2014 Pushcart Prize Ranking of Literary Magazines — Fiction

cover_2014It is time once again to present the annual Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Rankings for Literary Magazines. I’ll be rolling these out over the next three days, beginning with the Fiction ranking, which is below. (2014 Nonfiction Rankings appear here. Poetry rankings are here.)

If you find these lists useful, please make a donation by clicking on the link below. Or—even better—buy one of my books (from any source you like, including Amazon.com: In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know).

For comparison purposes, see the 2013 Fiction rankings here.

I feel compelled every year to offer a disclaimer for the list. I originally created it in order to aid my own efforts at targeting my submissions of short stories to literary magazines. I used the Pushcart Prize because I felt that it represented the broadest range of magazines among the annual prizes (including Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Awards).

My method is straightforward. I use a ten-year rolling database and give points to magazines for the prizes awarded and fewer points for each special mention. I don’t go further back than ten years because it seems to me that what is relevant is the current success of the magazines, not their storied past. Also, the further back we go, the more defunct magazines we find, and that’s not terribly helpful. Some have argued that a five-year period should be chosen instead. That seems too small a sample. When only 19 or 20 prizes are awarded in fiction each year (even fewer this year), I think ten years provides a clearer picture of a magazine’s success.

Some people don’t like rankings at all, and I understand that. This ranking, however, is as objective as I can make it. The Pushcart Prize itself is subjective, of course, but that’s an entirely different question.

A note on symbols. I have marked magazines that I believe to have ceased publication with ©. Several magazines have a (?) by their name which means I can’t find a website for them. Please leave any corrections or updates in the comments and I’ll make changes as soon as I can.

What is notable about this year’s list? Here are some observations:

  • The gap between Ploughshares and the rest of the pack has closed a bit.
  • Gettysburg Review, Narrative, Iowa Review, Paris Review and Noon all made big jumps this year, winning 2 Prizes each.
  • Triquarterly and Shenandoah both continue to drop. Is this more punishment for their move online?
  • Granta debuts on the list, winning its first Pushcart Prize. How is that possible?

If you find this list useful, consider making a donation to help support this website. Thank you.


Fiction Rankings for 2014:

 

