It might not be as glitzy as the Oscars, but for magazine publishers, winning a National Magazine Award still affords substantial bragging rights in a survival-of-the-fittest industry.

On Thursday, The American Society of Magazine Editors unveiled their slate of nominees for the 50th annual National Magazine Awards or “Ellies,” which will take place on Feb. 1 at the Grand Hyatt in New York.

This story first appeared in the January 15, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sixty-seven media organizations were nominated in 21 categories this year. Five magazines were nominated for the top prize of Magazine of the Year, and included The Atlantic, The Hollywood Reporter, National Geographic, New York and The New Yorker. The organization said 24 titles nabbed multiple nominations led by New York with nine. A perennial favorite, New York also had the most nominations in 2015 with 10 and nine in 2014.

The New York Times Magazine grabbed seven nominations this year, the most for the title since 2011 when it had nine. Other multifinalists included GQ (six nominations); The New Yorker (five); Bon Appétit (four), and Matter, National Geographic and Poetry, each with three. Vice Magazine and Vice News combined for three nominations.

Newcomer nominees included BBC News Magazine, Buzzfeed News, Car and Driver, Eater, Family Fun, The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post Highline, The Intercept, Lucky Peach, the Marshall Project, ProPublica and WSJ.

ASME gave Annie Leibovitz a shout-out for her nomination in Feature Photography for her Caitlyn Jenner photos for Vanity Fair’s story, “He Says Goodbye, She Says Hello.” It also highlighted the Essays and Criticism category, pointing to GQ’s “The Accident” by Michael Paterniti, who earned his ninth Ellie nomination this year.

Duking it out for the award in excellence in Photography will be The California Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, New York, Vanity Fair and WSJ.

Meanwhile, the award for Design will be between Bon Appétit, GQ, New York, The Pitchfork Review and Wired.

Lifestyle-centric publications Bon Appétit; Golf Digest; Harper’s Bazaar; Lucky Peach; Parents; Seventeen and T: The New York Times Style Magazine will vie for General Excellence in the Service and Lifestyle category.

Men’s magazines Esquire and GQ will also fight it out for General Excellence in the News, Sports and Entertainment category, along with fellow nominees, Fast Company, New York, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Newsweek.

Below is the complete list of Ellie Awards 2016 finalists:

General Excellence

News, Sports and Entertainment

Honors publications covering politics, business and technology as well as pop culture and leisure interests.

Esquire; Fast Company; GQ; New York; The New York Times Magazine; The New Yorker; Newsweek

 Service and Lifestyle

Honors publications covering health and fitness as well as fashion, design, food and travel.

Bon Appétit; Golf Digest; Harper’s Bazaar; Lucky Peach; Parents; Seventeen; T: The New York Times Style Magazine 

Special Interest

Honors publications serving highly defined reader communities, including city and regional magazines.

Backpacker; Car and Driver; The Hollywood Reporter; Modern Farmer; San Francisco; Smithsonian; Tablet Magazine

Literature, Science and Politics

Honors smaller-circulation general-interest magazines as well as publications covering the arts.

Aperture; Foreign Affairs; Nautilus; The Oxford American; Poetry; Virginia Quarterly Review


Honors overall excellence in print magazine design.

Bon Appétit; GQ; New York; The Pitchfork Review; Wired


Honors overall excellence in print magazine photography.

The California Sunday Magazine; National Geographic; New York; Vanity Fair; WSJ.

Single-Topic Issue

Honors print magazines that have devoted a single issue to the comprehensive examination of one subject.

  • Bloomberg Businessweek for “Code: An Essay,” June 15-28
  • National Geographic for “The Climate Issue,” November
  • The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” April 26
  • San Francisco for “The Chinese-American City,” April
  • Vice for “The Prison Issue,” October

Web site

Honors magazine Web sites and online-only magazines.

Audubon; Bloomberg Businessweek; New York; Refinery29; Vogue


Honors digital storytelling and the integration of magazine media.

  • BBC News Magazine U.S. for “The Hurricane Station,” by Rajini Vaidyanathan, August 24 at
  • New York for “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” at and November 16-22 print issue
  • The New York Times Magazine for “Desperate Crossing,” photography and video by Paolo Pellegrin, text by Scott Anderson, at and September 6 print issue
  • Runner’s World for “40 Million Steps Around the World,” at and April print issue
  • Slate for “The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes,” by Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie, June 25 at


Honors the outstanding use of video by magazine media.

  • GQ for “Inside the Atlanta Strip Club That Runs Hip Hop,” by Lauren Greenfield, July 10 at
  • The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” by JR, Chris Milk and Zach Richter, April 23 at
  • Pitchfork for “Vince Staples — Over/Under,” July 1, “Rick Ross — Over/Under,” December 11, and “T-Pain — Over/Under,” September 29, at
  • Vice for “Red Right Hand: The Cleveland Strangler,” November 3 at
  • Vice News for “Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks In to Ukraine,” June 16 at

Public Interest

Honors magazine journalism that illuminates issues of national importance.

  • Buzzfeed News for “The New American Slavery,” July 24, and “All You Americans Are Fired,” December 1, by Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine, at
  • Cosmopolitan for “Pregnant? Scared? Need Options? Too Bad,” August print issue, “Save the Mother, Save the Baby,” April 6 at, and “I Felt Set Up,” December 17 at, by Meaghan Winter
  • The Huffington Post for “Dying To Be Free,” by Jason Cherkis, January 28 at
  • The Huffington Post Highline for “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia,” by Mariah Blake, August 27 at
  • The Intercept for “The Teflon Toxin,” August 11, “The Case Against DuPont,” August 17, and “How DuPont Slipped Past the EPA,” August 20, by Sharon Lerner at 

Personal Service

Honors magazine journalism that serves readers’ needs and aspirations.

