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National Magazine Awards

National Magazine Awards
Awarded for Excellence in the magazine industry
Sponsor Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Date Annual
Country United States
Presented by American Society of Magazine Editors
First awarded 1966
Official website /national-magazine-awards/

The National Magazine Awards are a series of American awards that honor excellence in the magazine industry. They are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors and administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, New York. The awards have been presented annually since 1966.[1]

They are generally considered the highest award in the magazine industry; in the magazine world, they are roughly equivalent to the Pulitzer Prizes (which are far more widely known in the popular culture, but do not include a magazine category).[2][3]

Recipients of awards are selected in a two-step procedure: First, entries are reviewed by a judging panel, which recommends a group of finalists; then, a second panel of judges chooses one winner in each category.

The current categories are:

  • General Excellence, General Interest
  • General Excellence, Service and Lifestyle
  • General Excellence, Style and Design
  • General Excellence, Active Interest
  • General Excellence, Special Interest
  • General Excellence, Literature, Science and Politics
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Single-Topic Issue
  • Magazine Section
  • Personal Service
  • Leisure Interests
  • Website
  • Tablet Magazine
  • Multimedia
  • Video
  • Public Interest
  • Reporting
  • Feature Writing
  • Feature Photography
  • Essays and Criticism
  • Columns and Commentary
  • Fiction
  • Magazine of the Year

Winners in each of the categories are awarded an "Ellie", a copper-colored stabile sculpture by Alexander Calder, resembling an elephant, which is manufactured by New York firm Society Awards. The National Magazine Awards web site has a searchable database of all the winners and top-five finalists.


  • Current categories 1
    • General Excellence 1.1
    • Design 1.2
    • Photography 1.3
    • Feature Photography 1.4
    • Single-Topic Issue 1.5
    • Magazine Section 1.6
    • Personal Service 1.7
    • Leisure Interests 1.8
    • Website 1.9
    • Tablet Magazine 1.10
    • Multimedia 1.11
    • Video 1.12
    • Public Interest 1.13
    • Reporting 1.14
    • Feature Writing 1.15
    • Essays and Criticism 1.16
    • Columns and Commentary 1.17
    • Fiction 1.18
    • Magazine of the Year 1.19
  • Former categories 2
    • National Magazine Award 2.1
    • Certificates of Special Recognition 2.2
    • Commendation 2.3
    • Special Award 2.4
    • Specialized Journalism 2.5
    • Profile Writing 2.6
    • Reviews and Criticism 2.7
    • News and Documentary Photography 2.8
    • Photography, Digital Media 2.9
    • General Excellence in Digital Media 2.10
    • Design, Digital Media 2.11
    • Reporting, Digital Media 2.12
    • Personal Service, Digital Media 2.13
    • Commentary, Digital Media 2.14
    • Website Department 2.15
    • Utility App 2.16
    • Community 2.17
    • Podcasting 2.18
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Current categories

General Excellence

Honors print and digital magazines in six categories based on content and audience.


received the first ever award in 1973. No award was given from 1974 to 1980. When General Excellence returned as a category in 1981, it was given to four magazines per year until 1998, when five magazines received General Excellence awards. Six magazines received awards in 2002. From 2003 to 2010, the award went to seven different magazines and in 2011, to eight. Since 2012, the award has gone to six magazines.

Year Magazine
1973 Bloomberg Businessweek
1981 Glamour, Bloomberg Businessweek , Audubon, ARTnews
1982 Science 81, Rocky Mountain, Newsweek, Camera Arts
1983 Science 82, Louisiana Life, LIFE, Harper's Magazine
1984 Outside, National Geographic, House & Garden, The American Lawyer
1985 Manhattan, Inc., American Heritage, American Health, TIME
1986 New England Monthly, Money, Discover, 3-2-1 Contact
1987 People, New England Monthly, ELLE, Common Cause
1988 The Sciences, Parents, Hippocrates, Fortune
1989 Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, The Sciences, American Heritage
1990 Metropolitan Home, 7 Days, Texas Monthly, Sports Illustrated
1991 The New Republic, Interview, Glamour, Condé Nast Traveler
1992 Texas Monthly, The New Republic, National Geographic, Mirabella
1993 Newsweek, Lingua Franca, The Atlantic, American Photo
1994 Health, Bloomberg Businessweek , Wired, Print
1995 The New Yorker, Men's Journal, I.D., Entertainment Weekly
1996 The Sciences, Civilization, Outside, Bloomberg Businessweek
1997 I.D., Wired, Vanity Fair, Outside
1998 Rolling Stone, Preservation, Outside, DoubleTake
1999 Vanity Fair', I.D., Fast Company, Condé Nast Traveler
2000 Saveur, The New Yorker, Nest, National Geographic
2001 Teen People, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, The American Scholar
2002 Vibe, Print, Newsweek, National Geographic Adventure, Entertainment Weekly
2003 Texas Monthly, Parenting, Foreign Policy, ESPN The Magazine, The Atlantic, Architectural Record
2004 Popular Science, Newsweek, Gourmet, Aperture, Budget Living, Chicago
2005 Wired, The New Yorker, Print, Martha Stewart Weddings, Glamour, Dwell
2006 The Virginia Quarterly Review, TIME, New York, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, ESPN The Magazine
2007 Wired, Rolling Stone, New York, National Geographic, Foreign Policy, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
2008 Print, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Mother Jones, GQ, Backpacker
2009 Foreign Policy, Field & Stream, Wired, Texas Monthly, Reader's Digest
2010 San Francisco, New York, National Geographic, Mother Jones', GQ, Men's Health
2011 Women's Health, Scientific American, Garden & Gun, Poetry, New York, Los Angeles
2012 Inc., House Beautiful, IEEE Spectrum, O, The Oprah Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek
2013 The Paris Review, Martha Stewart Weddings, National Geographic, Vogue, Outside
2014 New York, Poetry, Inc., Field & Stream, Bon Appétit, Sunset
2015 Garden & Gun, Glamour, The Hollywood Reporter, Nautilus, The New Yorker, Men's Health


Previously known as Visual Excellence (1970-1979). Honors overall excellence in print magazine design.

