CAMRA has issued guidelines (or a 'toolkit' as they like to call it) as of Sep 2019.
Download the guidelines: 2019 guidelines
For interest you can download an earlier set of guidelines if you want: 2017 guidelines
Magazines can be entered into a regional/national competition if the editor so desires
Legal deposit requirements for branch magazines
As stated in the 'toolkit' one copy of every issue MUST be sent to
Legal Deposit Office,
The British Library,
W Yorks LS23 7BY
This not a CAMRA rule, this is UK law.
There are six legal deposit libraries, of which The British Library is one and the one which we are obliged to use.
The other five legal deposit libraries are Bodleian Libraries University of Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales and the Library of Trinity College Dublin are each entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication that they request.
Note the concluding phrase there. These libraries have a right to request, in writing or via email, a deposit of a publication. If they do so, we must comply, This would be in addition to the deposit made to The British Library. I would suggest not sending an unsolicited magazine to the above five as once you are 'on the books' as it were, I don't think you can get off.
Regional vs National competition
The rest of this page is concerend with the regional & national magazine-of-the-year (MotY) competitions, so there is no need to read further unless you intend to enter them.
In the West Midlands region we recognise the best magazines in the region, and, where appropriate, most-improved and best-newcomer. The winning branch should, themselves, submit into the national competition (see CAMRA memo below).
The regional awards are made at the WM Awards extravaganza held annually at The Bartons Arms in Birmingham between Christmas and New Year. Winners will be notified that their magazine has won some sort of recognition
How is the regional competition judged ?
Post one copy of each issue of your magazine to the regional director. To get the RDs postal address email a request to ku.gro.armac.sdnaldimtsew@dr. Towards the end of the year regional officers (*) get together to judge the magazines. Obviously, we use the national guidelines and our overwhelming judgment can be summed up as
- Content, comtent, content (is it interesting ?)
- Having read the magazine would I look out for future issues ?
Missing issues disqualify a magazine
Non adherence to the key guidelines automatically disqualify a magazine
(*) Note: any member in the region can be a judge. If you are interested write to the regional secretary
The national competition is totally separate from the regional. The regional winner does not automatically go forward into the national round. Until 2019 the way magazines were chosen and judged were opaque. Since 2019 any branch can nominate their magazine into the national competition. The address and deadline is given in the CAMRA memo below. However, we still do not know the identities of the national judges.
How is the national competition judged ?
Here is a comment from Lynn Atack (NE) on the actual judging
We start with the things outlined in the Toolkit. The problem for the judges is that the quality of magazines has really improved over the years, there are so many good magazines it is not an easy task to choose between them. I suppose it is just a feel you get for a magazine once you have read it. It is very hard to quantify.
There will be 5 judges this year, and every judge sees every magazine. Last year was the first time I had been a judge, and it was good that we all came to more or less the same conclusions, no big arguments luckily.
So stick to what is recommended in the Toolkit and that should serve you well. I suppose after that, it is just a piece of je ne sais quoi.
The national winners are announced and awarded at the members' weekend, usually in mid April
To enter your magazine to the national competition send one copy of one issue to the address quoted in the CAMRA memo below