2020 Webstar Magazine Media Awards Information

The Webstar Magazine Media Awards honours magazine brands, initiatives and individuals that demonstrate journalistic, sales and design excellence. The awards aim to inspire innovation and empower commercial success by recognising and awarding creativity across multiple platforms.

It’s a yearly celebration of the unique ability of magazine to engage audiences through the craft of storytelling.

All magazine publishers are invited to submit entries to the 2020 Webstar Magazine Media Awards. We wish every entrant the best of luck and look forward to seeing who will shine this year on Awards night.

Register and enter online

Awards entries, judging and voting are all hosted on the Webstar Magazine Media Awards online platform, hosted by Awards Force: www.webstarmagazinemediaawards.awardsplatform.com

If you have an existing Award Force account (because you entered the Webstar Magazine Media Awards, or another award such as the Beacons, in a previous year)  please go to the URL above and sign in.  

If you are new to the Awards Force platform, create an account by registering your details. You will be sent a confirmation link. Click the link to confirm your account registration.

Click here if you wish to register early

Important dates

Entry eligibility period | 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020

Entries open | Wednesday 15 April 12pm

MPA member entry workshop | Thursday 23 April 4-6pm

Entries close | Wednesday 27 May 11:59pm

Late entries final deadline | Friday 29 May 12:00pm 

Judging panel day | Wednesday 1 July (all-day)

Finalists announced & tickets on sale | Friday 3 July 12:00pm

2020 Webstar Magazine Media Awards Ceremony | Friday 14 August 

Award fees

All prices are exclusive of GST.

Entry Fees

MPA member price per entry | $95

Non-MPA member price per entry | $150

People’s Choice award

  • Other entries in 2020 | FREE
  • No entries in 2020 (MPA member) | $50
  • No entries in 2020 (non-MPA member) | $75

Best Headline

  • Other entries in 2020 | FREE
  • No entries in 2020 (MPA member) | $50
  • No entries in 2020 (non-MPA member) | $75

If you are not a member of the MPA and wish to be, please contact Jessica Malcolm [email protected] To receive MPA member discounted rates, membership fees must be paid by April 20th, 2020.

Awards ceremony ticket prices

Webstar Magazine Media Awards Ceremony (MPA member) | $195

Webstar Magazine Media Awards Ceremony (non-MPA member) | $295

New and improved awards programme

Entry forms have been streamlined and criteria, word counts, and weightings have been altered.  In many of the forms, the number of questions has been reduced, and the information we ask for is less prescriptive. Judges still want concrete examples and hard data, but we want you to be able to tell us your success story in your own words.  

We’re getting tougher on deadlines. In past years we’ve often extended deadlines by a few days in response to calls from desperate entrants. This year we’ll be sticking to the deadline date. If you really can meet that date, you can pay a late fee of $XX and get an extra 48 hours. No entries will be accepted after the late deadline.        

More publicity. The awards showcase the best and brightest in the magazine world – and we want to share their stories with the wider industry. If you’re a finalist or winner, we might ask you to make a video or attend an advertiser event.     

New awards: For the first time this year, we’ll have a Best Regional Magazine category to recognise magazines that give a voice to local communities.  We’re also introducing a Best Headline award, because there’s really nothing better than a super-clever headline – we’ve made this free to enter, so we’re hoping to see a whole host of clever entries.

Most important is a new Supreme Award, for the Magazine Advertiser of the Year. This recognises an advertiser who, over award year, has made the best use of magazines: getting great results across multiple titles and platforms.

Our Lifetime Achievement Award has always honoured the contribution of long-serving magazine people: this year we’re adding the Magazine Person of the Year award, which can recognise an individual who’s made a stand-out impact in award year. Both awards are at the discretion of the MPA Board and will only be given when there is a truly deserving candidate.   

Frequently asked questions

What is the qualification period to enter the 2020 Webstar Magazine Media Awards?

To be eligible for the 2020 Webstar Magazine Media Awards, entries must have been published, or on sale, between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020.

When do entries open and close?

Entries open at midday on Monday 20 April and will be open until midnight on Wednesday 3 July. There will be a 48-hour late fee of $40 for entries entered past midnight on Wednesday 3 July until Friday 5 July at midnight. This increases the MPA member price to $135 per entry, and the non-member price to XXX. Past this point no extensions will be granted and the awards portal will be closed.

How do I enter?

See the entry instructions. The entry process is completed online. You can save and close your entry and return to it at any point, upload appendixes and attachments, download packing slips, download PDF previews of your entry to share with your team and much more.

All you need to do is sign in or register to the Webstar Magazine Media Awards platform www.webstarmagazinemediaawards.awardsplatform.com

I’m having trouble logging in – what do I do?