Year Magazine
1970 Look
1971 Vogue
1972 Esquire
1973 Horizon
1974 Newsweek
1975 Country Journal and National Lampoon
1976 Horticulture
1977 Rolling Stone
1978 Architectural Digest
1979 Audubon
1980 GEO
1981 Attenzione
1982 Nautical Quarterly
1983 New York
1984 House & Garden
1985 Forbes
1986 TIME
1987 ELLE
1988 LIFE
1989 Rolling Stone
1990 Esquire
1991 Condé Nast Traveler
1992 Vanity Fair
1993 Harper's Bazaar
1994 Allure
1995 Martha Stewart Living
1996 Wired
1997 I.D. Magazine
1998 Entertainment Weekly
1999 ESPN The Magazine
2000 Fast Company
2001 Nest
2002 Details
2003 Details
2004 Esquire
2005 Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together
2006 New York
2007 New York
2008 Wired
2009 Wired
2010 Wired
2011 GQ
2012 GQ
2013 TIME
2014 New York
2015 New York


Honors overall excellence in print magazine photography.

Year Magazine
1985 LIFE
1986 Vogue
1987 National Geographic
1988 Rolling Stone
1989 National Geographic
1990 Texas Monthly
1991 National Geographic
1992 National Geographic
1993 Harper's Bazaar
1994 Martha Stewart Living
1995 Rolling Stone
1996 Saveur
1997 National Geographic
1998 W
1999 Martha Stewart Living
2000 Vanity Fair
2001 National Geographic
2002 Vanity Fair
2003 Condé Nast Traveler
2004 City
2005 Gourmet
2006 W
2007 National Geographic
2008 Gourmet
2009 GQ
2010 Vanity Fair
2011 W
2012 Vogue
2013 National Geographic
2014 Bon Appétit
2015 National Geographic

Feature Photography

Previously known as Photo Portfolio/Photo Essay (2004-2006) and Photo Portfolio (2007-2010). Honors the use of original photography in a feature story, photo-essay or photo portfolio.

Year Magazine
2004 W
2005 TIME
2006 Rolling Stone
2007 City
2008 Vanity Fair
2009 The New Yorker
2010 The New Yorker
2011 ESPN The Magazine
2012 The New York Times Magazine
2013 W
2014 W
2015 TIME

Single-Topic Issue

Honors magazines that have devoted a single issue to the comprehensive examination of one subject. No award was given in 2000 or 2001.

Year Magazine
1979 Progressive Architecture
1980 Scientific American
1981 Bloomberg Businessweek
1982 Newsweek
1983 IEEE Spectrum
1984 Esquire
1985 American Heritage
1986 IEEE Spectrum
1987 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
1988 LIFE
1989 Hippocrates
1990 National Geographic
1991 The American Lawyer
1992 Bloomberg Businessweek
1993 Newsweek
1994 Health
1995 Discover
1996 Bon Appétit
1997 Scientific American
1998 The Sciences
1999 The Oxford American
2002 TIME
2003 Scientific American
2004 The Oxford American
2005 Newsweek
2006 TIME
2007 Departures
2008 The Virginia Quarterly Review
2009 Saveur
2010 Wired
2011 National Geographic
2012 New York
2013 Saveur
2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
2015 San Francisco

Magazine Section

Honors a regularly published front- or back-of-the-book department or section.

Year Magazine
2005 Popular Science
2006 Backpacker
2007 New York
2008 Condé Nast Portfolio
2009 Wired
2010 New York
2011 New York
2012 New York
2013 New York
2014 Modern Farmer
2015 New York

Personal Service

Previously known as Service to the Individual (1974—1985). Honors the use of print to serve readers’ needs and aspirations. No award was given in 1981.

Year Magazine
1974 Sports Illustrated
1975 Esquire
1976 Modern Medicine
1977 Harper's Magazine
1978 Newsweek
1979 American Journal of Nursing
1980 Saturday Review
1982 Philadelphia
1983 Sunset
1984 New York
1985 The Washingtonian
1986 Farm Journal
1987 Consumer Reports
1988 Money
1989 Good Housekeeping
1990 Consumer Reports
1991 New York
1992 Creative Classroom
1993 Good Housekeeping
1994 Fortune
1995 SmartMoney
1996 SmartMoney
1997 Glamour
1998 Men's Journal'
1999 Good Housekeeping
2000 PC Company (renamed Smart Business for the New Economy)
2001 National Geographic Adventure
2002 National Geographic Adventure
2003 Outside
2004 Men's Health
2005 BabyTalk
2006 Self
2007 Glamour
2008 Popular Mechanics
2009 Esquire
2010 New York
2011 Men's Health
2012 Glamour
2013 Los Angeles
2014 Cosmopolitan
2015 O, The Oprah Magazine

Leisure Interests

Previously known as Special Interests (1986-2001). Honors the use of print to provide practical information about recreational activities and special interests.