  • Cooking Light for “The Healthy Cook’s Guide to Fat,” by Sidney Fry, MS, RD, and Robin Bashinsky, November
  • Cosmopolitan for “Surf the New Wave: Cosmo’s Guide to the Modern Period,” by Laura Bell and Anna Maltby, November
  • FamilyFun for “The Happy Family Playbook,” by Jennifer King Lindley, May
  • Popular Mechanics for “How to Buy a Car,” July/August
  • Wired for “All Work and All Play,” by Rashida Jones, July

Leisure Interests

Honors magazine journalism that provides practical information about recreational activities and special interests

  • Bon Appétit for “Cook Like a Pro,” April
  • Eater for “The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World,” August 26 at
  • GQ for “What’s Blowing Up,” April
  • Los Angeles for “Taco City,” July, and “Taco Week,” July 20, by Lesley Bargar Suter With Bill Esparza at
  • Sunset for “Welcome to Camp Sunset,” May

Magazine Section

Honors the editorial direction of print or digital departments or sections.

  • Backpacker for “The Play List”
  • Bon Appétit for “BA Kitchen”
  • GQ for “Manual”
  • New York for “The Culture Pages”
  • Popular Mechanics for “How Your World Works”


Honors reporting excellence as exemplified by one article or a series of articles.

  • The Atlantic for “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” by Jeffrey Goldberg, April
  • Matter for “Ghost Boat,” by Eric Reidy, October 7 at
  • Matter for “My Nurses Are Dead and I Don’t Know If I’m Already Infected,” by Joshua Hammer, January 12 at
  • Mother Jones for “The Fever [How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease],” by David Ferry, January/February
  • The New York Times Magazine for “Purgatory [The Deported],” by Luke Mogelson, December 13
  • The New Yorker for “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” by Patrick Radden Keefe, March 16
  • Rolling Stone for “Yemen’s Hidden War,” by Matthieu Aikins, August 13

Feature Writing

Honors original, stylish storytelling.

  • Bicycling for “Spun,” by Steve Friedman, June
  • Chicago for “Here We Are,” by Scott Blackwood, November
  • ESPN The Magazine for “The Education of Alex Rodriguez,” by J.R. Moehringer, March 2
  • The Marshall Project in Partnership With ProPublica for “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, December 16 at
  • New York for “The Hustlers at Scores,” by Jessica Pressler, December 28, 2015-January 10, 2016
  • The New York Times Magazine for “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield,” by Daniel Engber, October 25
  • The New Yorker for “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, July 20

Feature Photography
Honors the use of original photography in a feature story, photo-essay or photo portfolio.

  • The California Sunday Magazine for “In the Tenderloin,” photographs by Pieter Hugo, May 3
  • New York for “The Seven Ages of Woman,” portfolio by Rachel Feinstein, August 10-23
  • Politico for “Front Row at the Political Theater,” photographs by Mark Peterson, November/December
  • Vanity Fair for “He Says Goodbye, She Says Hello,” by Buzz Bissinger, photographs by Annie Leibovitz, July
  • W for “Best Performances,” by Lynn Hirschberg, photographs by Tim Walker, February

Essays and Criticism

Honors interpretative and critical journalism.

  • Condé Nast Traveler for “Postcard From East Africa,” by Jonathan Franzen, September
  • Esquire for “The Friend,” by Matthew Teague, May
  • GQ for “The Accident,” by Michael Paterniti, March
  • Matter for “Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours,” by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, June 29 at
  • Poetry for “How It Feels,” by Jenny Zhang, July/August

Columns and Commentary

Honors political and social commentary; news analysis; and reviews and criticism.

  • ESPN The Magazine for three “The Truth” columns by Howard Bryant: “Down for the Count,” July 20, “The King Has Spoken,” September 14, and “The Power of Sight,” October 12
  • Harper’s Magazine for three “Easy Chair” columns by Rebecca Solnit: “Abolish High School,” April, “In the Shadow of the Storm,” August, and “The Mother of All Questions,” October
  • The Intercept for three “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” columns by Barrett Brown: “Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels,” October 6, “A Visit to the Sweat Lodge,” July 16, and “Santa Muerte, Full of Grace,” August 24
  • The New York Times Magazine for three “On Photography” columns by Teju Cole: “A True Picture of Black Skin,” February 22, “Shadows in São Paulo,” August 23, and “The Shadow Remains,” October 18
  • Poetry for three “Poetry Magazine Podcasts”: “Cast Poems in the River and Tell Them You Remember,” April 1, “Cranberry Cranberry Cranberry,” July 1, and “Things No Longer There,” September 1


Honors fiction originally published in magazines.

  • Harper’s Magazine for “Interesting Facts,” by Adam Johnson, June
  • The New Yorker for “Who Will Greet You at Home,” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, October 26
  • Zoetrope: All-Story for “The Grozny Tourist Bureau,” by Anthony Marra, Fall

Magazine of the Year

Honors magazines for print and digital editorial excellence and for the success of branded content and services, including conferences and events.

The Atlantic; The Hollywood Reporter; National Geographic; New York; The New Yorker.