FMA Charlie Awards

Now Open!
Entry Period: 1/4/21 – 3/1/21 3/8/21

Contest Opens: 1/4/2021
Early Entry Deadline: 2/12/2021
Final Entry Deadline: 3/1/21 Extended to 3/8/21!

Contest Rules & Information:

RULES
  • Competition is restricted to dues paying FMA members. Dues and entry fees must be received prior to the start of judging (April 2, 2021). If these monies are not collected by that time, entries will be removed from the contest.
  • Affiliate or individual members may enter their own work, if the publishing magazine chooses not to, but may not enter on behalf of their company or magazine.
  • Only those entries published as or in a member magazine (print or digital) from February 29, 2020 to February 28, 2021 are eligible for competition, unless otherwise stated in the category description.
  • Entries can be submitted in more than one category.
  • All entries in all categories must have a digital entry created, but you may submit content to be judged either digitally or in print. Print copies are no longer required for any categories but are still accepted.
  • Entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • All print entries must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2021 (one week after the entry deadline).
  • All entrants must complete the Division Verification Form. For consumer magazines, base your division on monthly print circulation only.
  • IMPORTANT: By entering into the Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards competition, you and/or your company acknowledge that you have the right to enter such work and have notified any third parties such as freelancers that their work has been entered into this competition. You have also granted permission for FMA to post images of your entry on the FMA website, should it place in any of the competition categories.
  • Any awards not picked up at the Charlie Awards Gala will be shipped to the winner at the magazine’s expense.
NEW! DIVISIONS

DIVISIONS: Most categories are divided into these publication types (divisions) for judging*:

  • Association/Non-profit/B2B Magazines: Nonprofit, institutional, and foundation magazines, as well as magazines targeted for a specific career or point of interest.
  • Consumer Magazines: This division may be further divided into circulation brackets of Under 20,000 and Over 20,000. Divisions are based on print circulation only.
  • Spanish language: Magazines that publish in Spanish.

Please note: Due to many recent changes in magazine distribution, if your magazine has recently moved to digital-only distribution, it will compete in the division that it competed in last year. For example, if a magazine competed in the Consumer Under 20,000 division in 2020 and then went to a completely digital distribution model, it will automatically compete in Consumer Under 20,000 in 2021. If a digital-only publication is entering the Charlies for the first time in 2021, please contact Membership Director Devon Dunkle at ddunkle@mediagenius.com to determine the division to compete in. This rule may change in subsequent contest years.

*Divisions may be combined for judging if there are less than five entries in a category per division.

HOW TO ENTER
  1. On the contest site: https://florida.awardsplatform.com/ register by entering your first and last names, email address and a password that you create.
    1. If you are already registered, log-in using your email and password.
  2. On the left menu bar click “Entries” then “Manage entries”
  3. At the top of the page click the button “Start Entry”
  4. Under “Contest” select “Florida Magazine Association Charlie Awards”
  5. Under “Category” select your category. Category rules will appear on the page when the category is selected.
  6. Under “Entry name” type in a title for your entry
  7. Under “Publication name” type in the publication for which you are submitting the entry
  8. Click “Save + next”
  9. This will take you to the next tab “Staff credits” where you can enter contributors by clicking the “Add contributor” button. You can click it multiple times to add multiple people.
  10. Click “Save + next”
  11. This will take you to the “Attachments” tab where you can upload attachments and/or submit a URL
  12. When you are done with the entry click “Save + close” at the bottom
  13. When ALL of your entries are complete and you are ready to pay for all entries, go into each entry and click the "Submit Entry" button to add it to your cart.
  14. IMPORTANT!
    Please do not click the "Submit Entry" button until you are finished editing all of your entries and are ready to checkout and pay. The payment cart clears itself out after 24 hours so if you submit your entry and do not complete the checkout process within the same 24 hours you will have to go back into each entry and hit the "Submit Entry" button again.

Additional Information
Accepted formats are PDF, JPG, GIF or PNG. Remember that judges will view your entries online so strive to make the file size small enough to make downloading easier. Work samples must be provided in the following format: in pdf, in spreads, without crop marks or bleeds.