Year Magazine
1986 Popular Mechanics
1987 Sports Afield
1988 Condé Nast Traveler
1989 Condé Nast Traveler
1990 Art & Antiques
1991 New York
1992 Sports Afield
1993 Philadelphia
1994 Outside
1995 GQ
1996 Saveur
1997 Smithsonian
1998 Entertainment Weekly
1999 PC Computing
2000 I.D.
2001 The New Yorker
2002 Vogue
2003 National Geographic Adventure
2004 Consumer Reports
2005 Sports Illustrated
2006 Golf Magazine
2007 O, The Oprah Magazine
2008 New York
2009 Esquire
2010 New York
2011 Men's Journal'
2012 Saveur
2013 Wired
2014 O, The Oprah Magazine
2015 Backpacker


Honors magazine websites and online-only magazines.

Year Magazine
2012 New York
2013 The Atlantic
2014 New York
2015 Nautilus

Tablet Magazine

Previously known as Mobile Media (2010), Mobile Edition (2011) and Tablet Edition (2012). Honors magazines published on tablets and e-readers, including digital-only magazines.
Year Magazine
2010 Epicurious
2011 Esquire
2012 National Geographic
2013 National Geographic
2014 National Geographic
2015 National Geographic


Previously known as Multimedia Feature or Package (2010) and Multimedia Package (2011). Honors digital storytelling and the integration of magazine media.

Year Magazine
2010 New York
2011 The Virginia Quarterly Review
2012 Foreign Policy
2013 National Geographic
2014 National Geographic
2015 The Texas Observer in partnership with The Guardian US


Honors the outstanding use of video by magazines published on digital platforms.

Year Magazine
2010 Yale Environment 360
2011 The Oxford American
2012 The New York Times Magazine
2013 Mother Jones'
2014 Glamour
2015 Vice News

Public Interest

Known as Public Service (1970-1985). Honors magazine journalism that illuminates issues of national importance. No award was given in 1973.

Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
1970 LIFE "Fortas: A Question of Ethics” William Lambert
1971 The Nation “The Wired Nation”
”The Cops Hit the Jackpot”
Ralph Lee Smith
Joseph C. Goulden
1972 Philadelphia “The River Pirates ”
1974 Scientific American “Life and Death in Medicine” Kerr L. White
1975 Consumer Reports “Is the Water Safe to Drink? (three-part series)” Irwin Landau
1976 Bloomberg Businessweek “The Corporate Woman: Up the Ladder, Finally ” Irene Pave
1977 Philadelphia “The Forgotten Children” Loretta Schwartz
1978 Mother Jones' “Pinto Madness” Mark Dowie
1979 New West “Hell on Wheels” Moira Johnson
1980 Texas Monthly “Why Teachers Can’t Teach” Gene Lyons
1981 Reader's Digest “The Murder of Robbie Wayne, Age 6”
“Marijuana Alert II: More of the Grim Story”
Mary Jane Chambers
Peggy Mann
1982 The Atlantic “The Education of David Stockman (December)” William Greider
1983 Foreign Policy “Nuclear Weapons and the Atlantic Alliance (Spring)” McGeorge Bundy, George F. Kennan,
Robert s. McNamara and Gerard C. Smith
1984 The New Yorker “Breaking the Spell” George Kennan
1985 The Washingtonian “Where Have All the Warriors Gone?” Nick Kotz and Nancy B. Nathan and Cathryn Donohoe
1986 Science 81 “Technology for Peace: High-Tech Vigilance”
“Technology for Peace: The Politics of Mistrust Technology for Peace: The Inspectors”
R. Jeffrey Smith
Roger Bingham Carl Posey
1987 Money “Inside the Billion-Dollar Business of Blood” Andrea Rock
1988 The Atlantic “The Morning After” Peter G. Peterson
1989 California “Halcion Madness; Halcion: Prescription for Trouble?” Cindy Ehrlich
1990 Southern Exposure “Don’t Count Your Chickens”
“Inside the Slaughterhouse the Fox Guarding the Hen House”
Barry Yeoman
Barbara Goldottas, Tom Devine
1991 Family Circle “Toxic Nightmare on Main Street” Stephanie Abarbanel
1992 Glamour “Teenage and Pregnant: Where are the Doctors Who Will Do Abortions?”
“A Town Held Hostage”
Le Ann Schreiber
Francis Wilkinson
1993 The Family Therapy Networker “Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health?—Revising the Dream”
Steering through the Storm Making House Calls”
Mary Sykes Wylie
James Carlin, Laura M. Markowitz
1994 Philadelphia “Less Than One Percent; Floxin Follow-Up; Floxin Update” Stephen Fried
1995 The New Republic “No Exit; She’s Baaack!” Elizabeth McCaughey
1996 Texas Monthly “Not What the Doctor Ordered” Mimi Swartz
1997 Fortune “How Bill Ruckelshaus is Taking on the New York Mob”; “Carting Away New York City’s Garbage Cartel” Richard Behar
1998 The Atlantic “The Computer Delusion” Todd Oppenheimer
1999 TIME “Corporate Welfare”; “Paying a Price for Polluters”; “The Empire of the Pigs” Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele
2000 The New Yorker “The Demon in the Freezer” Richard Preston
2001 TIME “Big Money & Politics: How the Little Guy Gets Crunched”; “Soaked by Congress”; “Throwing the Game” Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele
2002 The Atlantic “Bystanders to Genocide” Samantha Power
2003 The Atlantic “The Fifty-First State?” James Fallows
2004 The New Yorker “Lunch with the Chairman”; “Selective Intelligence”; “The Stovepipe” Seymour M. Hersh
2005 The New Yorker “Torture at Abu Ghraib”; “Chain of Command”; “The Gray Zone” Seymour Hersh
2006 The New Yorker “The Climate of Man: Part 1”; “The Climate of Man: Part II”; “The Climate of Man: Part III” Elizabeth Kolbert
2007 Vanity Fair “Rules of Engagement” William Langewiesche
2008 The Nation “How Specialist town Lost His Benefits”; Specialist Town Takes His Case to Washington” Joshua Kors
2009 Bicycling “Broken” David Darlington
2010 The New Yorker “The Cost Conundrum” Atul Gawande
2011 The New Yorker “Letting Go” Atul Gawande
2012 The New Yorker “The Invisible Army” Sarah Stillman
2013 Texas Monthly “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives” Mimi Swartz
2014 TIME “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” Steven Brill
2015 Pacific Standard "Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet" Amanda Hess


