Monday, December 10, 2007

2008 Pushcart Prize Rankings

The 2008 Edition of the Pushcart Prize (Best of the Small Presses) Anthology arrived while I was away and I was keen to dig into it to update my analysis of the most successful literary magazines in terms of Pushcart Prizes and Special Mentions won since 2000. A few words of explanation are in order. First, I'm only looking at Fiction, because that's what I write primarily. The Anthology also recognizes poetry and non-fiction, and it would be interesting to do a similar analysis in those genres, but I'll leave that to someone else. Second, I'm only looking at recognition since 2000 on the theory that information about the more recent awards is what is most useful to writers who are submitting to these magazines. The Pushcarts have been around for 32 years, but I'm not sure it's relevant who won the prizes in the 1980s. Third, I look at both Prizes awarded and Special Mentions, because there are only 19 or so fiction Pushcarts each year but about 100 Special Mentions and I think there's a pretty fine line separating them. In my formula I do give more points, though, for Prizes. I've been thinking of adjusting the formula but for now it's the same as it has been in past years. All magazines with just 1 special mention are lumped together as #112.

There are many newcomers to the list this year. A Public Space, which has only been around for a few years, won 2 Prizes and a Special Mention. Sonora won one of each. Shenandoah was tops among Special Mentions with 5. Ploughshares is still at the top of the list but their lead shrank a little as they only won one Prize and had zero Special Mentions in fiction.

One final word: What good is this list anyway? I'm a fan of the Pushcart Prize Anthology and I happen to think that it is a good indicator of magazine quality. It isn't perfect, and it doesn't mean a whole lot, frankly, but when I'm making my decisions of where I want to submit, I look at this list and aim as high as is realistically possible.

The list:

Magazine current score (2008)

1 Ploughshares 110
2 Zoetrope: All Story 68
3 Paris Review 66
4 Conjunctions 64
5 Southern Review 60
6 Ontario Review 48
6 Threepenny Review 48
8 Tin House 47
9 Georgia Review 45
10 Epoch 41
10 TriQuarterly 41
12 New England Review 39
13 Witness 37
14 Missouri Review 32
15 Five Points 30
16 McSweeney's 28
17 Kenyon Review 27
18 Shenandoah 26
19 Gettysburg Review 23
20 StoryQuarterly 22
21 Agni 21
21 Antioch Review 21
21 Chelsea 21
23 Doubletake 19
23 Idaho Review 19
25 Boulevard 18
25 Oxford American 18
27 Noon 17
28 Mississippi Review 15
28 Third Coast 15
28 Virginia Quarterly Review 15
31 Iowa Review 14
31 ZYZZYVA 14
33 Willow Spring 13
34 A Public Space 11
34 Glimmer Train 11
34 Harvard Review 11
34 Hudson Review 11
34 Manoa 11
34 New Letters 11
34 News from the Republic of Letters 11
34 Salmagundi 11
42 Alaska Quarterly Review 9
42 Pleiades 9
42 Prairie Schooner 9
45 Colorado Review 8
45 Crazyhorse 8
45 North American Review 8
45 One Story 8
45 Yale Review 8
50 Boston Review 7
50 Fence 7
50 Graywolf 7
50 Michigan Quarterly Review 7
50 Speakeasy 7
55 Bellevue Literary Review 6
55 Bomb 6
55 Calyx 6
55 Image 6
55 New Orleans Review 6
55 Sonora Review 6
55 Southwest Review 6
55 Story 6
55 Sun 6
64 American Scholar 5
64 Another Chicago Magazine 5
64 Black Warrior Review 5
64 Bridge 5
64 Caribbean Writer 5
64 Coffee House Press 5
64 Dalkey Archive Press 5
64 Fiction International 5
64 Grand Street 5
64 Milkweed 5
64 Other Voices 5
64 Parkett 5
64 Univ. of Georgia Press 5
77 Cincinnati Review 4
77 Daedalus 4
77 Gulf Coast 4
77 Massachusetts Review 4
77 Mid American Review 4
77 Nebraska Review 4
84 Bamboo Ridge 3
84 failbetter.com 3
84 Indiana Review 3
84 Literal Latte 3
84 Northwest Review 3
84 Post Road 3
84 University Press of New England 3
84 Water-Stone 3
91 American Fiction 2
91 American Letters & Commentary 2
91 American Literary Review 2
91 American Voice 2
91 Beloit Fiction 2
91 Briar Cliff Review 2
91 Columbia Review 2
91 Event 2
91 Green Mountains Review 2
91 Lit 2
91 Meridian 2
91 Natural Bridge 2
91 Ninth Letter 2
91 Open City 2
91 Paper Street 2
91 Raritan 2
91 Pinch 2
91 Turnrow 2
91 West Branch 2
91 Western Humanities Review 2
112 Antietam Review 1
112 APA Journal 1
112 Art and Understanding 1
112 Artful Dodge 1
112 Ascent 1
112 At Length 1
112 Bellingham Review 1
112 BkMk Press 1
112 Blackbird 1
112 Brain, Child 1
112 Canio's Editions 1
112 Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press 1
112 Clackamas Literary Review 1
112 Confrontation 1
112 Contemporary West 1
112 Crab Orchard Review 1
112 Denver Quarterly 1
112 Descant 1
112 Dos Passos Review 1
112 Eggemoggin Reach Review 1
112 EWUP 1
112 Flyway 1
112 Fourteen Hills 1
112 Frank 1
112 Fugue 1
112 Hampton Shorts 1
112 Happy 1
112 Heart 1
112 Helicon Nine Editions 1
112 High Plains Literary Review 1
112 Hotel Amerika 1
112 Hunger Mountain 1
112 Inkwell 1
112 Iron Horse Literary Review 1
112 Joe 1
112 Kyoto Journal 1
112 Larcom Review 1
112 Laurel Review 1
112 Lilth 1
112 Louisville Review 1
112 Lynx Eye 1
112 Margin 1
112 McSweeney's Books 1
112 Mid-List 1
112 Minnesota Review 1
112 Nerve.com 1
112 New Renaissance 1
112 Night Train 1
112 North Atlantic Review 1
112 Northern Lights 1
112 Oasis 1
112 Partisan Review 1
112 Passages North 1
112 Pearl 1
112 Phoebe 1
112 Pindeldyboz 1
112 Press 1
112 Puckerbush Press 1
112 Puerto del Sol 1
112 Quarterly West 1
112 Quick Fiction 1
112 RBS Gazette 1
112 River Styx 1
112 Sarabande 1
112 [sic] 1
112 Small Town 1
112 SMU Press 1
112 Soft Skull Press 1
112 Sou'wester 1
112 Tampa Review 1
112 Tiferet 1
112 Timber Creek Review 1
112 Two Girls Review 1
112 Underground Voices 1
112 University of Pittsburgh Press 1
112 War, Literature and The Arts 1
112 West Wind 1
112 Worcester 1
112 Words of Wisdom 1
112 WordWrights 1
112 Xconnect 1
112 Healing Muse 1
112 Carve 1
112 Quarter After Eight 1
112 Amazon Shorts 1
112 Lake Effect 1
112 Ballyhoo Stories 1
112 Seems 1
112 Spork 1
112 Per Contra 1
112 Stolen Time Press 1
112 Sycamore Review 1
112 Faultline 1
112 Cutbank 1
112 Sewanee Review 1
112 Transformation 1
112 South Carolina Review 1
112 Baltimore Review 1
112 Subtropics 1
112 Redivider 1
112 Salamander 1
112 Prism 1
112 Chautauqua 1

