Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Best Literary Journals for Short Story Submissions

Just finished sending my epilogue/short-story to another round of journals, and updated my submission guide accordingly.  In addition to the O. Henry and Best American Short Story awards, I've now factored in the Pushcart Prize.

Since the Pushcart website doesn't do its own tally, my plan was to go through each collection for the last ten years and see which journals the stories came from that were not already on my list.  I was dreading it because the award-winning fiction pieces are interspersed with poems and essays, so tallying up appearances by each journal promised to be a long, mind-numbing task.

How happy was I to discover that a fellow fiction writer had already done just that!  Cliff Garstang, at the blog Perpetual Folly, compiled his own Pushcart Prize Rankings -- a list of every journal that has had a story featured in Pushcart ordered by number of appearances.  He even went back a full ten years, as I was planning to.

What a great resource for writers trying to determine what journals they should submit to.  Thank you for your service Cliff!

I have updated my own guide to includes my latest group of submissions, this time to journals that have won 2-5 Pushcart Prizes in the last ten years (and, again, not already on my list).  They are divided as before into those which allow simultaneous submissions, those that don't, and those to which I (personally) cannot submit my story for miscellaneous reasons.

For the hell of it I'll re-post my standard cover letter too.  I hope these prove useful to some of you.

Oh, and for those keeping track the score is now 30, as in my story has been rejected by 30 journals.  Maybe more.  Never say die.


Clifford Garstang said...

Jim, thanks for the mention and the link. Since the latest volume of Pushcart Prizes just came out, I've updated the rankings. Not a lot of changes, but some: 2010 Pushcart Prize Rankings.

Jim C. said...

Thanks Cliff!

Herta said...

Hey--I've enjoyed reading the chronicles of your application process--my assistant recently went through the same thing.

I've also admired your organization in submitting to magazines. I've been selling address labels that can help with that process--here's the link:

Best of luck both with your stories and your novel!


Jim C. said...

Thanks Herta. This is a great service you're providing! ANYTHING to reduce the load of such an arduous process.

Jim C. said...

I'm just going to repost the link to your mailing label service for literary submissions so it's clickable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this spreadsheet! I was just getting started on one. Lifesaver! Best of luck to you and your writing.

Jim C. said...

And to you as well Anon!

Gin Rumancek said...

Love the new literary journal, Twisted Vine, published by Western New Mexico University at - it focuses on new artists and writers of various genres and disciplines - poetry about algebra? Interesting!