The New Yorker receives a record-breaking 14 nominations; annual awards show to be held virtually on Thursday, June 10

NEW YORK (May 6, 2021)—The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) today announced via Twittercast the finalists for the 2021 National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media. The 56th annual awards honor magazines and websites that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy enterprise and imaginative design.

ASME will celebrate the Ellie Awards and honor finalists virtually on Thursday, June 10th. Winners will give live speeches during the event. Attendees will be able to socialize virtually with people sitting at their table, and hosts of tables of 10 will be able to table-hop during the event. ASME is offering specially priced tickets for ASME NEXT members and other journalists under 30. Ticket information is available at

“In the toughest of times, journalism sees us through, and this year’s finalists for the National Magazine Awards represent a new industry standard,” said Sid Holt, executive director of ASME. “The diversity of work across mediums is a true showcase for what ASME and Columbia seek to highlight year after year. Congratulations to our 2021 finalists.” 

This year’s awards will be highlighted by the first-time presentation of the ASME Award for Coverage of Race in America. The finalists for this special award include The American Scholar,, ProPublica, TIME and Vanity Fair.

Another notable change for 2021 was the introduction of a new award for community journalism. The first nominees in that category are 5280, The Marshall Project with Slate, Mother Jones, ProPublica and Anchorage Daily News, and The Trace with Code Switch from NPR. 

The New Yorker led the nominations with a record-setting 14. The publication also received two nominations in the same category in Feature Photography, Reporting, Profile Writing and Essays & Criticism. Rounding out top finalists are The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine with eight and six nominations, respectively. 

Titles with multiple nominations also include ProPublica and Texas Monthly with five; The Marshall Project, National Geographic, New York and Vanity Fair with four; Bon Appétit,, SELF and TIME with three; and The American Scholar, The Believer, Bloomberg Businessweek, The California Sunday Magazine, The Intercept, Parents, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Slate, Stranger’s Guide, T: The New York Times Style Magazine and WSJ. Magazine with two. 

The virtual event will also include the presentation of the ASME Award for Fiction, as well as honors for the five winners of the 2021 ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30. 

Three finalists this year are past ASME NEXT Award winners: The Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II in Podcasting, Slate’s Aymann Ismail in Reporting and The New Yorker’s Ben Taub in Feature Writing. 

Twenty publications are nominated for the most prestigious honor, General Excellence. Repeat finalists in the category include Audubon, The New York Times Magazine, SELF, T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Virginia Quarterly Review, as well as Aperture and New York both with their sixth consecutive nominations, and The Marshall Project capturing its fifth. 

Thirteen media outlets were first-time finalists in any category: Anchorage Daily News, C13Originals, Code Switch from NPR,, Here, High Country News, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Polygon, Pop-Up Magazine, Public Books, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Texas Highways and Unbothered by Refinery29. 

Established in 1966, the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and are administered by ASME. Originally limited to print magazines, the awards now recognize magazine-quality journalism published in any medium. 

Two hundred and thirty-one national and regional publications submitted entries this year including 440 print, 595 digital and 127 multiplatform. This year marks the first time digital entries surpassed print. 

The 280 print- and digital-magazine editors, art directors, photo editors and journalism educators who judged the Ellies this year met virtually in April to choose the 2021 finalists. 

Winners receive “Ellies,” the elephant-shaped statuettes modeled on Alexander Calder’s stabile “Elephant Walking,” created in 1942, that give the awards their name. 

Tickets to the virtual 2021 Ellie Awards are now on sale. Ellie Awards ticket sales provide support for the Osborn Elliott Scholarship at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Named in honor of the former Newsweek editor, ASME president and Columbia Journalism School dean, the scholarship is awarded to students who intend to pursue careers in magazine journalism. To purchase tickets, visit

National Magazine Awards 2021 Finalists

General Excellence, News, Sports and Entertainment

  • The Atlantic
  • The Marshall Project
  • New York
  • The New York Times Magazine
  • The New Yorker

General Excellence, Service and Lifestyle

  • Epicurious
  • SELF
  • T: The New York Times Style Magazine
  • Vogue
  • WSJ. Magazine

General Excellence, Special Interest

  • Audubon
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Kazoo
  • Scientific American
  • Texas Monthly

