Maggies shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Maggies Awards (for The Best Magazine Covers Of The Last Year) has been announced. There are 30 titles across 6 categories. Now it is for the nation to decide ...

A naked Beth Ditto on Love fights it out with Angelina Jolie looking out from SHE. David Beckham wears a trilby at a jaunty angle for GQ, while a bald Jade Goody sells her wedding day to OK!  Remember the First World War with BBC History or celebrate the new US President with Time and Esquire. These are just some of the striking images from the last year of magazine covers which have been shortlisted for The Maggies covers poll and which will see titles like Harper’s BAZAAR lined up against Bob the Builder and Four Four Two.

The judging panel had a really difficult day whittling the large pool of nominated titles to just 30 across 6 categories.  Now it is over to the UK magazine reading public to vote for their favourites over the next four weeks as the voting website goes live at

What the judges thought…

PETER JACKSON, twice voted “Magazine Editor of the Year” and a leading magazine creative consultant.

“The front cover is the single most important advertisement for any magazine. It is essentially a recruitment poster and in winning new readers in a fiercely competitive market it has to achieve a balance between good design and bare-faced selling.  The shortlisted titles exemplify so much about what is good about UK magazine covers currently.  Yet it is passion for their editorial that shines through this shortlist.”

LINDA LUSARDI, Supporter of the Rays of Sunshine charity and star of Emmerdale and Dancing on Ice.

Linda knows what its like to grace the covers of magazines both as a model and now an actress. She has a great love of photography and now also runs her own creative photographic agency, standing on the other side of the camera. Linda said, "I was really impressed by the thought and creativity which has gone into so much of the cover photography of the shortlisted titles, even on some of the smaller and more specialist magazines. The whole judging process was a real insight for me.”

STEVE BARRETT, Editor of Media Week.

“There has been a lot of doom and gloom about magazines recently, but the medium is remarkably resilient and the quality of these shortlisted covers demonstrates the variety, creativity and targeting that lie behind a successful title. Some of these covers are inspirational. The Maggies are a showcase for an industry regaining its self-confidence after a tough time.”

TOBY ANSTIS, Supporter of Rays of Sunshine and currently fronting his primetime radio show on Heart FM.

“It is my job to deliver radio content to very clearly defined audiences at different times of the day, so to see from the inside how another medium packages itself for the consumer is really fascinating.  The shopper standing in a newsagent simply has no idea of the work that has gone into a magazine cover in order to grab their attention.  And a publisher has only a few seconds to win them over and make a sale.  That seems pretty scary to me!”  


“Browsing through magazine covers and digital editions of those magazines is part of the experience we are giving consumers who visit our site.  Whether you are looking at the cover on your computer screen or flicking through the physical copy at a newsagent, it is the cover that finally sells the title.  The creativity that we’ve seen in the shortlisted titles gives me great confidence for the future of the magazine medium.”

MELANIE BURFITT, Chief Executive of Rays of Sunshine.

“It was a fascinating insight for me personally to see how magazine sell themselves to the consumer.  With around 3,000 titles to choose from, the impact of the cover is central to the success of the magazine brands that most of us just take for granted.”

JIM BILTON, Managing Director of Wessenden Marketing and Chairman of the Judges.

“Every member of the judging panel has their own favourite cover.  My personal tip for a long bet is Profi International, all about tractors and farm machinery - the cover just does what it says on the tin!  Yet what we as judges think now counts for nothing as the shortlist goes to the public vote. And ultimately it is always the reader who decides which titles succeed or fail.”

The short list consists of:


Esquire (November 2008)

Glamour (September 2008)

GQ (December 2008)

Harper’s BAZAAR (September 2008)

Love (February 2009)


Clash (April 2009)

Good Housekeeping (November 2009)

Prima Baby & Pregnancy (June 2009)

Red (December 2008)

SHE (July 2009)

Celebrity & Entertainment                  

Bass Guitar Magazine (April 2009)

Esquire (February 2009)

OK! (March 2009)

Q (April 2009)

Radio Times (December 2008/Jan 2009)

Sports & Men’s         

Four Four Two (June 2009)

Huck (June 2009)

Muscle & Fitness (August 2009)

Rugby World (December 2008)

Tennis Life (March 2009)

Specialist & Hobbies

BBC History (November 2008)

Bob the Builder (January/February 2009)

Creative Steps (January/February 2009)

Empire (June 2009)

Songlines (January/February 2009)

Business & General Interest

Geographical (January 2009)

Isquared (Spring 2009)

Newsweek (November 2008)

Profi International Tractors & Farm Machinery (June 09)

Time (December 2008)

The overall winner and individual category winners will be announced on 13 October.

About The Maggies

iSUBSCRiBE says: “The Maggies is a national poll to celebrate and award the best magazine covers of the past year. The inaugural awards are voted for by the public via and is an initiative of iSUBSCRiBE, the UK’s leading magazine and newspaper subscription site.

The call for nominations opened in August, after which a panel of celebrity judges, including twice-voted ‘Magazine Editor of the Year’ Peter Jackson, Dancing on Ice’s Linda Lusardi and Heart Radio DJ Toby Anstis, narrowed down the covers into a short list.

The covers were then put to a public vote to award an overall winner and individual category winners.  The categories include Celebrity & Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle, Sports & Men’s, Business, News & Current Affairs, Specialist & Hobbies and Trade.

The public are encouraged to vote for their favourite magazine cover with a reward of a £2.50 iSUBSCRiBE gift voucher – a stark contrast to other public polls, in which participants pay to vote. The voucher may be redeemed against iSUBSCRiBE’s range of over 1,200 magazine and newspaper subscriptions. In addition, £1 from every subscription sold using the iSUBSCRiBE gift vouchers will be donated by iSUBSCRiBE to charity, Rays of Sunshine.”


iSUBSCRiBE says: “iSUBSCRiBE is the UK’s leading and most comprehensive online magazine and newspaper subscription provider. Trading since 2004, iSUBSCRiBE also has market leading operations in Australia and New Zealand.

Representing over 340 publishers and with over 1,200 consumer, business and specialist magazine titles as well as newspapers, iSUBSCRiBE covers every genre from lifestyle and fashion, news and entertainment to science and sport.”

About Rays Of Sunshine

Rays Of Sunshine says: “Rays Of Sunshine is a leading children’s charity that grants the wishes of children in the UK who are living with serious or life-threatening illnesses. The charity works hard to make dreams come true for the children and their families by granting all manner of wishes, from meeting their favourite celebrity to designing their own brand of sports trainers. Rays Of Sunshine is a fantastic cause to support – help them to put a smile on the faces of countless deserving children today.”