2012 Pushcart Prize Ranking — Fiction

Note: this post originally appeared on November 10, 2011 on the old Perpetual Folly site.

It is that time of year again. My copy of the 2012 Pushcart Prize Anthology arrived in the mail yesterday and I have been updating the rankings. I will start with the list for Fiction. The updated Non-fiction list is 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 award 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, 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 in the comments.

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

  • Ploughshares maintains a sizable lead
  • Tin House moves into 2nd place, jumping over Conjunctions and Zoetrope, which are tied for 3rd
  • Georgia Review, on top of the charts for non-fiction, climbs 5 spots to #6, and Paris Review falls into a tie for 9th with the defunct Ontario Review, while Epoch drops out of the top ten.
  • Both One Story and A Public Space make big moves up on the back of a double win for each (matched by Georgia Review)

 

So, here is the list:

 

Pushcart Prize Ranking (Fiction) for 2012

 

2012

Magazine

2012 Score

1

103

2

74

3

72

3

72

5

63

6

54

7

50

8

48

9

46

9

46

11

45

12

42

12

42

14

41

15

40

16

34

16

34

18

33

19

30

19

30

19

30

19

30

23

29

23

29

25

28

26

27

27

23

28

22

28

Sun

22

30

21

30

21

32

20

33

19

34

18

35

17

36

16

37

15

38

14

39

13

39

13

39

13

39

13

43

11

43

11

43

11

43

11

43

11

48

10

48

10

50

9

50

9

50

9

50

9

54

8

54

8

54

8

57

7

57

7

57

Speakeasy ©

7

57

7

61

6

61

6

61

6

61

6

61

6

61

6

61

6

61

6

69

5

69

Bridge ©

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

69

5

80

4

80

4

80

4

80

4

80

4

80

4

80

4

80

4

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

88

3

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

2

101

Timber Creek Review (?)

2

101

2

134

Amazon Shorts ©

1

134

Antietam Review ©

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Canio’s Editions (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Eggemoggin Reach Review (?)

1

134

1

134

EWU Press ©

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Hampton Shorts (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Lit

1

134

1

134

Lynx Eye ©

1

134

1

134

Margin (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Nebraska Review ©

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Northern Lights (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

RBS Gazette (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Small Town (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Stolen Time Press (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Transformation (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

Words of Wisdom (?)

1

134

1

134

Xconnect (?)

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

134

1

4 thoughts on “2012 Pushcart Prize Ranking — Fiction”

  1. Just so you know, the rankings, which are highly appreciated by the way, are much more difficult to find on the new website. You can’t designate the pages as Favorites on your browser because the only address that shows up is http://perpetualfolly.com, and there don’t appear to be any links for them on the main page. You have to do a search to pull them up. Anyway, thanks so much for all your work!

  2. Hi, Caralyn, thanks for your comment. I’m still making improvements to the new blog, but there are already some solutions to the problems you mention. First, in WordPress there’s something called a permalink, and you can click on that at the bottom of each post. For this list, it’s https://cliffordgarstang.com/?p=2945. And second, on the navigation bar at the top of the page, you’ll see that there are some subpages under “Blog”–that takes you directly to the Literary Magazine Rankings.

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