2014

Magazine

2014 Score

1

Ploughshares

81

2

Conjunctions

71

3

Tin House

65

4

Southern Review

63

5

One Story

59

6

Paris Review

54

7

Zoetrope: All Story

51

8

A Public Space

49

9

Threepenny Review

48

10

Kenyon Review

47

11

Georgia Review

44

12

Noon

41

13

McSweeney’s

40

14

Gettysburg Review

38

15

New England Review

36

16

Missouri Review

35

17

Ontario Review ©

31

18

Iowa Review

30

18

New Letters

30

18

Virginia Quarterly Review

30

21

Agni

29

22

Boulevard

28

23

Shenandoah

27

24

Epoch

26

25

American Short Fiction

23

25

Antioch Review

23

25

Sun

23

28

Narrative

22

29

Ecotone

21

29

Five Points

21

29

Mississippi Review

21

32

Bellevue Literary Review

20

32

StoryQuarterly

20

32

TriQuarterly

20

32

Witness

20

36

Colorado Review

19

36

Glimmer Train

19

38

Prairie Schooner

16

39

Hudson Review

15

39

Michigan Quarterly Review

15

41

ZYZZYVA

14

42

Crazyhorse

13

42

Yale Review

13

44

Willow Springs

12

45

Alaska Quarterly Review

11

45

American Scholar

11

45

Idaho Review

11

48

Cincinnati Review

10

48

Third Coast

10

50

Image

9

50

Oxford American

9

52

Post Road

8

53

Chelsea ©

7

53

J Journal

7

53

Little Star

7

53

Manoa

7

53

Pen America

7

53

Speakeasy ©

7

59

Florida Review

6

59

Indiana Review

6

59

Massachusetts Review

6

59

New Orleans Review

6

59

News from the Republic of Letters

6

59

Sonora Review

6

59

Water-Stone Review

6

66

Black Renaissance Noire

5

66

Caribbean Writer

5

66

Harvard Review

5

66

Mid American Review

5

66

Pinch

5

66

Pleiades

5

66

Raritan

5

66

Salmagundi

5

66

Univ. of Georgia Press

5

66

Wigleaf

5

66

Granta

5

77

Beloit Fiction

4

77

Black Warrior Review

4

77

Fiction

4

77

Fiction International

4

77

Hopkins Review

4

77

New York Tyrant

4

77

Ninth Letter

4

77

North American Review

4

77

Sewanee Review

4

77

Southwest Review

4

87

Another Chicago Magazine

3

87

Appalachian Heritage

3

87

BkMk Press

3

87

Blackbird

3

87

Event

3

87

Fourteen Hills

3

87

Gulf Coast

3

87

Northwest Review

3

87

Notre Dame Review

3

87

Other Voices ©

3

87

River Styx

3

87

Western Humanities Review

3

99

[sic]

2

99

Akashic Books

2

99

American Letters & Commentary

2

99

At Length

2

99

Boston Review

2

99

Briar Cliff Review

2

99

Brooklyn Rail

2

99

Brooklyn Review

2

99

Calyx

2

99

Carve

2

99

Chautauqua

2

99

Cimarron Review

2

99

Columbia Review

2

99

Confrontation

2

99

Crab Orchard Review

2

99

Daedalus

2

99

Electric Literature

2

99

failbetter.com

2

99

Faultline

2

99

Fifth Wednesday

2

99

Inkwell

2

99

Paper Street © (?)

2

99

Passages North

2

99

Press 53

2

99

Redivider

2

99

Southampton Review

2

99

Sou’wester

2

99

The Journal

2

99

Timber Creek Review (?)

2

99

Turnrow

2

99

West Branch

2

99

Recommended Reading

2

131

Amazon Shorts ©

1

131

American Literary Review

1

131

Anomalous

1

131

Antietam Review ©

1

131

Artful Dodge

1

131

Arts & Letters

1

131

Ballyhoo Stories

1

131

Baltimore Review

1

131

Bamboo Ridge

1

131

Bellingham Review

1

131

Blue Earth Review

1

131

Blue Mesa Review

1

131

Bomb

1

131

Brain, Child

1

131

Callaloo

1

131

Carpe Articulum

1

131

Chariton Review

1

131

Chattahoochee Review

1

131

Common, The

1

131

Contemporary West

1

131

Copper Nickel

1

131

Cutbank

1

131

Dalkey Archive Press

1

131

Descant

1

131

Dogwood

1

131

Dos Passos Review

1

131

Dossier Journal

1

131

Doubletake ©

1

131

Eggemoggin Reach Review (?)

1

131

Epiphany

1

131

EWU Press ©

1

131

Exile

1

131

Five Chapters

1

131

Folio

1

131

Freight Stories

1

131

Fugue

1

131

Gray’s Sporting Journal

1

131

Graywolf Press

1

131

Grist

1

131

Hampton Shorts (?)

1

131

Healing Muse

1

131

Hotel Amerika

1

131

Hunger Mountain

1

131

Isotope ©

1

131

Jabberwock Review

1

131

Kelsey Review

1

131

King’s English ©

1

131

Kyoto Journal

1

131

Lake Effect

1

131

Laughing Fire Press

1

131

Laurel Review

1

131

Lit

1

131

Lynx Eye ©

1

131

Maggid ©

1

131

Margin (?)

1

131

McSweeney’s Books

1

131

Minnesota Review

1

131

Momotombo Press

1

131

Mythium

1

131

Nebraska Review ©

1

131

Nerve.com

1

131

New Ohio Review

1

131

Night Train

1

131

Nimrod

1

131

Open City

1

131

Orion

1

131

Pearl

1

131

Pegasus Books

1

131

Per Contra

1

131

Phoebe

1

131

Prism

1

131

Puckerbush Press ©

1

131

Puerto del Sol

1

131

Quarter After Eight

1

131

Quarterly West

1

131

Quick Fiction ©

1

131

RBS Gazette (?)

