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All consumer and business magazines and websites edited and published in the United States are eligible to enter the ASME Best Cover Contest + Awards for Photography and Illustration. Covers and images from magazine special-interest and newsstand-only publications may also be entered. Any print or digital cover or image published in 2020 is eligible for submission. The administrators of the ASME Best Cover Contest + Awards for Photography and Illustration reserve the right to determine if a publication qualifies for entry.


  • Print entries must be dated 2020 (entries dated December 2020/January 2021 are eligible; entries dated December 2019/January 2020 are not)
  • Digital entries must have been largely produced in 2020. Screenshots may be requested to verify publication dates
  • Editors can enter as many entries in as many categories as they want but cannot enter the same cover or image in more than one category
  • Photographs and illustrations entered in the Photography and Illustration Awards cannot also be entered in the Best Cover Contest
  • An entry consists of one cover, one photograph or illustration, or one photo portfolio or illustrated story published in print or online; photo portfolios and illustrated stories may include both print and digital content
  • Each entry must include a statement explaining why the entry merits recognition (statements are strictly limited to 100 words)


Entry fees for ASME members are $95 per entry. Entry fees for nonmembers are $195. Late entries are subject to an additional $95 per entry. To submit content published after the deadline for entry, email asme@asme.media or call 212.872.3737. Entry fees will not be refunded under any circumstances.

ASME members pay lower fees to participate in the ASME Best Cover Contest + Awards for Photography and Illustration as well as the National Magazine Awards. Editors who join ASME before December 15, 2020, are entitled to pay ASME-member entry fees for the 2021 ASME Best Cover Contest + Awards for Photography and Illustration. To join ASME, visit asme.media. For more information about ASME programs and member benefits, email asme@asme.media.


  • All entries, including photographs and illustrations, must be submitted online at asmebestcovercontest.org
  • Covers must be formatted as high-resolution JPEGs
  • Barcodes should be removed from covers

How the Winners of the ASME Best Cover Contest + Awards for Photography and Illustration Are Chosen

ASME judging groups composed of leading editors, art directors and photo editors choose five finalists, including a winner, in each category. The ASME Board of Directors chooses the ASME Cover of the Year from the winners of the 10 Best Cover Contest categories.

How the Winners of the ASME Readers’ Choice Awards Are Chosen

All ASME Best Cover Contest entries are posted on Facebook for four weeks. The cover receiving the most likes is deemed the winner of the ASME Readers’ Choice Award. Winners are also recognized in each of the 10 categories. In 2021, covers will be posted from Monday, February 1, to Sunday, February 28.


January 5 Deadline for Entry
February 1 Readers’ Choice Awards Voting Begins on Facebook
February 28 Readers’ Choice Awards Voting Ends on Facebook
July 22 Finalists and Winners Announced