18 comments:

RAC said...

Thank you, Mr. Garstang, for your very comprehensive listing!

bevjackson said...

This is great, Cliff! Thanks for your hard work!!

seth said...

Cliff, thanks for putting this together again. This is an amazingly helpful list. Will you post the total score for each publication as well, as you did the last couple years? Would be great to be able to see these again this year if you get a chance. Thanks!

Clifford Garstang said...

Glad it's useful, Seth. I tried to include the scores but was having trouble loading it that way. I'll try again, though, as I agree that may also be helpful.

Jade Park said...

In my weird way, I look forward to this list every year...I know numbers don't really belong in the art game, but somehow, I still appreciate examining things from this angle. Thank you for putting in the work for all of us to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI for next year's list, The Ontario Review has ceased publication.

Jamie Ford said...

Thanks for putting this list together!

Clifford Garstang said...

Jamie,
Thanks for visiting and I hope the list is useful. I see you've got a novel coming out. Congratulations!
Cliff Garstang

Anonymous said...

Every writer I know at UWM uses this poll as a reference when deciding on target markets for submissions... we can't thank you enough for putting it together!

Clifford Garstang said...

You're welcome! I like doing it. The new volume should be out in a couple of months and I'll have the 2009 update posted shortly thereafter.

Avida Novitatis said...

This is wonderful! What a great idea and a helpful contribution to the writing community ...

You know, though, it might be even more helpful if someone could do a combined ranking/index based on a combination of "Best American Short Stories" with the Pushcart Prizes. Or are you not a fan of Best American? Am I a heretic for suggesting an amalgam of the two in rankings?

Of course, it's easy to suggest work for other people to do ... :)

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you find the list useful.

When I first started doing this annual list a few years ago, I considered an algorithm that combined Pushcart with BASS and even O. Henry Prizes. (I love both the BASS and O.Henry anthologies.) In the end, though, I stuck with just the Pushcarts because I find the nomination process somewhat more transparent. (I think I originally used the word "democratic" but it's not that, really.) Also the magazines included in each are slightly different--Pushcarts down't include the "slicks" (New Yorker, Harper's, etc.) If I were to then exclude those magazines, I'm not sure what I would have gained for the overall validity of the list since the same stories/magazines would be vying for the same recognition--and sometimes the same stories is included in more than one of the annual books. For all of the above reasons, I decided to leave it at the Pushcarts.

The new anthology is due out in a few weeks and I'll try to get the updated list posted shortly thereafter.

davidbdale said...

Thanks, Cliff. I've just been nominated for a Pushcart in fiction for the first time. My magazine doesn't even appear on your list. I knew an actual award was a long-shot, but this helps keep my ego in check even better.

Clifford Garstang said...

Congratulations, David! It's nice to be nominated. What magazine? Keep in mind that the 2008 Ranking tracks Awards and Special Mentions through the 2007 prize issue. The 2008 prize issue is just about to be released and so my list will be updated in early December. Check back then and maybe your magazine will make it in . . .

Steven said...

I'm slightly confused about the announcements of winners. As far as I can gather, winners for the 2009 (by winners I mean those who made the anthology) are announced in April 2009, then published in the anthology in 2009 December as the 2010 anthology. Is that correct? Which means this year's 2009 anthology contains the winners for 2008?

Steven said...

Let me clarify. What I mean to say is, those published in the anthology coming out this December (2008) are those winners from the nomiations made in December 2007. Not the nomiations from December 2008. Is that correct?

Clifford Garstang said...

Steven, I believe you've stated this correctly. Note, though, that I don'g think the general public hears the results in April, and sometimes the "special mention" authors don't know about the recognition until the anthology comes out, a full year after the nomination is made.

Clifford Garstang said...

And, I just realized, Steven, that this comment is on LAST year's discussion. To see the 2009 list, go here: 2009 Pushcart Ranking