REALM Eligibility and 2023 Application - National Council of Teachers of English



  • This student literary magazine program is open to all middle and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, throughout the United States, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad. Schools must be US accredited to enter.
  • Magazines submitted must have been published between September of the previous year and June of the entry year.
  • Electronic/online entries are expected. PDFs, Google links, website links, or third party platform links are accepted. (As of 2020, we are no longer able to accept physical copies through the mail. Please email if you need assistance with the digital process.)
  • Schools may submit only one issue of a school’s magazine. If a school submits more than one magazine, only one will be reviewed and the other(s) returned.
  • Elementary magazines are accepted but will be judged by the middle school rubric.
  • Newspapers and yearbooks are not eligible.
  • Plagiarism is not acceptable and will disqualify a magazine.
  • Digital versions are accepted and welcomed.


Award Specifics:


To Enter:

Entries will be accepted until July 31.

  1. All applicants must complete the online application form which includes uploading an electronic copy of your magazine.
  2. Submit the $25 entry fee.
  • You may pay by credit card online. Details will be in the submission form.
  • Pay by check. An invoice and with details for next steps will be emailed within a few days of submitting your form.
  • We are waiving the entry fee for first-time submissions. Please indicate if this is the first time your school is applying on the application form.

JUDGING. National judges complete the first round of judging. Judging is based on a point system. The total points awarded to magazines determine placement in one of the following categories:

            • REALM First Class (93-100 points)
            • Superior (86-92 points)
            • Excellent (71-85 points)
            • Merit (70 or fewer points)


REALM First Class – Magazines scoring 93-100 points and recommended by the state and national judges for REALM First Class will be judged by REALM Advisory Committee at the NCTE Annual Convention. The REALM Advisory Committee determines if a magazine merits the honor of REALM First Class.

Judging is confidential. Critiques of individual magazines are not provided. Scores of the magazines will not be released.

**Updated spring 2023** Evaluation Guide for High School Magazine Judges

**Updated spring 2023** Evaluation Guide for Middle School Magazine Judges

Evaluation Guide for College and University Magazine Judges


Results are announced in January and posted on the NCTE website. Schools receive a certificate denoting their award, which is sent to the advisor of the school’s literary magazine. In addition, the names of the student editors, literary advisor, and school appear on the NCTE website.


NCTE would like to thank all who volunteered to judge middle school, high school and college/university literary magazines. We appreciate your dedication to students all over the world and your colleagues.

Email for information on judging, or with any questions about this award.

2023 REALM Application

  • General Information

    The person completing and submitting this application must be 18 years or older. For high school and middle school magazines, this application must be completed and submitted by a school faculty member.
  • Note: For college/university level magazines, "Teacher" refers to whomever is submitting the magazine and can refer to the editor. "Co-Teachers" refer to any co-editors or students who should also be notified of updates to the submission.
  • Please separate names with a comma.
  • Please separate email addresses with a comma.
  • If applicable and different from the submitting teacher. Please separate names with a comma.
  • Please separate names with a comma.
  • School Details

  • Please enter "00000" if applying from outside of the United States.
  • Magazine Submission

  • Feel free to share comments here on special aspects of your magazine, your students, or aspects of production that might be of interest to the judges.
  • Please upload your submission here.
    Max. file size: 100 MB.
  • If you cannot upload a file due to magazine size, please include a link to your magazine in the box below. If you cannot upload your PDF for any reason and do not have a link, please email
  • Please provide the names and email addresses of anyone NCTE should alert when the contest results are announced. These may be administrators, school district press offices, local press, etc.
  • This would allow for teachers seeking advice on outstanding magazines or local media to reach out to you directly.
  • All judges are assigned submissions from outside of their state/province. Judges choose how many submissions they would like to score, and have several months to complete their evaluations.
  • Payment Details

  • Click here to pay by credit card.