50 Literary Magazines
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Top 50 Literary Magazines
A couple of things about this list before we get to it.
First we know that many will not agree fully, and some will feel we’ve left
a good or great publication off the list. That’s okay. The best thing to do
is go to our message
boards and post your opinion under our top 50 boards and make a case for adding it to this list. The factors we used
were date established, number of submissions, number of inclusions in
national anthologies, and circulation.
The best literary magazines, we feel, are
not that difficult to identify. They are the magazines that have been
publishing consistently for many years. EWR remember isn’t just about
reading or rating, it’s about writers. We’ve chosen magazines that are
always gaining attention not just for themselves but for the writers they
publish. After all what good is a list of great magazines if they don’t
continuously find new and great talent as well as publish consistent content
and have those writers works places in national anthologies?
You will not find the New Yorker or
Atlantic Monthly on this list, or any “commercial” magazine for that
matter. They do not accept unsolicited submissions and would do our writers
no good at all. This list also includes BOLD type where literary
magazines take online submissions. We feel this is an important step for a
magazine to take. We feel that by taking submissions online magazines are
opening themselves up to many more voices and have a better opportunity to
find new talent that we want to read. To this end, we have a suggestion. Go
down this list and pick out a literary magazine that takes online
submissions. Go to their site and submit your work. Also while you are there
buy a subscription. Support those that support writers.
We are working on a rating system for all
print literary magazines, and we hope to unveil that system soon. Until then
here’s our top 50 in no particular order:
Top 50 Literary Magazines
- Granta http://www.granta.com/
- Est. 1889, one of the oldest literary magazines
around. It has published many great authors like Raymond Carver, Richard
Ford, Tobias Wolff and many others. A rough circulation is
- The Paris Review
- Est. 1953 and is simply one of the best literary
magazines in the world. They have been publishing great authors for many
years. A rough circulation is 20,000.
- Prairie Schooner
- Est. 1927 and has consistently published some of
the best writers in the world. They are the presenters of the Faulkner
Award among others. The magazine has won every important national award,
and it is always gaining attention for writers. A rough circulation over
- Kenyon Review
- Est. 1939 and is one of the best literary
magazines in the country hands down. The magazine helped start the
careers of writers like Flannery O’Conner and Robert Lowell. They
take online submissions. EWR recommends you submit your work AND buy
- Est. 1912 and is consistently the best publisher
of poets in the country. They are always at the top of the list. To give
you some idea of this magazines influence, an author from this journal
has had work included in Best American Poetry 72 times in the 19 years
BAP has been in publication. It is second only to The New Yorker (keep
in mind The New Yorker hand picks most of its poems and has no
- Virginia Quarterly Review
- Est. 1925 and has published great authors like
Robert Frost and Joyce Carol Oates. The magazine has influence.
Taking online submissions.
- New Letters
- Est. 1934 once named The Review later renamed. It
publishes great work by great authors.
- The Yale Review
- Est. 1819 but was later renamed and became The
Yale Review in 1911. The magazine has published unknown authors like
John Cheever. They are always a good read and a great place to publish
- Glimmer Train http://www.glimmertrain.com/
- Est. 1990 and is a nationally distributed
magazine. They have published some of Americans best literary authors. A
rough circulation is over 15,000. Their authors are often chosen for
inclusion in national anthologies. Takes online submissions.
- Tin House http://www.tinhouse.com/index.htm
- Est. 1998 is simply a great publication. They
publish the best authors and you always seem to see some big names
gracing the pages. The rough circulation is 10,000-15,000.
- Zoetrope http://www.all-story.com/
- Est. 1997 Founded by Francis Ford Coppola and
publishes has published many great authors. A rough circulation is
- The Sun
- Est. 1974 and has a great has a seemingly
ever-growing appeal. They consistently publish outstanding authors. A
rough circulation of 60,000.
- The Threepenny Review
- Est. 1980 and consistently publishes outstanding
authors. You will always see this publication at the top of the national
anthology awards list for authors. A rough circulation of 10,000.
