One of the most popular features of this blog is the ranking of literary magazines based on the number of Pushcart Prizes and Special Mentions the magazines have won over the last ten years. I originally created the list several years ago as a guide for my own submissions of short fiction. I wanted a relatively objective assessment of the “best” magazines, and this was what I came up with. I have updated the Fiction list each year since then as soon as the new Pushcart anthology came out in December. For 2012 I added companion lists–one for Nonfiction and one for Poetry.
Over the years, some have been critical of the lists, or of lists in general. I can only repeat that the lists seem to me to be a simple, relatively objective measure of consistent quality of magazines. I’m aware that it favors magazines that have been around for the full ten years that the ranking covers, but I don’t think that detracts from the list. Newer magazines climb up the list and build their reputations. That’s as it should be, it seems to me. Pushcart has for several years been criticized for discriminating against online magazines. The preference for the printed (on paper) word has at times been explicitly stated by the editor. This, I think, is a serious flaw in the Pushcart Prize and, therefore, the rankings based on them. I think change in this regard is inevitable. Online magazines have made some inroads in the annual volume. I expect this will accelerate and the problem will correct itself. We shall see. In the meantime, for those of us who submit work to online journals–some of which are excellent–we have to look elsewhere for measures of quality.
For now, I hope these lists are of some value to writers. If they are, please consider making a donation via the Donate button in the sidebar at right. Thank you.
Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Literary Magazine Ranking–Fiction (2012)
Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Literary Magazine Ranking–Nonfiction (2012)
Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Literary Magazine Ranking–Poetry (2012)