If you are having difficulty logging in here are a few things you can try before contacting us:

  • Refresh your browser a few times and re-enter login details
  • Make sure you are using the correct email (e.g. you may have a personal email and a work email)
  • Reset your password if you know your email is correct. Click the reset account button. You will be sent an email with a reset link. Follow the link and login.
  • Try an alternative web browser e.g. Google Chrome/Safari.

If none of the above work, give Jess a call or email – ph: 021 0291 1044 | e: [email protected] and she’ll fix any account errors. 

Where do I send my physical copies?

Physical copies are delivered to Solution Dynamics, 18-24 Canaveral Drive, Rosedale in Auckland. All physical copies are due by 5pm on Thursday 5 June. Please contact the MPA if you have any issues. Packing slips are available online once your entry has been submitted. Return to ‘My entries’, find the relevant entry and click the packing slip button to the side of the entry. This will download a PDF with the correct delivery address and entry details for sorting e.g. entry ID, category, sub-category etc.

What is the difference between a custom title and a trade title?

A custom title is classified as a magazine created and published for a company, brand or association. A trade title is classified as a magazine with an editorial focus on specific types of business or profession. Custom titles may enter the Best Custom Publication award and may also enter Best Magazine under another category of their choice.

My brand qualifies for both Mass Market and Lifestyle categories. Which one should I enter?

It’s up to you. Choose the one you think is most appropriate for your title.

If my title doesn’t measure readership with Nielsen or circulation with ABC/Magazine360, what should I provide?

If you are not measuring circulation with Magazine 360 or ABC and/or are not in the Nielsen Readership survey, you will need to provide a credible independent source of reference for any circulation and readership claims made. Independent or third-party data will be accepted e.g. NZ Post invoice or a distributor statement.

Is my information confidential?

All judges and other involved parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement relating to entry material and supporting documents.

Who are the 2020 Magazine Media Awards Judges?

A full list of judges will be announced Thursday 4 July 2020.

When will the finalists be announced?

Tuesday 14 July 2020. If you wish to keep up to date with all awards announcements, join our mailing list by sending us an email:

Subject line: “MPA mailing list request”
Email body: simply include your full name and the company you work for. Feel free to include other colleagues’ names and emails that would also like to be kept informed.

Where will the Awards Ceremony be held? How do I purchase tickets? 

Venue and date TBC. Tickets will be available for sale from Tuesday 14 July. Tickets can be purchased from the MPA website www.mpa.org.nz

My title is listed in the wrong category – what do I do?

Please email [email protected] to discuss changing your category.

Categories and criteria

Subcategory definitions

Consumer Special Interest | Brands with an editorial focus on a specific subject (excluding Home & Food)

Current Affairs & Business | Brands with an editorial focus on current affairs or business. 

Trade | Magazine brands with specific editorial content relating to trade & industry and any associated professions or services.

Home & Food | Brands with an editorial focus specifically on home or food

Lifestyle | Brands with a broad-based editorial focus on a range of lifestyle topics.

Mass Market | Brands with a circulation of 30K-plus and a celebrity/entertainment focus

Non-Newsstand | Titles with 5% or less of their circulation via newsstand sales

Digital | Includes all digital media brands, whether websites, apps, e-commerce platforms, social media pages.

To see which category your brand belongs to, please see the list of brands. If your brand has not been listed, please contact the MPA [email protected] for clarification.

Category descriptions

Click here to download the 2020 awards structure.

Click here to download the 2020 awards categories and criteria, outlining weightings, word counts and requirements. 

Webstar Best Magazine

awarded to a magazine platform (either print, website or both) that demonstrates consistent all-round publishing excellence and engagement with its community. The entry must demonstrate that the magazine is a commercially sound platform.  Digital magazine platforms may enter this award in the appropriate sub-category, as well as entering the Best Digital Brand award. The winner of each category becomes a finalist for the Webstar Supreme Magazine of the Year.

NZ Post Best Editor

Awarded to the best magazine editor in each category. The nominee must have been editor of the magazine brand for at least six months and, in the case of physical magazines, they must have been editor of two of the issues submitted. The winner of each category becomes a finalist for Supreme NZ Post Editor of the Year.

Best Cover

Awarded to the best magazine cover in each category. 

Best Designer/Design Team

Awarded to a designer (or design team) who demonstrates excellence in magazine design. 

Best Journalist

Awarded to the best magazine feature writer (can be freelance). Entries may have been published by different titles, by different publishers, or may all be from the same magazine or digital platform. However, all articles must be within the same category. Editors are eligible to enter this award for their stories, but not for their editorials.

