American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Announces Changes to Ellies Gala and General Excellence Awards

October 28, 2010

ASME Making Changes in 2011 National Magazine Awards That Will Impact Awards Ceremony For Print Entries and Several Major Awards Categories.

NEW YORK, NY (October 28, 2010)—The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is making changes in the 2011 National Magazine Awards that will impact the awards ceremony for print entries and several major awards categories, it was announced by ASME Chief Executive Sid Holt. The National Magazine Awards – also known as the Ellies, for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant” given to each winner – are sponsored by ASME in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

After five years of presenting the print awards at a theater, ASME has elected to hold the next National Magazine Awards ceremony as a dinner at 583 Park Avenue in New York City on May 9, 2011. The National Magazine Awards for Digital Media will continue to be presented at a luncheon ceremony held in conjunction with the MPA Digital conference, slated for March 16, 2011 at the Hilton New York.

“We feel turning the print awards into a dinner will enhance the sense of celebration and community for the entire magazine industry,” said Mr. Holt. “Not only will a sit-down dinner be more fun, but it will give editors and publishers a chance to invite their magazine’s friends and clients.”

ASME has also revised a number of awards categories, most significantly, the awards for General Excellence. In the past, General Excellence was presented in six categories based on circulation size. Beginning with the 2011 National Magazine Awards, General Excellence categories will be based on content, audience, frequency and circulation.

The new General Excellence, Print, categories are:

  • News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines
    Honors large-circulation weeklies, biweeklies and general-interest monthlies
  • Fashion, Service and Lifestyle Magazines
    Honors women's magazines, including health and fitness magazines and family-centric publications
  • Active Lifestyle Magazines
    Honors active sports, men's lifestyle and business, finance and technology magazines
  • Food, Travel and Design Magazines
    Honors dual-audience lifestyle publications, including shelter magazines
  • Special Interest Magazines
    Honors magazines serving targeted audiences, including city and regional magazines
  • Literary Journals and Opinion Magazines
    Honors scholarly and professional publications as well as literary and political magazines

Other notable changes include the renaming of Photojournalism as News Photography, and Photo Portfolio as Feature Photography. These adjustments were made to broaden the kinds of work the awards honor.  Additionally, the General Excellence, Digital Media, award—which had grown to be one of the largest categories in the awards—is being split into two categories: General Excellence, Digital Media: News and Opinion and General Excellence, Digital Media: Service and Lifestyle.

“We’re making these changes in the National Magazine Awards to make the awards more representative of magazine and magazine publishing,” Mr. Holt said. “We want the awards to look at magazines the same way readers and advertisers do. And editors are a pretty competitive bunch—they want to go head to head with their competitors at the awards the same way they do on newsstands.”
The call for entries for the 2011 National Magazine Awards will be posted on the ASME website ( on November 1.