MAILING ENTRIES: When mailing in hard copies for judging, please abide by the following rules:

  1. Upload the front cover of the entry to the online system.
  2. From the My Entries section of your account, the last column is called PDF. Click on the image of the PDF next to the entry(s) you wish to mail in, and print. Use one staple to attach this page to the upper left corner of each entry.
  3. If the same entry is entered in more than one category, submit separate copies of that material (and entry form) for each category.
  4. Seal each entry in a separate envelope and staple the printed online entry form to the front of each envelope. Entries including multiple issues or articles must be packaged in the same envelope (i.e. Best Overall Magazine). Enclose a sample for each entry. When mailing the entire magazine edition, please tab the entry. Do not mount entries for any category.
  5. All paper entries from a single entrant must be mailed at one time in one box / container.
  6. Ship to: Membership c/o FMA Charlie Awards, 1025 Greenwood Blvd, Ste 191, Lake Mary, FL 32746.
  7. Entries must be postmarked by no later than March 15, 2021 (one week after the entry deadline).
CATEGORIES

WRITING EXCELLENCE


Note: Layouts may be included

Best Writing: Department
Submit a single department from three separate issues. Department features can be produced by more than one writer. Judging will be based on the quality and consistency of the reporting, writing and imagery, as well as the originality and cohesiveness of the department and the value and usefulness of its content.


Best Writing: Feature
Submit one article per entry. Judging will be based on relevance to the audience, originality, and quality of writing.


Best Writing: Public Service Coverage
Entries in this category can be entire publications, articles or editorials that render outstanding public service through coverage of social issues impacting readers. Projects must be promoted and/or developed and completed through the magazine’s own efforts.


Best Writing: Humor
Submit one humorous column or feature per entry. Judging will be based on relevance to the audience, suitable handling of the topic, presentation, originality, and overall humor.


Best Writing: Service Feature
Submit one feature or column per entry that offers practical advice or “how-to” information.


Best Writing: In-Depth Reporting
Submit one or more articles on a single topic. The article or series must show a compilation of new information, advancement of knowledge, thoroughness, and reliability.


Best Writing: Editorial/Commentary/Opinion
Submit a single editorial or a related series of no more than three editorials. Entries can include clips demonstrating reaction of readers. Judging will be based on quality of writing and clarity of thinking.


Best Writing: Column
Submit a regularly appearing column by the same writer from three separate issues. No syndicated columns. Judging will be based on the best single column with consideration to relevance to the audience, suitable handling of the topic, appearance, and originality.


Best Writing: Feature Headlines
Submit three different feature headlines with accompanying decks. Pieces will be judged as a single entry. Judging will be based on the use of the headline as a hook, the information the headline conveys and how it connects to the accompanying artwork and story.


DESIGN EXCELLENCE


Best Traditional Illustration
Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on originality, craftsmanship and ambition as related to the magazine’s mission.


Best Photo Illustration
This category recognizes the growing reliance on computer manipulation and digital composite photos. Submit one per entry (the final image). Judging will be based on originality, quality and ambition as related to the magazine’s mission.


Best Photography: Photo Essay/Series
A series of photos on the same subject published in one issue. Entries should tell a story with more than one photograph and minimal copy. Judging will be based on completeness of presentation, creative ambition, quality of photos, art direction and editorial value.


Best Photography: Cover
Original photograph used as part of a cover story. Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on photo quality, creative ambition, art direction and editorial value.


Best Photography: Single Feature Image
Original photograph used as part of a feature story. Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on photo quality, creative ambition, art direction and editorial value. Quality of reproduction will not be considered.


Best Photography: Single Department Image
Original photograph used as part of a department or section. Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on photo quality, creative ambition, art direction and editorial value.


Best Design: Typography
The use of typographic elements to enhance a layout or design. Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on mechanical excellence, art direction and editorial value.


Best Design: Use of Photography
Use of photographic elements including selection, cropping, and incorporation with design and story. Submit three different stories.


Best Design: Department
Submit two examples of the same department per entry. Judging will be based on use of graphics and/or photography, creative ambition, effectiveness of the presentation and editorial value.