Best Columnist/Blogger

Awarded to the best columnist/blogger of a regular column or blog (or both) on any magazine platform. One columnist or blogger can enter using multiple examples from one title or examples from multiple titles, but all columns or blogs entered must be from the same category.

Best Brand Event

Awarded to a magazine event that reinforces brand values, delivers a valuable experience to its audience and/or the wider community, and contributes to the commercial success of the magazine brand.  The event must have taken place within the award eligibility period.


Best Content Marketing Campaign

Awarded to the publisher who has on behalf of an advertiser, created and distributed the best content marketing campaign. Content should be at the heart of the strategy. The content should fit with the advertiser and magazine brand values and clearly address the marketing challenge. Additional credit will be awarded to creative storytelling and tangible proof of success. This award includes content creation and distribution in magazines, via social media, web, events, EDM’s, video/audio or other.

Best Custom Publication

Awarded to a magazine brand that demonstrates consistent all-round publishing excellence and engagement with its community as part of a client-owned media strategy. Magazines eligible for this category are those created and published exclusively for, and owned by, a client company, brand, or association.

Best Digital Brand

This award recognises excellence in the development of digital media brands, whether websites, apps, e-commerce platforms, or social media pages. Judges will be looking for publishers that serve their user communities with engaging and relevant content and who have commercialised their content. Entries do not have to stem from a printed product. Advertiser sponsored websites are also eligible for this category.

Best Headline

Awarded to a magazine headline that honestly reflects its story, and also adds its own sizzle. The headline can be on any size story, in print or digital format. It does not include standfirsts.

Best Innovation

This award celebrates fresh thinking and innovation. It is a broad category, designed to recognise innovation across the publishing field: it might include new editorial initiatives, new technologies,  new research tools, new methods of audience engagement.  Judges will be looking for a bright idea that has delivered measurable results.

Best Media Salesperson/Team

Awarded to the salesperson or sales team for their performance in delivering commercial success to an individual magazine brand, digital platform or cluster of brands.


Best Photographer

Awarded to the photographer who best demonstrates excellence in magazine photography.

Best Regional Magazine

This award is designed to celebrate the best magazine serving a defined regional audience. Judges will be looking for all-round publishing excellence and evidence of strong community connection. Extra credit will be given for innovative strategies, strong advertiser relationships and commercial success.

Best Sales Solution for an Advertising Client

Awarded to the salesperson or team that have created the best commercial solution for an advertising client.  Judges will be looking for solutions that were designed to meet an advertiser’s goals, got strong results and leveraged the unique strengths of magazines.  Your entry should clearly outline the sales challenge and how your solution met this. Additional credit will be awarded for creativity across platforms, innovative thinking, tangible proof of reader engagement and positive commercial outcome for the advertiser. 

Best Small Publisher

This award is open to publishers with three or fewer brands. It is designed to recognise the special challenges that come with being a small player in the industry. Judges will be looking for all-round publishing excellence and reader engagement across the publisher’s brands, plus evidence of innovative strategies, strong advertiser relationships and commercial success.

ICG Best Brand Marketing Campaign

Awarded to the best marketing campaign or activation to promote a magazine brand’s commercial success and/or audience growth.

Magazine Advertiser of the Year

Awarded to the advertiser who has made the most creative and effective use of magazines over award year.  Advertisers may have run campaigns in one title or over a number of titles and may also be using a magazine brand’s  digital and social platforms.  Entries can come from publishers, agencies or direct clients (or a combination of these).

Ovato Magazine Retailer of the Year

This award is nominated by Ovato Retail Distribution

Rising Star

This is award recognises young, talented individuals who have produced outstanding results. It is open to entrants from editorial, advertising, marketing, sales and any other industry area. Individuals should enter themselves and include a short statement from their manager in support of their entry.

NZ Post Supreme Editor of The Year

The Supreme NZ Post Editor of the Year is awarded to one of the winners of one of the NZ Post Best Editor sub-categories e.g. Home & Food, Digital.

People’s Choice Magazine

This award is judged by the general public.  The award is based on cover recognition (cover images are supplied by entrants and displayed for voters in an online gallery) and is open to  brands with a print edition or a digital edition that has a distinct cover.

Person of the Year/ Lifetime Achievement Award

These awards are nominated and decided by the MPA Executive Board. They are discretionary awards that are only given when there is an outstanding candidate.

Webstar Supreme Magazine of the Year

The Webstar Supreme Magazine award is awarded to one of the winners of one of the Webstar Best Magazine sub-categories e.g. Home & Food. Winner of the best digital brand will also qualify for this award.