Previously known as Reporting Excellence (1970-1980) and New Reporting in 1988. Honors reporting excellence as exemplified by one article or a series of articles.
Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
1970 The New Yorker ”Annals of Politics”
“Casualties of War”
Richard Harris
Daniel Lang
1971 The Atlantic ”Soldiers” Ward Just
1972 The Atlantic ”The 8,000,000: Report from China” Ross Terrill
1973 New York ”The Landlords of Hell’s Bedroom”; “The Old Man in the Bronx” Gail Sheehy
1974 The New Yorker ”Annals of Industry: Casualties of the Workplace”
“Reporter at Large: The Plundered Past”
Paul Brodeur
John McPhee, Karl E. Meyer
1975 The New Yorker ”Supertanker” Noel Mostert
1976 Audubon ”Dr. Strangelove Builds a Canal”
“Song of the Seal”
Alvin Josephy
George Rieger
1977 Audubon ”Cheap Chemicals and Dumb Luck” Curtis K. Stadtfeld
1978 The New Yorker A six-part series on Alaska John McPhee
1979 Texas Monthly A three-part series on life in three disparate areas of Texas Richard West
1980 Mother Jones' ”The Corporate Crime of the Century” Mark Dowie
1981 National Journal ”Money Makes the World Go Round: But What If It Can’t Any More?” Robert J. Samuelson
1982 The Washingtonian ”The Saving of Mr. President” John Pekkanen
1983 Institutional Investor ”Drysdale: What Really Happened?” Chris Welles
1984 Vanity Fair ”When Memory Goes” Francine du Plessix Gray
1985 Texas Monthly ”The Man in the Black Hat” Paul Burka
1986 Rolling Stone ”The Plague Years” David Black
1987 LIFE ”The Liberation of Lolly and Gronky” Anne Fadiman
1988 The Washingtonian and Baltimore ”Life and Death on the Fast Track” Steven D. Kaye
Ramsey Flynn[4]
1989 The New Yorker ”A Reporter at Large: Teheran Summer” Robin Wright
1990 The New Yorker “A Reporter at Large: Beyond the Mountains” Mark Danner
1991 The New Yorker ”The World of Business: Deal of the Year” Connie Bruck
1992 The New Republic ”Highway to Hell”; “Rolls-Royce Revolutionaries”; “Back to the Hills” Michael Kelly
1993 IEEE Spectrum “Iraq and the Bomb”
“Halting Proliferation”
Glenn Zorpette
John A. Adam
1994 The New Yorker “A Reporter at Large: Remember Satan” Lawrence Wright
1995 The Atlantic ”Reefer Madness: Marijuana and the Law” Eric Schlosser
1996 The New Yorker ”The Politics of Perception” Connie Bruck
1997 Outside ”Into Thin Air” Jon Krakauer
1998 Rolling Stone ”The True Story of John/Joan” John Colapinto
1999 Newsweek ”Clinton and the Intern”; “The Secret War”; “The Tripp Trap?” Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas
2000 Vanity Fair “Madness Visible”
“Forensic of War”
Janine di Giovanni
Sebastian Junger
2001 Esquire ”The Perfect Fire” Sean Flynn
2002 The Atlantic ”Crash of Egypt Air 990” William Langewiesche
2003 The New Yorker ”In the Party of God” Jeffrey Goldberg
2004 Rolling Stone ”The Killer Elite” Evan Wright
2005 The New Yorker ”Dying in Darfur” Samantha Power
2006 Rolling Stone ”The Man Who Sold the War” James Bamford
2007 Esquire ”The School” C.J. Chivers
2008 National Geographic ”China’s Instant Cities” Peter Hassler
2009 The New York Times Magazine ”Right at the Edge” Dexter Filkins
2010 The New York Times Magazine ”The Deadly Choices at Memorial” Sheri Fink
2011 Harper's Magazine ”The Guatanamo ‘Suicides’” Scott Horton
2012 The New Yorker ”The Apostate” Lawrence Wright
2013 GQ ”18 Tigers, 17 Lions, 8 Bears, 3 Cougars, 2 Wolves, 1 Baboon, 1 Macaque, and 1 Dead Man in Ohio” Chris Health
2014 The New York Times Magazine ”The Dream Boat” Luke Mogelson
2015 GQ ”Inside the Iron Closet” Jeff Sharlet

