy submissions in these two categories is Jan. 15.




1. Once you are registered and have your work ready to submit, click the Enter Now link and sign in using your assigned Username and Password.

2. Select a category from the drop-down menu.

3. Select Upload New Entry.

4. Ensure that you have added ALL the required files and information, then click the SUBMIT button.

5. After you click SUBMIT, the screen should display “Your entry has been submitted successfully,” with options to “Submit another entry” or to “Finish.” If the screen appears blank, scroll to the top. In some cases (particularly entries with large files or many components) it might take a minute or two before you see the “submitted successfully” message.

To submit an entry now, click on Enter Now.




Sunday, January 9
• Arts and Entertainment
• Editorial Cartooning
• Editorials
• Feature Photo
• Sports

Tuesday, January 11
• Business
• Columns
• Explanatory Work
• Local Reporting
• Sports Photo

Thursday, January 13
• General News Photo
• International
• Long Feature
• Politics
• Presentation/Design
• Sustained News Coverage

Saturday, January 15
• Beat Reporting
• Breaking News
• Breaking News Photo
• Investigations
• Project of the Year
• Short Feature

All deadlines are as of midnight Pacific time (3 a.m. Eastern time the following day).




a. An “entrant” is any individual or group of up to five individuals, in accordance with 1 (b), or a team, in accordance with 1 (c).

b. Entries submitted for work performed by up to five individuals will be credited to those individuals.

c. Entries submitted for work performed by more than five individuals will be credited to a “team,” with no individuals named.

d. In the following categories, entries may be submitted only by a single individual: (4) Short Feature, (5) Long Feature, (6) Editorial Writing, (7) Columns, (9) Editorial Cartooning, (18) Breaking News Photo, (19) General News Photo, (20) Feature Photo, (21) Sports Photo.

e. In (13) Beat Reporting, joint entries may be submitted by two individuals only if both individuals share responsibility for covering the same beat, and all of the submitted work was credited to both individuals on publication.

f. In all other categories, entries may be credited to between one and five named individuals, provided that all of those named as entrants contributed substantially to the submitted work.

g. Entries in categories other than those set out above in 1 (d) may be submitted by or on behalf of a single individual even if another individual received byline credit on one or more elements of the entry, provided that the individual not named as an entrant did not contribute substantially to the submitted work.

h. In the case of entries credited to a “team,” there are no restrictions or requirements with respect to the level of individual contribution to the submitted work.

i. Entrants whose entered work was done on a freelance or contract basis, rather than as an employee of the organization that published the work, may be required to supply information about their journalistic activity during the contest year, for the purpose of determining eligibility.




a. Work cannot be entered in more than one category, with the following exceptions:

i. Work entered in (3) Local Reporting category may also be entered in another category.

ii. Work entered in other categories may form part or all of an entry in (2) Presentation. Judges in Presentation are judging appearance/design/display of the work, not its content.

iii. Photographs entered in (18) Breaking News Photo may be included as part of entries in the Breaking News category, but should not be the primary element of those entries.

b. While multiple elements are allowed in many categories, entrants are strongly encouraged to be judicious and avoid overburdening judges with too many elements, especially any that add little value to the entry.

c. If an entry does not comply with the restrictions of the intended category, NNA administrators may, in their sole discretion, require that the entry be amended to bring it into compliance.




a. Except for entries on hard copy as set out in 4 (b), entrants must use the fields provided in the online entry system to input all elements of an entry.

b. Because (4) Long Feature and (5) Short Feature are intended to judge written work, entries in those categories must be submitted only in uniform text format. Submission of online content and illustrations is not permitted.

c. Entries in (9) Editorial Cartooning and the four Photo categories (18, 19, 20, 21) must be submitted in JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

d. Photographs must not have been digitally altered beyond normal cropping, toning and balancing.

e. In two categories, (1) Project of the Year and (2) Presentation, hard-copy entries, consisting of three tearsheets or comparably sized photocopies, are permitted. Entrants must first register the entry online and receive an Entry ID number. Further information on how to submit hard-copy entries can be obtained from the Program Director (info@nna-ccj.ca).

f. In most categories, work can be entered through the provision of technology that allows judges to assess the work in its intended form. Organizations submitting such content must provide devices with entry content pre-loaded, and pay all associated shipping costs. Further information on how to submit such entries can be obtained from the Program Director (info@nna-ccj.ca).




a. Supporting letters provide helpful information to judges that might not be apparent from the entered work itself, including such matters as the circumstances that led to the work, any challenges associated with production of the work, and relative resources available to the entering organization in producing the work.

b. Supporting letters are strongly encouraged for all entries, and are required in the following circumstances:

i. All entries in (1) Project of the Year category must be accompanied by a supporting letter from a supervising editor outlining the circumstances under which the submitted work was done, and any other relevant information.

ii. All entries in (13) Beat Reporting category must be accompanied by a supporting letter from a supervising editor outlining the reporter’s qualifications and experience in reporting on the beat or specialized coverage area.

iii. All entries involving any outside funding, involvement or support for the work (including but not limited to co-productions, joint reporting endeavours, scholarships, fellowships, bursaries and residencies) must be accompanied by a supporting letter from a supervising editor outlining how the entry complies with Rules 11 and 12. In the case of entries arising from co-productions involving more than one news organization as set out under Rule 12, a supporting letter from a supervising editor must provide details about the co-production arrangement and certify that the entered work was entirely or substantially performed by or for an organization or organizations that are eligible to enter the competition. In addition, such entrants must supply any other information requested by contest organizers for the purpose of ensuring that the entry is eligible and compliant with contest rules and procedures, and that judges are able to properly assess the work.