Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Rankings

Cliff Garstang is out with his annual Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize rankings, which ranks literary journals according to how many Pushcarts or special mentions they've won in the past decade. 

As is wise with any of these lists, he offers the disclaimer:

Rankings of literary magazines are of questionable value. Most such rankings are subjective. Others depend on data that may not be available for all magazines, such as circulation or payment to authors, or response time. These are important factors to some and I don’t discount them. It’s just that diversity in these areas, and the advent of high-quality online magazines, make such factors problematic.
This ranking, on the other hand, is extremely simple. I look at the annual volume of Pushcart Prize winners and the list of Special Mentions included in the back of the volume. I award a certain number of points for a winner and fewer points for a special mention. I add up the points and make a list.

What are the surprises?

As Cliff notes, One Story and A Public Space were the biggest risers. Both are in the top twenty now. I feel this accurately reflects their escalating influence in the lit journal world. 

Antioch Review and Witness both took a tumble, down 6 spots and 4 spots, respectively.

Amazon Shorts (?!) was awarded a special mention. Look for them to climb the rankings in the following years. Perhaps until nearly all short fiction is published through them and they try to extort/boycott any remaining bastions of short story publishing.

Subtropics and Sycamore Review are surprisingly low, with a mere point each. Electric Literature still isn't listed — it hasn't received a special mention or a win. For being such a great journal, Fence (at 6 points) is also rather low. Ninth Letter (with 3 points) is likely suffering due to its status as newcomer, since it didn't launch until halfway through the decade.

Once again, many thanks to Cliff for his hard work in putting this together — it really is a valuable resource for writers.

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One thought on “Perpetual Folly Pushcart Prize Rankings

  1. This list is gonna be helpful. Thanks for highlighting it.

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