Feature Writing

Honors original, stylish storytelling. Incorporates Profile writing as of 2013.
Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
1988 The Atlantic ”The Man Who Loves Only Numbers” Paul Hoffman
1989 Esquire ”The Transformation of Johnny Spain” Chip Brown
1990 The Washingtonian ”Like Something the Lord Made” Katie McCabe
1991 U.S. News & World Report ”Vietnam Story” Joseph L. Galloway
1992 Sports Illustrated ”Shadow of a Nation” Gary Smith
1993 The New Yorker ”Whose Art Is It?” Jane Kramer
1994 Harper's Magazine ”The Last Shot” Darcy Frey
1995 GQ ”The Abortionist” Tom Junod
1996 GQ ”The Rapist Says He’s Sorry” Tom Junod
1997 Sports Illustrated ”Crime and Punishment” Gary Smith
1998 Harper's Magazine ”Driving Mr. Albert” Michael Paterniti
1999 The American Scholar ”Exiting Nirvana” Clara Claiborne
2000 Sports Illustrated ”Moment of Truth” Gary Smith
2001 Rolling Stone ”The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub” David Foster Wallace
2002 The Atlantic ”Moonrise” Penny Wolfson
2003 Harper's Magazine ”Horseman, Pass By” John Jeremiah Sullivan
2004 The New Yorker ”The Marriage Cure” Katherine Boo
2005 Esquire ”Home” Chris Jones
2006 The American Scholar ”Genome Tome” Priscilla Long
2007 GQ ”The Other Side of hate” Andrew Corsello
2008 Atlanta ”You Have Thousands of Angels Around You” Paige Williams
2009 Esquire ”The Things That Carried Him” Chris Jones
2010 Texas Monthly ”Still Life” Skip Hollandsworth
2011 Los Angeles ”The End” Ben Ehrenreich
2012 Esquire ”Joplin!” Luke Dittrich
2013 Texas Monthly ”The Innocent Man: Part I”; “The Innocent Man: Part II” Pamela Colloff
2014 The New Yorker ”A Loaded Gun” Patrick Radden Keefe
2015 The Atavist ”Love and Ruin” James Verini

Essays and Criticism

Category previously known as "Criticism & Belle-Lettres" (1977) and Essays (2000–10). Honors "long-form journalism that presents the opinions of the writer on topics ranging from the personal to the political".

Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
1977 Mother Jones' "Peking! Peking!" Li-li Ch'en
1978 Esquire "High on War" Michael Herr
1979 LIFE "The View from 80" Malcolm Cowley
1980 Natural History Columns on evolutionary biology Stephen Jay Gould
1981 TIME "Back to Reticence", "Return to Patriotism", "Rediscovering America" Lance Morrow
1982 The Atlantic "Designer Dancing", "Balanchine's Tchaikovsky", "Moving Pictures" Holly Bruback
1983 The American Lawyer "Headnotes" (column) Steven Brill
1984 The New Republic "The End of the World", "Crosscurrents: Pseudo-Private Lives", "The Politics of a Plague" Charles Krauthammer
1985 Boston "Politics" Howard Carr
1986 The Sciences "The Information Age: bsohligrimtyhplrylvdb", "The Computer Behind the Curtain",
"His Voice's Master"
Robert Wright
1987 Outside "The Same River Twice", "Out of the Noösphere", "Chambers of Memory" David Quammen
1988 Harper's Magazine "The Next Panic" L. J. Davis
1989 Harper's Magazine "The Urge for an End", "Who Won the West? Apologies to the Water Birds and Ranchhands", "I'm Black, You're White, Who's Innocent" Edward Hoagland, William Kittredge,
Shelby Steele
1990 Vanity Fair "Darkness Visible" William Styron
1991 The Sciences "The Aesthetic Equation", "A Ripple in Gravity's Lens", "Dead Ringer" Hans Christian von Baeyer
1992 The Nation "Naming and Blaming: Media Goes Wilding in Palm Beach",
"Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me..."
Katha Pollitt
1993 The American Lawyer "Maybe the Jury Was Right" Roger Parloff
1994 Harper's Magazine "Mirrorings", "A Woman's Work", "The Crash of Blue-Sky California" Lucy Grealy, Louise Erdrich, David Beers
1995 Harper's Magazine "Robert Barons Redux", "Morte de Nixon", "Terms of Endearment" Lewis H.Lapham
1996 The New Yorker "True Grid", "Did He Do It?", "Modes of Seduction" Simon Schama
1997 The New Yorker "Escaping Picasso" Adam Gopnik
1998 The New Yorker "Who Owns Anne Frank?" Cynthia Ozick
1999 The Atlantic "Hymn" Emily Hiestand
2000 The Sciences "Clock of Ages" Brian Hayes
2001 The New Yorker "Like a King" Adam Gopnik
2002 The New Yorker "My Father's Brain" Jonathan Franzen
2003 The American Scholar "A Piece of Cotton" Anne Fadiman
2004 The New Yorker "A Sudden Illness" Laura Hillenbrand
2005 National Geographic "Was Darwin Wrong?" David Quammen
2006 Vanity Fair "A Matter of Life and Death" Marjorie Williams
2007 The Georgia Review "Russell and Mary" Michael Donohue
2008 New Letters "I Am Joe's Prostate" Thomas E. Kennedy
2009 Backpacker "The Source of All Things" Tracy Ross
2010 National Geographic "Top Ten State Fair Joys" Garrison Keillor
2011 The Paris Review "Mister Lytle: An Essay" John Jeremiah Sullivan
2012 New York "Paper Tigers" Wesley Yang
2013 The Atlantic "Fear of a Black President" Ta-Nehisi Coates
2014 The New Yorker "Thanksgiving in Mongolia" Ariel Levy
2015 The New Yorker "This Old Man" Roger Angell

