Saturday, November 07, 2009

2010 Pushcart Prize Rankings

NOTE: The 2011 rankings are now available. Go: here

I am pleased to share with you the 2010 Pushcart Prize Rankings. As I have noted in years past, the following list looks only at the Pushcart Prizes awarded and Special Mentions in Fiction since 2000. Awards before that date are less relevant, it seems to me, in determining the relative quality of magazines publishing today. In fact, beginning with next year's list I will start dropping older years out of the formula, in order to keep the list truly current. Note, also, that I am not considering Non-fiction or Poetry in this analysis. A similar list for those genres would be interesting (some magazines seem to be stronger in those areas), but I leave that to someone else. Or I'll tackle it at a later date. But not right now.

I'm also not looking at other fine volumes such as the O. Henry Prizes or the Best American Short Stories. Appearing in either of those collections is a high honor, but the selection process isn't comparable to the Pushcarts, and so I don't believe mixing is appropriate, and, besides, many stories appear in two or more of the annual anthologies and that would skew the index. So: just Pushcarts and Special Mentions in Fiction since 2000.

A word about methodology: it isn't complicated. My formula counts a certain number of points for a prize and a smaller number of points for a special mention. Someone could figure it out if he or she wanted to. It's pretty simple. As I have in the past couple of years, I've listed the total number of points using this formula so readers can see, for example, how far ahead of the pack Ploughshares is.

A couple of things to note about this year's list. There have been some big moves--both One Story and Michigan Quarterly Review jumped in the rankings thanks to Prizes and Special Mentions. Otherwise, not much has changed from last year. Conjunctions moved into the second spot, edging past Zoetrope.

Magazines that have ceased publication (such as Ontario Review) are marked on the list with ©. (If you happen to see others on the list that have closed, please leave a comment to that effect.) There are about 15 magazines appearing the list for the first time, most toward the bottom.

Finally, to borrow a note of caution from last year's post on this subject:

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.