1

131

Relief

1

131

Rivendell ©

1

131

Rosebud

1

131

Salamander

1

131

Sarabande Books

1

131

Seems

1

131

Slice

1

131

Smoke Long Quarterly

1

131

Soft Skull Press

1

131

South Carolina Review

1

131

Southern California Review

1

131

Spork

1

131

Stolen Time Press (?)

1

131

Stone Canoe

1

131

Subtropics

1

131

Sycamore Review

1

131

Texas Review

1

131

Tiferet

1

131

Transformation (?)

1

131

Underground Voices

1

131

Upstreet

1

131

War, Literature and The Arts

1

131

Words of Wisdom (?)

1

131

World Literature Today

1

131

Crab Creek Review

1

131

Normal School

1

131

Salt Hill

1

131

Kweli

1

131

Enizagram

1

131

John Daniel & Co.

1

131

Little Fiction

1

131

Pear Noir

1

131

n+1

1

131

Consequence Magazine

1

131

Outpost 19

1

131

Asian American Literary Review

1

131

North Carolina Literary Review

1

131

Collagist

1

131

Austin State University Press

1

 

17 thoughts on “2014 Pushcart Prize Ranking of Literary Magazines — Fiction

  1. Pingback: 2013 Pushcart Prize Ranking of Literary Magazines — Fiction | Clifford Garstang

  2. Pingback: 2014 Pushcart Prize Ranking of Literary Magazines — Poetry | Clifford Garstang

  3. Pingback: 2014 Pushcart Prize Ranking of Literary Magazines — Nonfiction | Clifford Garstang

    • Although the magazine ceased publication, Maggid Books, an imprint of Toby Press, which published the magazine, appears to continue. I’m not sure the distinction between the magazine and the imprint is important. Nonetheless, I’ll add a note that the journal has ceased publication.

  4. Absolutely fantastic resource!

    I have a question I’m not sure there’s a good answer to. The top fifty places or so seem well-sorted with the great magazines followed by some really good ones. But past fifty, where journals are getting less than 10 points and there are a lot of ties, things seem more hazy.

    Without singling out magazines for negative attention, there are journals like Granta and Black Warrior Review (which I’ve seen cited as excellent up-and-comers in interviews and blogs) alongside some journals that seem a little less, um, shall we say, prestigious, often paying nothing and sometimes even charging for submissions. Then near the bottom you have New Ohio Review which pays reasonably well (though I understand that isn’t necessarily related to quality editorial decisions).

    So, my question is, to people who may know better, just how accurate is this list at the bottom end in terms of ranking the prestige of these journals among editors, agents, and other literati? Again, without picking on any journals, would it be better to take the rankings at face value or to research the journals below the top 50, skipping a fair number altogether, prioritizing a few that seem to deserve a better ranking, and leaving the remainder where they stand?

    • Please keep in mind what this list is–it is purely a ranking by the number of Pushcart Prizes and Special Mentions received over the last 10 years. It is, therefore, as objective as I can make it. It doesn’t measure prestige (which is subjective and, perhaps, illusory), payment, circulation, or other factors. So the list is perfectly accurate for what it is, but it’s nothing more than what it purports. You might be interested in rankings that incorporate these other factors, but most don’t go beyond the top end of the list.

  5. Northwestern pushed out the storied editor of TriQuarterly a few years ago and put the journal into the hands of graduate students, to save money. That’s the reason its ranking has fallen. It’s a different magazine now.

    Thank you for creating your lists! I find it incredibly useful.

  6. This is an amazing resource. I’m just starting my writing career and was overwhelmed trying to work out which of the 1200+ literary journals I should put in my sites. Thanks for helping communicate the lay of the literary journal land!

    PS I think the Ontario Review link is pointing to the wrong site – this is the correct link: http://www.usfca.edu/jco/ontarioreview/

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