Columns and Commentary

Honors political and social commentary; news analysis; and reviews and criticism.
Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
2002 New York ”Russert to Judgment”; “Sullivan’s Travels”; “The Stupids” Michael Wolff
2003 The Nation ”God Changes Everything”; “Backlash Babies”; “As Miss World Turns” Katha Pollitt
2004 New York ”Life from Doha”; “My Big Fat Questions”; “Al Jazeera’s Edge” Michael Wolff
2005 National Journal ”On Same-Sex Marriage”; “Bush Failed the Public and Himself”; “Fix the McCain-Feingold Law”; Oops—Can I Say That?”; “Good Plan, Republicans. But It Didn’t Work in Britain” Jonathan Rauch
2006 The New Yorker ”Landmarks”; “Mired”; “Bah Humbug” Hendrik Hertzberg
2007 Vanity Fair ”Childhood’s End”; “The Vietnam Syndrome”; “Oriana Fallaci and the Art of Interview” Christopher Hitchens
2008 Rolling Stone ”Worse Than Bush”; “My Favorite Nut Job”; “Obama’s Moment” Matt Taibbi
2009 Automobile ”They Fought the Laws (of Supply and Demand), and the Laws Won”; “Lease Me to the Moon: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Finance?”; “Bailout Time for the Big Three”; “None Dare Call Them Republicans” Jamie Kitman
2010 Newsweek ”Worthwhile Canadian Initiative”; “The Way Out of Afghanistan”; “Theocracy and Its Discontents” Fareed Zakaria
2011 Vanity Fair ”Topic of Cancer”; “Unanswerable Prayers”; “Miss Manners and the Big C” Christopher Hitchens
2012 Vanity Fair ”When the King Saved God”; “Unspoken Truths”; “From Abbottabad to Worse” Christopher Hitchens
2013 Slate ”It’s Not About the Law, Stupid”; “The Supreme Court’s Dark Vision of Freedom”; “Where Is The Liberal Outrage?” Dahlia Lithwick
2014 The New Yorker ”Shark Week”; “Difficult Women”; “Private Practice” Emily Nussbaum
2015 New York ”“Zombies on the Walls: Why Does So Much New Abstraction Look the Same?,” “Taking in Jeff Koons, Creator and Destroyer of Worlds,” “Post-Macho God: Matisse's Cut-Outs Are World-Historically Gorgeous" Jerry Saltz


Previously known as Fiction & Belle-Lettres (1974 -1976). Honors fiction originally published in magazines.

Year Magazine Article(s) Author(s)
1970 Redbook ”Tonight at 9:36”
“The Magic Mama”
Alfred Gillespie
Rick Sterry
Lucille Clifton
1971 Esquire
1972 Mademoiselle ”A Most Incredible Meal” William Kotzwinkle
1973 The Atlantic ”Enormous Changes at the Last Minute” Grace Paley
1974 The New Yorker ”A Bad Boy”
“A Story in an Almost Classical Mode”
Robert Silman
Harold Brodkey
Larry Woiwode
1975 Redbook ”Swimmer in the Secret Sea” William Kotzwinkle
1976 Essence ”Isom” Hortense Spillers
1977 Mother Jones' ”Peking! Peking!” Li-li Ch’en
1978 The New Yorker ”In the Miro District”
“The Kugelmass Episode”
Peter Taylor
Mavis Gallant
Woody Allen
1979 The Atlantic ”Oh, Joseph, I’m So Tired” Richard Yates
1980 Antaeus ”The Farm” Joy Williams
1981 North American Review ”Every Day a Visitor”
“A Guide to the Geography of Vermont”
“Summer Opportunity”
Richard Abrons
Ward Just
Maria Thomas
1982 The New Yorker ”A Correspondence Course”
“Sister Imelda”
“The City”
Nadine Gordimer
Edna O’Brien
John Updike
1983 North American Review “Scales”
“Putting and Gardening
The Novitiate”
Louise Erdrich
William F. VanWert
Erica Liederman
1984 Seventeen ”An Eighty Percent Chance”
“The Education of Esther Eileen
“Teenage Wasteland”
Elizabeth Benedict
Roberta Silman
Anne Tyler
1985 Playboy ”The Trail of Your Blood on the Snow”
“Julius Caesar and the Werewolf”
Gabriel García Márquez
Andre dubus III
John Gardner
1986 The Georgia Review ”Time and Fear and Somehow Love”
“Something Good for Ginnie”
“Somewhere Geese are Flying”
Lee K. Abbott
Mary Hood
Gary Gildner
1987 Esquire ”Fleur”
“Doc’s Story”
“The Things They Carried”
Louise Erdrich
Edgar Wideman
Tim O’Brien
1988 The Atlantic ”A Farm at Raraba”
“The Man Who Knew Belle Starr”
“The Halfway Diner”
Ernst Havemann
Richard Bausch
John Sayles
1989 The New Yorker ”White Angel ”
“I Read My Nephew Stories”
Michael Cunningham
Ethan Mordden
Mary Grimm
1990 The New Yorker ”Goodness and Mercy”
“The Trick of It”
“Letter to the Lady of the House”
Alice Munro
Michael Frayn
Richard Bausch
1991 Esquire ”Something to Remember Me By”
“Faces of Madness”
“Serious Need”
Saul Bellow
Rachel Ingalls
Reynolds Price
1992 Story ”It’s Come to This”
“Silver Water”
“The Greatest Living Mayan Speller Extant”
Annick Smith
Amy Bloom
W.D. Wetherell
1993 The New Yorker ”A Wilderness Station”
“Career Move”
“Parachute Silk”
Alice Munro
Martin Amis
Emily Carter
1994 Harper's Magazine ”The Prophet from Jupiter”
“The 400-Pound CEO”
“The Practical Heart”
Tom Earley
George Saunders
Allan Gurganus
1995 Story ”Waiting for the Evening News”
“Kingdom of the Sun”
“The Story of My Life”
Tim Gautreaux
Alice Schell
Kim Edwards
1996 Harper's Magazine ”The Woodcarver’s Table”
“The Lost Girl”
Mark Slouka
George Saunders
Tova Reich
1997 The New Yorker ”New York Girl”
“Save My Child!”
John Updike
Jeffrey Eugenides
Cynthia Ozick
1998 The New Yorker ”People Like THAT? US? Are the Only People Here”
“A Visit”
“Brokeback Mountain”
Lorrie Moore
Steven Millhauser
Annie Proulx
1999 Harper's Magazine ”The Whore’s Child”
“Lucky Ducks”
“Son of the Wolfman”
Richard Russo
Lorrie Moore
Michael Chabon
2000 The New Yorker ”The Third and Final Continent”
“The Barber’s Unhappiness”
Jhumpa Lahiri
George Saunders
Robert Stone
2001 Zoetrope: All-Story ”Fialta”
“Fair Warning”
“The Cavemen in the Hedges”
Rebecca Lee
Robert Olen Butler
Stacey Richter
2002 The New Yorker ”What is Remembered”
“A House on the Plains”
“Surrounded by Sleep”
Alice Munro
E.L. Doctorow
Akhil Sharma
2003 The New Yorker ”Baader-Meinhof”
“The Thing in the Forest”
“Jolene: A Life”
Don DeLillo
A.S. Bryant
E.L. Doctorow
2004 Esquire ”Presence”
“The Red Bow”
“Rest Stop”
Arthur Miller
George Saunders
Stephen King
2005 The Atlantic ”An Incomplete Map of the Northern Polarity”
“Foaling Season”
“The One in White”
Nathan Roberts
Aryn Kyle
Robert Olen Butler
2006 The Virginia Quarterly Review ”Peacekeeper”
“Ina Grove”
Alan Heathcock
Joyce Carol Oates
R.T. Smith
2007 McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern ”Wild Child”
“To Sit, Unmoving”
“The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan”
T.C. Boyle
Susan Steinberg
Rajesh Parameswaran
2008 Harper's Magazine ”Death of the Pugilist”
“A Report on Our Recent Troubles”
Daniel Mason
Alice Munro
Steven Millhauser
2009 The New Yorker ”Them Old Cowboy Songs”
“The Noble Truths of Suffering”
Annie Proulx
Alexsandar Hermon
2010 McSweeney’s Quarterly ”Memory Wall”
“Raw Water”
“Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events”
Anthony Doerr
Wells Tower
Kevin Moffett
2011 The Virginia Quarterly Review ”Minor Watt” Paul Theroux
2012 Zoetrope: All-Story ”The Hox River Window” Karen Russell
2013 Harper's Magazine ”Batman and Robin Have an Altercation” Stephen King
2014 The New Yorker ”The Embassy of Cambodia” Zadie Smith
2015 The New Yorker ”The Emerald Light in the Air” Donald Antrim

