A New Year

I’ve updated the Best of the West page and created a page for the New Stories from the Midwest Anthology.

The Best American Series web page has entered the digital age, and a full list of presses and journals included in each anthology can now easily be found on the publisher’s website, which makes my job of updating their ranking pages a lot easier.

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New Stories from the Midwest

This list ranks the number of times publications have appeared in, and were acknowledged in the Thirty other Distinguished Stories , within the New Stories from the Midwest Anthology.

NSFM: 2010, 2011, 2012

Glimmer Train 13
Sun 9
Cincinnati Review 8
Ecotone 5
Michigan Quarterly Review 5
Narrative 5
Crab Orchard Review 4
Georgia Review 4
Hobart 4
Mid-American Review 4
New England Review 4
Nimrod 4
Ninth Letter 4
Pleiades 4
Prairie Schooner 4
Sycamore Review 4
Tin House 4
TriQuarterly 4
Fifth Wednesday Journal 4
Alaska Quarterly Review 3
American Short Fiction 3
Boulevard 3
Colorado Review 3
Florida Review 3
Hunger Mountain 3
Image 3
Ploughshares 3
Midwestern Gothic 3
AGNI 3
Natural Bridge 3
Another Chicago Magazine 2
Antioch Review 2
Gulf Coast 2
Harvard Review 2
Jabberwock Review 2
Kenyon Review 2
Mississippi Review 2
New Letters 2
New Yorker 2
North Dakota Quarterly 2
Northwest Review 2
River Styx 2
Shenandoah 2
Southern Humanities Review 2
Southern Indiana Review 2
Southern Review 2
Subtropics 2
Zoetrope 2
Annalemma 2
Five Chapters 2
Harpur Palate 2
Third Coast 2
Granta 2
Alimentum 1
Chicago Reader 1
Collagist 1
CutBank Online 1
Gettysburg Review 1
Lake Effect 1
Literary Review 1
MacGuffin 1
Meridian 1
Minnetonka Review 1
New Ohio Review 1
New South 1
Oyez Review 1
Potomac Review 1
Redivider 1
Witness 1
Yabolusha Review 1
Southwest Review 1
Autumn House Press 1
Notre Dame Review 1
Cream City Review 1
Iowa Review 1
MAKE 1
Water-Stone 1
Carolina Quarterly 1
Pearl Magazine 1

Print vs Digital Publishing in the Pushcart Prize

Over at Luna Park, Travis Kurowski’s recent post “Is Something Missing from the Pushcart Prize?” talks about the lack of online journals included in the most recent issue of the Pushcart Prize. It’s worth your time to read, and it is honestly a problem I’ve also witnessed, but have been reluctant to talk about since I was one of the nine guest fiction editors for the current Pushcart Prize. Over the course of about two months in early 2011 I read and evaluated over 800 pieces of fiction and nonfiction from almost 80 journals and small presses. It was an amazingly fun, hectic process.

After publication one big shift I noticed from the 2011 to the 2012 edition concerned major changes in the special mention section. In the 2011 edition the special mention fiction section listed over 130 stories from a diverse list of presses and journals; however, this year’s special mention fiction section only listed 37 stories. That’s a huge hit for journals and small presses and especially for emerging authors, because the special mention section is often the first place an author or press gets any attention from major award anthologies, like the Pushcart Prize. And, as Kurowski mentions, very few come from online sources. Kurowski points out:

All of the smartest and best writers I know write, publish, research, and communicate both in print and online: Benjamin Percy, David Shields, Kelly Link, Michael Robbins, Blake Butler, Laura van den Berg, Margaret Atwood … This isn’t even a point that needs to be made any longer; perhaps in 2002, but not 2012.

I wholeheartedly agree with him. The Pushcart Prize remains one of the best measurements for the current state of small press publishing, and in these horrible economic times a narrower focus on the number of stories and journals recognized in something like the special mention section is not a positive message to send out to struggling presses and journals who work tirelessly to produce the finest product they’re capable of making, regardless if that product is published in print or digital format. The Pushcart Prize needs to continue to list a large and diverse selection of stories in the special mention section; otherwise, the number of emerging writers and emerging presses who go unrecognized threaten to weaken the literary landscape of small press publishing.