Best Design: Feature
Submit one feature treatment that is more than two pages long. Judging will be based on use of graphics and/or photography, creative ambition, effectiveness of the presentation and editorial value.


Best Design: Cover
Submit one per entry. Judging will be based on use of graphics and/or photography, creative ambition, effectiveness of the presentation and editorial value.


DIGITAL EXCELLENCE


Best Digital: Social Media
Submit up to 5 links to social media activity (including editorial video or live-streamed video) produced by your publishing company between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Judging will be based on creativity, timeliness, and strategic use of social accounts to inform, entertain, and engage the audience. Judges will also consider the quality and consistency of how the social media work supports the magazine’s editorial goals. Video should not exceed 5 minutes.


Best Digital: Magazine Website
Submit up to 5 links to different areas of your magazine’s website. Websites will be judged based on the following criteria: Content: Quality of the editorial matter, timeliness, selection and organization of the items; Navigation: Ease of retrieving information from the website; Design: layout, use of graphics, photographs, animation, color and related elements; Advertising: Innovative strategies and/or evidence of revenue generation; Community: Demonstration that the website fulfills its role as “gatekeeper to the community”; and Interactivity: Incorporation of the elements that take advantage of the medium.


Best Digital: Podcast

Submit link to one podcast episode produced by the magazine’s publishing company between February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Podcast should not exceed 90 minutes. Judging will be based on quality, impact, and effectiveness of the storytelling to the magazine’s editorial goals.


GENERAL EXCELLENCE


Best Advertisement: Self-Promotional
Any advertisement created by the company’s in-house team to promote its own magazine, company or event. Submit one ad per entry. Judging will be based on quality and effectiveness of the message.


Best Advertisement:  For a Client
Any advertisement created by the company’s in-house team for outside client(s). Submit one ad per entry. Judging will be based on quality and effectiveness of the message.


Best Advertorial: Story or Section
Any special advertisement section created by the company’s in-house team for outside client(s) that reads like an editorial section. Can be a single-page or multiple-page section. Judging will be based on quality and effectiveness of the message.


Best Custom Publication
Eligibility limited to an annual or biannual magazine produced by, but not containing the title of, the magazine producing it, either in the logo or tagline. Custom publications are produced for a specific customer base. Submit one issue per entry. Judging will be based on the excellence and depth of supporting material and use of photography and illustrative material.


Best Visitor Publication
Any annual or periodic magazine produced with the primary mission of promoting tourism in Florida and enhancing the visitor experience. City, area, and regional publications are not eligible to enter in this category. Judging will be based on the excellence and depth of supporting material and use of photography and illustrative material.


Best Special Theme or Show Issue
A single issue or special supplement devoted to a dominant theme, identified on the front cover and contents page. Example: Coastal Castles–A Water’s Edge Special Publication. Judging will be based on the excellence and depth of supporting material and use of photography and illustrative material.


Best Redesign
Any magazine that has performed a major reworking of its overall design and/or content between March 2020 and February 2021. Submit one issue each featuring old and new design. Judges will consider redesign’s creative ambition and editorial value as related to the magazine’s mission, as well as its relevance to today’s aesthetics and trends in comparison to the previous design.


Best New Magazine
Limited to magazines first published between March 2020 and February 2021. The magazine must never have been previously published under its current title or company name. Submit three different issues (submitting fewer than three issues is acceptable only for those publications launched too late to comply, but which will produce at least three issues during a 12-month period). Include a one-page summary of mission statement and editorial concept.


BEST OVERALL AWARDS


NEW! Best Overall: Digital Innovator
Submit examples of your digital presence, including but not limited to social media, podcasts, websites, newsletters, apps, and digital editions. Judging will be based on navigational ease, editorial and visual quality as it relates to the magazine’s mission and brand, as well as creativity of design and execution. Should contain a variety of content.


Best Overall: Design
Submit three different issues published between March 2020 and February 2021. Judging will be based on the use of all graphics including typography, use of photography, line art, effectiveness of presentation and page design.