Magazine of the Year

Honors magazines for editorial excellence as demonstrated in print and on digital platforms for the quality and consistency of magazine-branded content and services produced by or associated with the publication, including but not limited to conferences and events; books; and radio and television programs.

Year Magazine
2010 Glamour
2011 National Geographic
2012 TIME
2013 New York
2014 Fast Company
2015 Vogue

Former categories

National Magazine Award

For the first four years of the National Magazine Awards, only one award was given.


  • Look "for its skillful editing, imagination and editorial integrity, all of which were reflected particularly in its treatment of the racial issue during 1965.”


  • LIFE "in recognition of skillful, imaginative and constructive editing as reflected particularly in vivid photo reporting of the war in Vietnam, outstanding coverage of the civil rights issue, and effective support for the preservation of great works of art—in keeping with an admirable tradition of public education on cultural subjects.”


  • Newsweek "in recognition of that magazine's development of a new form of editorial analysis and advocacy in its major effort to present America's racial problems. The 'program of action,' published in Newsweek's issue of November 20, 1967, was a 23 page article combining reportage, analysis and opinion under the title 'The Negro in America: What Must Be Done.' The judges considered the project, clearly labeled as a departure from Newsweek’s standard policy, to have been skillfully and responsibly executed. They consider it a useful and important form, when sparingly used, in the news magazine field.”


  • American Machinist Magazine, a McGraw-Hill trade publication, which was recognized for its special issue, “Will John Garth Make It?” The study of U.S. industry’s role in combating unemployment, especially among those that companies might consider unemployable, included Mr. Garth, a 26-year-old high school dropout and parolee.

Certificates of Special Recognition

Identifying one winner was no doubt a challenge for the judges in the first years of the National Magazine Awards. It was decided from the start that Certificates of Special Recognition as well as commendations would be given.


  • Scientific American “for general excellence in its field and, particularly, for its special issue, drawing on many disciplines, dealing with the broad subject of urbanization”
  • Grade Teacher “for its high quality treatment of important new subjects, conspicuously improved use of illustration and practical service to its readership—all within the limitations of a modest budget”
  • Ebony “for imaginative and forceful treatment of social questions as reflected particularly in its issue on 'The White Problem in America'”


  • Motive “for editorial vitality, for tasteful innovation in design, and for forthright treatment of delicate issues that once would have been taboo in religious-affiliated publications"


  • Esquire “for its editorial creativity and diversity its original typographical and pictorial presentation, and its penetrating reporting of character and social trends as exemplified in its submitted article about Jack Ruby”
  • LIFE “for its uncompromising and well documented series exposing the scale of organized crime in the United States and for its pursuit of new facets of the subject”
  • Vogue “for visual grace, wit and innovation accompanied by printed content in harmony with its high graphic standard”


Nine titles were commended at the first annual National Magazine Awards. This was the only year such recognition was given.