2010 Magazine 2010 Score
1 Ploughshares 130
2 Conjunctions 82
3 Zoetrope: All Story 81
4 Paris Review 69
4 Southern Review 69
6 Tin House 63
7 Threepenny Review 59
8 Georgia Review 52
9 Ontario Review © 50
10 Epoch 48
11 New England Review 46
11 TriQuarterly 46
13 McSweeney's 41
14 Missouri Review 40
15 Witness 39
16 Shenandoah 36
17 Kenyon Review 34
18 Five Points 33
19 Antioch Review 28
19 Boulevard 28
19 New Letters 28
22 Agni 27
23 Gettysburg Review 26
23 One Story 26
23 Virginia Quarterly Review 26
26 StoryQuarterly 25
27 A Public Space 24
27 Noon 24
29 Mississippi Review 22
30 Chelsea 21 (c)
31 Idaho Review 20
31 Oxford American 20
33 Doubletake 19 (c)
34 Third Coast 18
35 Glimmer Train 17
36 Iowa Review 16
37 Michigan Quarterly Review 15
37 Yale Review 15
39 Willow Springs 14
39 ZYZZYVA 14
41 Colorado Review 13
41 Harvard Review 13
43 Crazyhorse 12
43 Hudson Review 12
43 Manoa 12
43 Prairie Schooner 12
47 American Scholar 11
47 News from the Republic of Letters 11
47 Pleiades 11
47 Salmagundi 11
47 Sun 11
52 Alaska Quarterly Review 10
53 Bellevue Literary Review 9
53 Image 9
53 North American Review 9
56 Ecotone 8
56 Post Road 8
58 Bomb 7
58 Boston Review 7
58 Calyx 7
58 Fence 7
58 Graywolf 7
58 Southwest Review 7
58 Speakeasy 7 (c)
65 Black Warrior Review 6
65 Caribbean Writer 6
65 Fiction International 6
65 New Orleans Review 6
65 Other Voices 6 (c)
65 Sonora Review 6
65 Story © 6
65 Water-Stone 6
73 Another Chicago Magazine 5
73 Bridge 5
73 Cincinnati Review 5
73 Coffee House Press 5
73 Dalkey Archive Press 5
73 Grand Street 5
73 Indiana Review 5
73 Massachusetts Review 5
73 Milkweed 5
73 Parkett 5
73 Pen America 5
73 Univ. of Georgia Press 5
85 American Short Fiction 4
85 Beloit Fiction 4
85 Daedalus 4
85 Gulf Coast 4
85 Mid American Review 4
85 Nebraska Review 4
85 Northwest Review 4
85 Raritan 4
93 Appalachian Heritage 3
93 Bamboo Ridge 3
93 Event 3
93 failbetter.com 3
93 Hopkins Review 3
93 Literal Latte 3
93 Narrative 3
93 Pinch 3
93 River Styx 3
93 Sewanee Review 3
93 University Press of New England 3
93 Western Humanities Review 3
93 New York Tyrant 3
106 [sic] 2
106 American Fiction 2
106 American Letters & Commentary 2
106 American Literary Review 2
106 American Voice 2
106 Bellingham Review 2
106 Blackbird 2
106 Briar Cliff Review 2
106 Carve 2
106 Chautauqua 2
106 Columbia Review 2
106 Crab Orchard Review 2
106 Faultline 2
106 Fiction 2
106 Green Mountains Review 2
106 Lit 2
106 Meridian 2
106 Natural Bridge 2
106 Ninth Letter 2
106 Open City 2
106 Paper Street 2
106 Passages North 2
106 Redivider 2
106 Sarabande 2
106 Timber Creek Review 2
106 Turnrow 2
106 West Branch 2
133 Amazon Shorts 1
133 Antietam Review 1
133 APA Journal 1
133 Art and Understanding 1
133 Artful Dodge 1
133 Arts & Letters 1
133 Ascent 1
133 At Length 1
133 Ballyhoo Stories 1
133 Baltimore Review 1
133 BkMk Press 1
133 Brain, Child 1
133 Callaloo 1
133 Canio's Editions 1
133 Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press 1
133 Chattahoochee Review 1
133 Cimarron Review 1
133 Clackamas Literary Review 1
133 Confrontation 1
133 Contemporary West 1
133 Cutbank 1
133 Denver Quarterly 1
133 Descant 1
133 Dos Passos Review 1
133 Eggemoggin Reach Review 1
133 EWUP 1
133 Flyway 1
133 Folio 1
133 Fourteen Hills 1
133 Frank 1
133 Fugue 1
133 Hampton Shorts 1
133 Happy 1
133 Healing Muse 1
133 Heart 1
133 Helicon Nine Editions 1
133 High Plains Literary Review 1
133 Hotel Amerika 1
133 Hunger Mountain 1
133 Inkwell 1
133 Iron Horse Literary Review 1
133 Joe 1
133 Kyoto Journal 1
133 Lake Effect 1
133 Larcom Review 1
133 Laurel Review 1
133 Lilth 1
133 Louisville Review 1
133 Lynx Eye 1
133 Margin 1
133 McSweeney's Books 1
133 Mid-List 1
133 Minnesota Review 1
133 Nerve.com 1
133 New Renaissance 1
133 Night Train 1
133 Nimrod 1
133 North Atlantic Review 1
133 Northern Lights 1
133 Oasis 1
133 Partisan Review 1
133 Pearl 1
133 Per Contra 1
133 Phoebe 1
133 Pindeldyboz 1
133 Press 1
133 Prism 1
133 Puckerbush Press 1
133 Puerto del Sol 1
133 Quarter After Eight 1
133 Quarterly West 1
133 Quick Fiction 1
133 RBS Gazette 1
133 Relief 1
133 Rivendell 1
133 Rosebud 1
133 Salamander 1
133 Seems 1
133 Small Town 1
133 SMU Press 1
133 Soft Skull Press 1
133 South Carolina Review 1
133 Southampton Review 1
133 Sou'wester 1
133 Spork 1
133 Stolen Time Press 1
133 Stone Canoe 1
133 Subtropics 1
133 Sycamore Review 1
133 Tampa Review 1
133 Tiferet 1
133 Transformation 1
133 Two Girls Review 1
133 Underground Voices 1
133 University of Pittsburgh Press 1
133 War, Literature and The Arts 1
133 West Wind 1
133 Worcester 1
133 Words of Wisdom 1
133 WordWrights 1
133 Xconnect 1
133 Brooklyn Rail 1
133 Brooklyn Review 1
133 Epiphany 1
133 Exile 1
133 Fifth Wednesday 1
133 Grist 1
133 Laughing Fire 1
133 Momotombo Press 1
133 Notre Dame Review 1
133 Southern California Review 1
133 The Journal 1

