> That’s “List” as in a series of names or other items and “List” as in an area of combat (especially jousting tournaments). There’s been a controversy over the last couple of days over the appearance of a new litmag ranking. See, if you’re interested, the Faster Times’ Literary Magazine Ranking. If you do go there, you’ll see that the creator generously nodded in the direction of my own ranking, which has been around for five years now: the Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Ranking. He then goes on to explain his own system for the rankings that follow, which are divided into tiers. (My rankings don’t include the slicks, but if I were to go subjective and put those magazines on the list, I’d put Atlantic and probably Playboy up there with New Yorker and Harper’s. These are mega-credits, and very desirable.)
Some people, though, aren’t thrilled with what Faster Times has done. Scott Garson, for example, explains his “contempt” here. But then Scott also admits he doesn’t “love” my ranking either.
Here’s the problem with lists. They’re incomplete. My list, for example, only deals with magazines that have won a Pushcart Prize or Special Mention in the last decade. Which means that there are hundreds of magazines not on the list because, for better or worse, Pushcart doesn’t capture a lot of online magazines. Hardly any, in fact. So there are some fine online magazines that aren’t on my list. It’s hard to be sure that a print magazine that has earned one point on my list–and so is tied for last place–is better than an online magazine that hasn’t yet been recognized by the Pushcart folks. So my list is far from perfect. It’s a tool, that’s all. I don’t yet have a tool to help me with online magazine submissions — so far I just submit to the places I like. Probably that’s not a bad approach.