It won’t be long now! As many people know, I prepare an annual ranking of literary magazines based on the Pushcart Prizes over a rolling ten-year period. The new volume (Pushcart Prizes 2021) should be arriving in my mailbox this week, so by the end of the week, I should have an updated list for use in the coming year.
The rankings are based on a formula that takes into account all of the Pushcart Prizes and special mentions that literary magazines and small presses have received in the past ten years, which means the list gets updated with new information each December. (More weight is given to prizes received in the last five years, which is a benefit to newer magazines.)
I first created the lists–separated by fiction, poetry, and nonfiction–about fifteen years ago when I was attempting to guide my own magazine submissions in a tiering process. I wanted to start with the “best” magazines and work my way down. After much thought, I concluded that the Pushcart Prize was the best proxy available for what was the “best”. Others may disagree, but my view on this hasn’t changed.
Be sure to check back later this week to see the new rankings! (In the meantime, the 2020 rankings are here.)