31 comments:

Tom Lombardo said...

Thanks, Cliff, for this list. I do not see the journal that nominated my essay, so I'll assume I haven't won!

david said...

Looks like New Letters is one of the biggest movers from 2009 to 2010

Jessie Carty said...

always such a great list that you put out there. i really am thinking about starting the same thing with poetry.

Linera Lucas said...

Thanks so much for doing this, I really appreciate all the work that went into this list.

bobbye7 said...

Jeez, I didn't know the Ontario Review had folded. Their Web site indicates they're still taking subs. I just sent them something!Wish I'd read your list first.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Helicon Nine is toward the bottom of the list because the magazine has not been active since 1990! It has been an independent literary press since that time and publishes books under the imprint Helicon Nine Editions. It's nice to know they've left a lasting memory.

Clifford Garstang said...

Helicon Nine Editions received a special mention in 2002. The Pushcart Prize is awarded both to magazines and small presses, including publishers such as Helicon.

Clifford Garstang said...

I don't see anything on the Ontario Review website that says they're taking subs. In any case, the person they list as edtior is deceased, so response time is going to be, um, slow.

http://www.ontarioreviewpress.com/

Hobie said...

Thanks, Cliff.

I've passed the link around.

Very handy reference, imho.

Val Nieman said...

Thanks for the list, Cliff! Interesting as always.
In an Uncharted Country is racked up next on my reading list - hope to catch your reading one of these days.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Cliff--thanks so much for doing this, as always. I think Chelsea's terminated, if you want to give them their c.

J. Appleman said...

Hasn't TriQuarterly folded up as well? Northwestern University says that it has gone online, but this new TriQuarterly is a student-edited entity, not the one edited by the veterans who ran the print journal.

Clifford Garstang said...

Yes, TQ is changing to student-run and online, but they're digitizing the TQ print archives so I'd call it a successor magazine. I don't think that counts as folding, but I wouldn't be surprised if the quality slips considerably.

Julie said...

Thanks for this very useful list, Cliff. Have you considered doing something comparable for nonfiction?

Clifford Garstang said...

I have considered it, Julie. Also Poetry. It's a major undertaking, of course, so I can't promise it any time soon . . .

Anonymous said...

Just checked Nebraska Review and they've folded if you want to update them. Thanks for this fantastic resource! I come here practically once a week now!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this list. It's very informative, especially since I'm just beginning to familiarize myself with the literary-journal landscape.

Out of fun, but also to add a little value, I put together a measure of how a journal is moving up or down based on your 2010 and 2006 data. It's simply a ratio of a journal's average annual score over the last four years to its average annual score over all ten. In other words a journal like Epoch, which scored 48 points on your scale from 2001-2010 (or 4.8 points per year) and 14 of those points were from the years after 2006 (or 3.5 points per year), would have a ratio of 0.73.