Best Overall: Writing
Submit three different issues published between March 2020 and February 2021. Judging will be based on quality of writing, editorial focus, and depth of reporting.


Best Overall: Magazine
Submit three different issues published between March 2020 and February 2021. Judging will be based on originality, design, creativity, photography/illustrations, writing, reader interest, overall impact/execution, and success in achieving the magazine’s mission.

IMPORTANT! This category previously required print copies to be mailed in for judging. This is no longer required, but if you wish to have your magazines reviewed in print, you may still do so by following the rules for mailing entries above.


MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR


Magazines cannot directly enter this category; rather, the Best Overall: Magazine winners in each division will then be considered for Magazine of the Year in a separate judging process. Judging will be based on originality, design, creativity, photography/illustrations, writing, reader interest and overall impact/execution. Historically, the magazine that best met its mission statement has been taken into consideration.

PAYING FOR YOUR ENTRIES

Dues and entry fees must be received prior to the start of judging (April 2, 2021). If these monies are not collected by that time, entries will be removed from the contest.

Credit card and check payments accepted.

Submission Fees:

Early Entry - Entries submitted on or before 11:59 pm 2/12/2021

$55 / entry     |     $60 / Best Overall categories entry

Regular Entry - Entries submitted between 12:00 am 2/13/2021 and 11:59 pm 3/1/2021

$65 / entry     |     $70 / Best Overall categories entry

Payment Instructions:

  1. Log in to your florida.awardsplatform.com account
  2. Go to "My Entries" page
  3. Take note of the number of entries you are submitting
  4. In the upper right corner of the page next to your name, click "Cart"
  5. Verify that the number of entries in your cart match the number of entries you are submitting
  6. Fill out required billing information
  7. Select to either pay by credit card, or select the invoice option to pay by check. If paying by check make payable to the Florida Magazine Association.
  8. Click the "Proceed to Payment" button to complete payment

If paying by check please include a copy of your invoice with your payment. Make checks payable to Florida Magazine Association.

Send checks to:
FMA Charlie Awards c/o Devon Dunkle
1025 Greenwood Blvd, Ste 191, Lake Mary, FL 32792

JUDGING

Judges for this year’s competition include leading writers, editors, designers and educators—all from outside the state of Florida. Individual awards are the decision of the independent judges and are based solely on the judges’ evaluations of entries. Judges will critique this year’s winning entries, and their comments will be made available following the FMA conference awards gala (when applicable).

AWARDS

Award winners will be announced at a dinner gala on the evening of July 16th during the 2021 Florida Media Conference held at The Westin Sarasota. For full conference details visit www.floridamediaconference.com.

FAQ

What file formats are accepted for uploading?
File types are PDF, JPG, GIF, and PNG.

How do I see the entries I’ve created? How do I make changes?
When logged into the website, the black bar on the left-hand side of the screen will have a section called “My entries”. There, you can see all entries you’ve created, as well as their status (“In progress” or “Submitted”). You can edit an entry at any time, even after submission (until the contest period closes), by clicking the name of the entry.

How can I make my PDF files smaller?
Most newspaper PDFs include high-resolution images for printing. However, PDF contest entries will be viewed and judged on a computer monitor, which displays at low resolution (72-96 dpi) in RGB color. Changes in the resolution and color mode of images are the most effective way to reduce file size without sacrificing quality.

What if I cannot make the files small enough?
The system allows files up to 20 megabytes (mb) only. If you cannot make your files small enough to load to the website, then you may host larger files from your corporate server or use the free service online at www.issuu.com.

Where can I get more help for anything I can’t find here?
Email ddunkle@mediagenius.com or call (321) 283-5272

Don’t miss out on any information about this year’s contest! Subscribe now to the FMA Charlie Awards email list:

Past Contests

2020 FMA Charlie Awards winner’s list, presentation, photos, and more.
2019 FMA Charlie Awards winner’s list, presentation, photos, and more.
2018 FMA Charlie Awards winner’s list, presentation, photos, and more.
2017 FMA Charlie Awards winner’s list, presentation, photos, and more.