General Excellence, Literature, Science and Politics

  • Aperture
  • The Believer
  • MIT Technology Review
  • Stranger’s Guide
  • Virginia Quarterly Review


  • Bon Appétit
  • Fast Company
  • National Geographic
  • New York


  • The Atlantic
  • GQ
  • New York
  • Stranger’s Guide
  • WSJ. Magazine

Feature Design

  • The Atlantic for "Nothing Can Stop What Is Coming"
  • Bon Appétit for "Taco Nation"
  • Here for "Natural Wonder"
  • Smithsonian for "The Charlatan Will See You Now"
  • Vanity Fair for "Let the Great World Spin"

Feature Photography

  • The California Sunday Magazine for “Our Border,” photographs by Carolyn Drake and Andres Gonzales
  • The New York Times Magazine for “America at Hunger's Edge,” photographs by Brenda Ann Kenneally
  • The New Yorker for "A City Nurse," photographs by Karen Cunningham
  • The New Yorker for "Whose Streets," photographs by Isaac Scott
  • TIME for “Faces of Protest,” photographs by Adam Ferguson

Digital Storytelling 

Social Media

  • Golf Digest
  • National Geographic for “Everest: Journey to the Roof of the World”
  • The New Yorker for “April 15, 2020”
  • ProPublica for “Grace: A Failure in Michigan’s Juvenile Justice System”
  • SELF



Single-Topic Issue

  • Bloomberg Businessweek for “The Lost Year”
  • National Geographic for “Earth Day 50th Anniversary”
  • Public Books and NYU Cities Collaborative for “Preexisting Conditions: What 2020 Reveals About Our Urban Future
  • Texas Monthly for “Willie”
  • Vanity Fair for “The Great Fire: A Special Issue,” Guest Edited by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Personal Service

Leisure Interests

Community Journalism 


Feature Writing 

Profile Writing

Essays and Criticism

Columns and Commentary

Public Interest

ASME Award for Coverage of Race in America

ASME Award for Fiction


Harper's Magazine for “The Whale Mother,” by Susan Choi, “Terrace Story,” by Hilary Leichter, and “New Poets,” by Michael Deagler 


  • American Short Fiction for "The Electric Slide," by Ted Thompson, "The Last Days of Rodney" by Tracey Rose Peyton, and "Spare the Rod," by Rickey Fayne
  • Conjunctions for "Yonder Shines the Big Red Moon Over the Devil’s Lost Playground," by Brandon Hobson, "The Owl Count," by Elizabeth Hand, and "The Moon Fairy," by Sofia Samatar
  • Oxford American for “Cane Creek,” by Ben Fountain, “A Search,” by Jayne Anne Phillips, and “Bitch Baby,” by Halle Hill
  • The Paris Review for “Let's Play Dead,” by Senaa Ahmad, “Good Boy,” by Eloghosa Osunde, and “Violets,” by Bud Smith

ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30

The ASME NEXT Awards were established in 2016 to support the development of print and digital media by honoring magazine journalists of extraordinary promise. 

ASME NEXT Awards 2021 Recipients 

Maxine Builder, Deputy Editor, The Strategist, New York                               
Nominated by Alexis Swerdloff, Editor, The Strategist, New York

Mamadi Doumbouya, Photographer, The New York Times Magazine
Nominated by Jake Silverstein, Editor in Chief, The New York Times Magazine 

Andrea González-Ramírez, Senior Writer, GEN                                              
Nominated by Brendan Vaughan, Editor in Chief, GEN 

Morgan Jerkins, Senior Editor, ZORA
Nominated by Vanessa De Luca, Editor in Chief, ZORA 

Robinson Meyer, Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Nominated by Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief, The Atlantic

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About ASME

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for the editorial leaders of magazines and websites published in the United States. Founded in 1963, ASME strives to safeguard the First Amendment, support the development of journalism and defend the editorial integrity of print and digital publications. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media in association with the Columbia Journalism School, conducts training programs for reporters and editors and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.


About Columbia Journalism School

For over a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with instruction and training that stresses academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers master of science, master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees.

Learn more at


Sid Holt
[email protected]

Kaitlyn Kurosky
[email protected]

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