The big upward movers (meaning a ratio of 1.35 or higher) from your Top 40:

19. Antioch Review (1.43)
19. New Letters (1.70)
23. One Story (2.08) *since 2002
23. Virginia QR (1.63)
27. A Public Space (1.50) *since 2004
27. Noon (1.98)
29. Mississippi Review (2.05)
37. Michigan QR (1.83)

Of course, one bias of a ratio like this is that it amplifies the results of those who have a smaller average 2001-2010 score. It's just harder to keep up, the bigger one's base is. Still, that isn't a good enough explanation for the journals on the list of the big downward movers (meaning a ratio of 0.65 or lower):

9. Paris Review (0.51)
11. TriQuarterly (0.65)
15. Witness (0.51)
18. Five Points (0.53)
23. Gettysburg Review (0.38)
26. StoryQuarterly (0.50)
34. Third Coast (0.56)

The ones who are doing a bit better than keeping up (meaning a ratio of 1.00 to 1.35) deserve some mention:

2. Conjunctions (1.07)
13. McSweeney's (1.16)
14. Missouri Review (1.06)
16. Shenandoah (1.25)
19. Boulevard (1.16)
22. Agni (1.11)
31. Oxford American (1.00)
35. Glimmer Train (1.18)
37. Yale Review (1.17)
39. Willow Springs (1.07)

Everybody else from your top 40 are either not keeping up while not yet falling away, or are closed. Ploughshares, which understandably has a high standard to keep pace with (13 points a year), has a ratio of 0.77. On the other hand, one might not be so forgiving toward Idaho Review, with a similar ratio of 0.75 and which needs to keep up with a lower average of 2.0 points a year. Here's the data:

1. Ploughshares (0.77)
3. Zoetrope (0.86)
4. Southern Review (0.83)
6. Tin House (0.91)
7. Threepenny Review (0.97)
8. Georgia Review (0.91)
10. Epoch (0.73)
11. New England Review (0.82)
17. Kenyon Review (0.88)
31. Idaho Review (0.75)
36. Iowa Review (0.94)

Like you, I am of two minds over quantifying what is essentially unquantifiable; but on the other hand, your data and this kind of analysis helps give credit to the less widely known journals who are doing the very hard work of looking for good fiction or former has-beens who are putting in the effort to get into the present tense.

Anonymous said...

Doh!

Perhaps reflecting my own east coast orientation, I forgot to include one journal from your top 40, which ranks as a big upward mover:

39. ZYZZYVA (1.43)

Anonymous said...

You've got a publication titled "Story" ranked at 65 with a score of 6. What publication is that? Is that a mislabeled double entry for "StoryQuarterly"?

Anonymous said...

Also, you've got a publication titled "American Fiction" ranked at 106 with a score of 2. What is that? Is that a mislabeled double entry for "American Short Fiction"?

Anonymous said...

By the way, there are some other publications on the list that are closed, were independent one-offs, or published once by a press that still exists:

Eggemoggin Reach Review
Happy
High Plains Literary Review (press)
Hotel Amerika
Joe
Larcom Review (press)
Lilith
Lynx Eye
Margin
Partisan Review
RBS Gazette
Rivendell
Wordwrights
Xconnect

Besides "Story" and "American Fiction," there are a few remaining mystery publications or presses:

Heart
Press
Two Girls Review

Also, "American Voice" and "Rosebud" are poetry only now.

Clifford Garstang said...

As for Story (which is marked with (c) indicating it is closed), this is a wonderful old magazine that went out of business a few years ago. Very different from StoryQuarterly.

Likewise, American Short Fiction is different from American Fiction, which may have disappeared, but I don't know that for sure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Also, "Lilith" is alive and well.

Anonymous said...

Hotel Amerika is also alive.

Their website was down last week.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add my thanks for this list. Does anyone know why some journals and their editors choose not to nominate?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hotel Amerika is very much alive and well to me.

Robin Underdahl said...

Thanks so so much for this great list. It's as objective as any measure of lit mags can hope to be.

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks! Stay tuned for the updated list--in just a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Pindeldyboz shut down some time ago.

Clifford Garstang said...

@Anon: and we have indicated this in the CURRENT list: http://perpetualfolly.blogspot.com/2010/11/2011-pushcart-prize-rankings.html