  • TIME "for the innovation of its well researched, expertly written and balanced series of ‘TIME Essays.’”
  • The New Yorker “for its skillful editing and for its flair for dramatic innovation as demonstrated by its publication of Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood.’"
  • American Machinist Magazine “for its comprehensive treatment of the balance of payments problem as it affects industry.”
  • Continuum “for its role, as a Roman Catholic magazine of small circulation, in delving into controversy and presenting strong conviction and thorough research in a handsome format.”
  • Motive “for skillful and dramatic presentations of major issues in a small-circulation Protestant magazine.”
  • Vogue “for its effective use of color in editorial pages.”
  • Fortune “for its clear and thoughtful presentations, including its series offering a fresh look at the influence of automation.”
  • TV Guide “for dealing thoughtfully with controversial topics in a setting where others might have settled for fan-appeal trivia.”
  • LIFE “for overall skill in dealing with contemporary civilization, cultural subjects and public affairs.”

Special Award

Year Magazine
1976 TIME, Bicentennial Issue
1989 Robert E. Kenyon, Jr.

Specialized Journalism

Year Magazine
1970 Philadelphia
1971 Rolling Stone
1972 Architectural Record
1973 Psychology Today
1974 Texas Monthly
1975 Medical Economics
1976 United Mine Workers Journal
1977 Architectural Record
1978 Scientific American
1979 National Journal
1980 IEEE Spectrum

Profile Writing

Previously known as Profiles (2000-2001). Honors excellence in profile writing by recognizing the vividness and perceptiveness with which the writer brings his or her subject to life.

Year Magazine
2000 Sports Illustrated
2001 The New Yorker
2002 The New Yorker
2003 Sports Illustrated
2004 Esquire
2005 The New Yorker
2006 Esquire
2007 New York
2008 Vanity Fair
2009 Rolling Stone
2010 Esquire
2011 The New York Times Magazine
2012 D Magazine

Reviews and Criticism

Honors excellence in criticism of art, books, movies, television, theater, music, dance, food, dining, fashion, products and the like by recognizing the knowledge, persuasiveness and original voice that the critic brings to his or her reviews.

Year Magazine
2000 Esquire
2001 The New Yorker
2002 Harper's Magazine
2003 Vanity Fair
2004 Esquire
2005 The New Yorker
2006 Harper's Magazine
2007 The Nation
2008 The Atlantic
2009 The New Yorker
2010 The New Yorker

News and Documentary Photography

Previously known as Photojournalism (2007-2010) and News Photography (2011-2012). Honors excellence in the informative photographic documentation of an event or subject in real-time.
Year Magazine
2007 The Paris Review
2008 National Geographic
2009 National Geographic
2010 National Geographic
2011 The New York Times Magazine
2012 Harper's Magazine

Photography, Digital Media

Honors overall excellence in the design of magazine websites and online-only magazines.
Year Magazine
2010 National Geographic
2011 LIFE

General Excellence in Digital Media

Previously known as General Excellence in New Media (1997-2000), General Excellence Online (2001-2009) and General Excellence, Digital Media (2010-2013).

Year Magazine
1997 Money
1998 The Sporting News
1999 Cigar Aficionado
2000 Bloomberg Businessweek
2001 U.S. News & World Report
2002 National Geographic
2003 Slate
2004 CNET News
2006 National Geographic
2007 Beliefnet
2008 Runner's World
2009 New York
2010 New York
2011 Slate
2012 New York
2013 Pitchfork

Design, Digital Media

Previously known as Best Interactive Design (2001). Honors overall excellence in the design of magazine websites and online-only magazines.
Year Magazine
2001 SmartMoney
2011 The New York Times Magazine
2012 Wired

Reporting, Digital Media

Previously known as News Reporting (2010-2011). Honors overall excellence in the design of magazine websites and online-only magazines.
Year Magazine
2010 The Virginia Quarterly Review
2011 Foreign Policy
2012 Wired

Personal Service, Digital Media

Previously known as Interactive Service (2007) and Personal Service Online (2008-2008). Honors a site’s effective use of multimedia technology to deliver information that users can act on to improve the quality of their personal lives or enjoy recreational pursuits.
Year Magazine
2007 Businessweek
2008 Businessweek
2009 Backpacker

Commentary, Digital Media

Previously known as Blogging (2010-2011). Honors excellence in opinion journalism on digital platforms.

Year Magazine
2010 Foreign Policy
2011 Tablet Magazine
2012 The American Scholar

Website Department

Previously known as Regular Department or Section (2010) and Online Department (2011). Honors a regularly updated, clearly branded department or channel.

Year Magazine
2010 Sports Illustrated
2011 Fast Company
2012 The Daily Beast

Utility App

Previously known as Interactive Feature (2007-2009) and Interactive Tool (2010-2011). Honors an outstanding app, feature or section of a website that uses multimedia technology, tools, community platforms or other interactive formats to deliver or share content such as news, information and entertainment, rather than practical instruction or advice.
Year Magazine
2007 New York
2008 Bicycling
2009 AARP The Magazine
2010 Men's Health
2011 Epicurious
2012 TIME


Year Magazine
2010 National Geographic


Honors outstanding audio podcasts on a magazine website or online-only magazine.
Year Magazine
2010 Tablet Magazine
2011 Poetry

See also


  1. ^ Carmody, Deirdre (April 17, 1992). "National Geographic and New Republic Win".  
  2. ^ Keith, J. (March 15, 2007). "Ellie Picks Nominated".  
  3. ^ Neuffer, Elizabeth (April 23, 1987). "13 Prizes Awarded for Magazine Excellence". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "The Atlantic Receives 3 Magazine Awards". NYTimes. April 29, 1988. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
  • NMA Searchable Database
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