- Ploughshares http://www.pshares.org/
- Est. 1971, this magazine consistently has authors
featured in national anthologies. It is among the best literary
publications in existence. A rough circulation is 4,000-5,000. Takes
- Mississippi Review
- Est. 1978, and consistently publishes outstanding
writers. The circulation of this magazine is hard to determine because
of its web presence. It was somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to
literary magazines online, and its efforts in cyberspace greatly
increased its appeal. Online submissions for web edition.
- Est. 1975 and consistently publishes outstanding
authors. A rough circulation is over 5,000. Takes online submissions.
- Missouri Review
- Est. 1978, and publishes great authors and gets
them attention. Online submission for a $3 fee (about the price
of sending by mail and much less headache).
- The Iowa Review
- Est. 1971 and is consistently publishing great
authors from the heart of a writers central. Some may not know that the
Iowa Writer’s Workshop is and has been the best writing program in the
country for the last, at least, 40 years.
- South West Review
- Est. 1915, and has been included in numerous
anthologies each year. It publishes new and established writers.
- Other Voices
- Est. 1984 and has published as long list of great
authors like Jane Smiley, Peter Ho Davis, and many others. It is a
writer’s and literary reader’s magazines that will take chances.
- Est. 1958 and has Rita Dove and Richard Ford as
two of the many outstanding contributing editors. This magazine has been
heralded as one of the best by many.
- Hanging Loose
- Est. 1966 and is always grabbing awards. Loves new
- North American Review
- Est. 1815 and is the oldest and one of the best
literary publications in the country.
- The Georgia Review
- Est. 1947 and consistently wins awards for authors
and for itself. The magazine always publishes great work.
- The Gettysburg Review
- Est. 1988 and has been featured in Best American
Poetry over 20 times. The magazine consistently catches attention for
- Indiana Review
- Est. 1982 and consistently publishes great good
- Mid-American Review
- Est. 1972 and consistently wins awards for both
itself and authors.
- The Antioch Review
- Est. 1941 and consistently publishes great
- Black Warrior Review
- Est. 1974 and is a great literary publication. It
has published many outstanding authors many works from this publication
have appeared in national anthologies.
- New England Review
- Est. 1978 and is has always published great work.
- The Malahat Review
- Est. 1967 and is one of Canada’s leading literary
- The Michigan Quarterly Review
- Est. 1967 and is consistently at the top of
literary magazine publishing.
- The Colorado Review
- Est. 1955 and is among the top literary magazines.
- Est. 1981 consistently one of the top magazines in
the literary publishing world, and it has racked up over 10 inclusions
in Best American Poetry.
- Exquisite Corpse
- Est. 1983 as a print publication and the only
fully online journal on or top 50. The publication was founded and is
edited by Andrei Codrescu. Will begin taking submissions again online
(?) in May of 2007.
- New American Writing
- Est. 1986 and consistently publishing great work.
It has been named a “best” magazine from a few different reputable
- Hambone (no website?)
- Est. 1974 and consistently racks up literary
awards, but the magazine seems to have no website.
- Hudson Review
- Est. 1947 and is always publishing great writers.
They are often included in American anthologies.
- Est. 1985 for west coast writers. The magazine
always manages to win awards and have it writers show up in national
- American Poetry Review
- Est. 1972 and is always gaining attention for
writers. Their circulation is 17,000.
- Est. 1958, and has won many awards. It is always
publishing good writers.
- Est. 1976 and has been included in Best American
Poetry 16 times.
- Est. 1972 and has been honored many times by
- Est. 1965 and is consistently at the top of
- Est. 1950 and consistently one of the best
literary magazines in the country.
- Est. 1956 and is always publishing new and
- Est. 1972 and has work included in both Best
America Short Stories and Best American Poetry.
- Est. 1987 and has been included in both Best
American Short Stories and Best American Poetry. The magazine seems
every gaining in its attention for writers.
- Five Points
- Est. 1996 and one of the newest magazines on the
list, but it is always gaining attention for its writers. It has been
honored many times and included in Best American Short Stories as well
as Best American Poetry.
- Est. 1985 and has made a very good name for
itself. The magazine publishes great authors and has influence in the
literary community. Has contest for new writers.