Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Northern Lights Contest

Note: Updates in Progress

We're updating the Northern Lights information on this website to reflect changes for 2018.

We'll remove this message when the updates are complete.

About the Contest

 February 2, 2018 Contest opens for entries
 March 2 Entry deadline, 8 p.m.
 May 17 Awards ceremony

  
The Northern Lights Awards contest recognizes outstanding work in Minnesota's government, educational and nonprofit communications, and provide valuable feedback for all entries from the communications professionals who judge the contest. The contest is conducted annually by the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators. 

Use the navigation drop-down in our menu bar, above, to access this year's contest categoriesrules, entry form and additional contest information. 

A Northern Lights Award trophy

The Awards

Northern Lights Award (First Place)

The first-place Northern Lights Award is granted to the one entry in each category which stands out from all others as representing the very best in government communications. This award honors an entry whose quality has wowed the judges—exceeding expectations, accomplishing intended goals, demonstrating creativity and making wise use of available resources.

Only one Northern Lights Award is granted in each category, except in the case of a tie score. If no entry receives the minimum score for the Northern Lights Award, the award will not be granted.

Silver Award (Second Place)

Like the Northern Lights Award, the second-place Silver Award honors work that represents government communications at its best. This award is granted to an entry that shows excellence in all aspects—an entry that exceeds expectations, accomplishes its goals with creativity and design excellence, and makes excellent use of available resources.

Only one Silver Award is granted in each category, except in the case of a tie score. If no entry receives the minimum score for the Silver Award, the award will not be granted.

 
Bronze Award (Third Place)

The third-place Bronze Award likewise honors an entry that that shows excellence in all aspects, accomplishes its goals with creativity and design excellence, and makes excellent use of available resources.

Only one Bronze Award is granted in each category, except in the case of a tie score. If no entry receives the minimum score for the Bronze Award, the award will not be granted.

Award of Merit (Honorable Mention)

The Award of Merit honors entries that receive a qualifying score while not achieving a Northern Lights, Silver or Bronze award. Zero, one or multiple Awards of Merit may be given out in a category depending on how many entries receive a qualifying score.

Best for Least

This category honors remarkably good communications done at a remarkably low cost. In this category, only one entry receives an award, except in the case of a tie score.

Best of Show

The Best of Show award is given to the one entry that best demonstrates effective government communications. The winner is chosen by the Best of Show judging panel (as designated by the MAGC board) from among the year's Northern Lights Award winners, taking into account the recommendations of the contest judges.

Special Achievement Awards

Communicator of the Year Award

An individual may be honored with MAGC's Communicator of the Year Award at the discretion of the MAGC board. The award may not be given every year. Nominations for this award are encouraged. A nomination form will be available by the end of February.

Lifetime Achievement Award

An individual may be honored with MAGC's Lifetime Achievement Award at the discretion of the MAGC board. The award may not be given every year. Nominations for this award are encouraged. A nomination form will be available by the end of February.

Contest FAQ

Entering the Contest 

Can I submit the same project in multiple categories?

Yes. If your entry fits into more than one category, feel free to enter it more than once. You will need to pay the entry fee for each entry.

Can I submit a photo that has been Photoshopped or similarly manipulated?

Yes. Describe the changes that were made, and include a copy of the original (unedited) photo. 

Cost and Payments

I am a member. Can a nonmember coworker submit a project for me and still receive my member rate?

Yes. Tell them to use your membership info to get the discounted member rate for entries.

The member whose account is used to obtain the discount should should have direct or supervisory involvement in the creation of the project.

How do I pay? How do I get the member rate?

The entry process allows you to work on one or more entries while the contest is open. When you're satisfied that all your entries are ready for submission, you can pay for them all at once. Members will be able to select the member rate for all the entries in their cart.

Tip: Join or renew now so you can enter the contest at the member rate when the time comes. 

I'm a MACTA member. How do I get the member rate?

MACTA members will have an opportunity to attest that to their active MACTA membership to receive the member discount rate for video submissions.

(We'd love it if you were to join MAGC, and at $85 per year, it's a bargain!)

Can I pay for multiple entries all at once?

Yes. This function is built in to Award Force, the contest management system we are using in 2018. 

Can we order extra copies of our trophy?

Yes. A form will be made available soon after the awards ceremony in May for use in ordering duplicate trophies from this year's contest. The cost of the duplicate awards will be noted on the order form. Pricing will be based on the cost of the trophy plus the cost of shipping it to you.

MACTA Partnership

The Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators is the sponsor for the video portion of this year's Northern Lights Awards.

MACTA is a statewide professional organization of city representatives and staff that, among other priorities, promotes and supports government uses of cable television, including community programming.

Since 2015, MAGC and MACTA have joined hands in the Northern Lights Awards Contest. This partnership is of great benefit to MAGC and to the Northern Lights awards, improving and fostering the continued growth of the contest.

MACTA offers assistance with our event planning, helps in the recruiting of quality judges and helps promote the contest. In turn, MACTA is the title sponsor of the video portion of the awards and MACTA members enter the contest at MAGC member pricing.