It is once again time for my annual ranking of literary magazines. Here are links to each of the lists, with a summary of my methodology and observations below.
I first began doing these rankings several years ago as an aid for my own submission process. I wanted to submit my work within tiers of magazines, so that I wouldn’t find myself having to choose between an excellent magazine and a lesser one. When I shared the list on my blog, it was immediately very popular. I updated it each year and later expanded it to cover Nonfiction and Poetry, as well.
The lists are as objective as I can make them. They are based solely on the number of Pushcart Prizes and Special Mentions a magazine has received over a rolling 10-year period in each genre. (In updating the list this year I dropped 2006 and added 2016 prizes and special mentions.) I don’t take into consideration readership, contributor payment, or any other factor. Granted, the Pushcart Prize itself is not objective, but it seems to me to be the most democratic of the annual anthologies because its nomination process is somewhat transparent. Also, the Prizes have an apparent bias against online magazines, although that continues to erode, as you’ll see from this year’s list. There are some fine online and hybrid magazines included here.
No method of ranking is perfect, but I hope you will find these lists useful. I have attempted to check all the links, but if you find one that is broken or have information about a closed magazine (which I indicate with a copyright symbol for “closed”), please leave a comment here or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do find the lists useful, consider making a donation using the link below, or maybe buying one of my books, which you’ll find here: Clifford Garstang on Amazon.com.