Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 Pushcart Prize Rankings (Fiction)

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It is that time of year again. My copy of the 2012 Pushcart Prize Anthology arrived in the mail yesterday and I have been updating the rankings. I will start with the list for Fiction. The updated Non-fiction list is here.

I feel compelled every year to offer a disclaimer for the list. I originally created it in order to aid my own efforts at targeting my submissions of short stories to literary magazines. I used the Pushcart Prize because I felt that it represented the broadest range of magazines among the annual prizes (including Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Awards).

My method is straightforward. I use a ten-year rolling database and award points to magazines for the prizes awarded and fewer points for each special mention. I don't go further back than ten years because it seems to me that what is relevant is the current success of the magazines, not their storied past. Also, the further back we go, the more defunct magazines we find, and that's not terribly helpful. Some have argued that a five-year period should be chosen instead. That seems too small a sample. When only 19 or 20 prizes are awarded in fiction each year, I think ten years provides a clearer picture of a magazine's success.

Some people don't like rankings at all, and I understand that. This ranking, however, is as objective as I can make it. The Pushcart Prize itself is subjective, of course, but that's an entirely different question.

A note on symbols. I have marked magazines that I believe to have ceased publication with ©. Several magazines have a (?) by their name which means I can't find a website for them. Please leave any corrections in the comments.

What is notable about this year's list? Here are some observations:

  • Ploughshares maintains a sizable lead
  • Tin House moves into 2nd place, jumping over Conjunctions and Zoetrope, which are tied for 3rd
  • Georgia Review, on top of the charts for non-fiction, climbs 5 spots to #6, and Paris Review falls into a tie for 9th with the defunct Ontario Review, while Epoch drops out of the top ten.
  • Both One Story and A Public Space make big moves up on the back of a double win for each (matched by Georgia Review)

So, here is the list:

Pushcart Prize Ranking (Fiction) for 2012

2012
Magazine
2012 Score
1
103
2
74
3
72
3
72
5
63
6
54
7
50
8
48
9
46
9
46
11
45
12
42
12
42
14
41
15
40
16
34
16
34
18
33
19
30
19
30
19
30
19
30
23
29
23
29
25
28
26
27
27
23
28
22
28
22
30
21
30
21
32
20
33
19
34
18
35
17
36
16
37
15
38
14
39
13
39
13
39
13
39
13
43
11
43
11
43
11
43
11
43
11
48
10
48
10
50
9
50
9
50
9
50
9
54
8
54
8
54
8
57
7
57
7
57
Speakeasy ©
7
57
7
61
6
61
6
61
6
61
6
61
6
61
6
61
6
61
6
69
5
69
Bridge ©
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
69
5
80
4
80
4
80
4
80
4
80
4
80
4
80
4
80
4
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
88
3
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
2
101
Timber Creek Review (?)
2
101
2
134
Amazon Shorts ©
1
134
Antietam Review ©
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Canio's Editions (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Eggemoggin Reach Review (?)
1
134
1
134
EWU Press ©
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Hampton Shorts (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Lynx Eye ©
1
134
1
134
Margin (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Nebraska Review ©
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Northern Lights (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
RBS Gazette (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Small Town (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Stolen Time Press (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Transformation (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
Words of Wisdom (?)
1
134
1
134
Xconnect (?)
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1
134
1



17 comments:

bzobell said...

Thanks so much for doing this every year, Cliff. I know a lot of writers who use this. b

Evan Morgan Williams said...

I see more movement on this list than on any list of prior years. My observations: 1) Ploughshares' "lead" is considerably smaller than it used to be; 2) a few esteemed mags such as Kenyon Review and Witness have also fallen back (which bums me out because I got stories in them); 3) Ecotone has climbed quite high for a niche publication; 4) web-based journals do not look strong.

Thanks for calculating this.

Tara Mae Mulroy said...

Just a note: The website for The Pinch is actually www.thepinchjournal.com.

Thanks for all you do. :)

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks for the correction, Tara. I've changed the link to the new website.

Pete Barlow said...

FWIW. Timber Creek is now closed. They shut earlier this year.

. said...

Cliff,

Thanks for this. It is invaluable. I have an ongoing personal site of journals I use when I am submitting. If you're interested, it is here - storytiers.blogspot.com - it is a mess, ugly, constantly changing, and all my own. That said, I have had a few people let me know it is of some help to them.

One thing about Tin House (and maybe others, too). Tin House only accepts submissions from agents, not the lone wilderness writer. I don't know if you want to asterisk TH and other mags that are essentially inaccessible to unpublished or young writers.

Anyhow, thanks so much for all your hard work.

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks for your comments. But that isn't true about Tin House taking submissions only from agents.

. said...

Cliff,

I just looked over the Tin House page and want to thank you for your correction. I clicked on a submission info link which turned out to be for Tin House Books - where they don't accept non-agent work - not the journal, so thank you.

Anonymous said...

As it has been in the past, this list is very useful. However, I must point out that the Ontario Review ceased publication in 2008.

Cliff Garstang said...

Which is why there is a symbol (c) next to its name indicating it has ceased publication

joseph cavano said...

Cliff.
I'm probably a daylate and a dollar short, but thanks for this invaluable list.hestam erider

Karen Cook said...

Open City is closed =(

Keith said...

Do you write short fiction?

Pithead Chapel is an online journal of short fiction that publishes monthly. We accept submissions year-round, so please check us out: http://pitheadchapel.com/

Erica Jamieson said...

As always, well done.

Mark Richardson said...

Cliff -- thanks as always. Wow: there really are a lot of publications out there. I wonder if you or others can ever written about the "In-progress" status. I'm curious what that means, exactly. I'm sure it varies widely by journal. Sometimes I'm rejected within a day, which makes me wonder if they even read it. Sometimes it takes 7 months, which makes me wonder what is going on over there? A few acceptances :)

Cliff Garstang said...

Mark, you know the 2012 list is last year's right? For the new list, go here: http://cliffordgarstang.com/?p=3335

I'll take up the "in progress" notation in a blog post soon. Thanks for the idea. And many thanks for the donation.
Cliff

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