Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes

Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes

The Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes acknowledge, reward, and encourage organizations that actively nurture the writers who tell us, through their art, what is important. Prizes are awarded in print and digital categories to smaller and mid-sized journals with budgets of up to $500,000. Each prize includes an outright gift in the first year, followed by substantial matching grants in the next two years and capacity building opportunities. read more >

2019

The Common

2019 Print Prize Winner

($150,000 to $500,000 budget)

The Common is a print and digital literary journal with a mission to deepen our individual and collective sense of place. Based at Amherst College and under the direction of founder and editor Jennifer Acker, it features literature and images suffused with the particularities of place, including portfolios and works in translation from vital literary communities around the world. Through its print issues, open access website, public programs, and mentorship of the next generation of writers, readers, and editors, The Common serves as a space for the global exchange of ideas and experiences.

Judges’ citation:

In the pages of The Common, “location” is understood as a roving artistic and intellectual GPS point. Stunning portfolios, sophisticated design, and an intuitive sense of literary connectivity give readers access to a deep reservoir of global perspectives, and unite them as students of the human condition. The Common’s exemplary resources for teachers and its devotion to elevating new writers will help bring into being a new generation of readers and thinkers. 

American Short Fiction

2019 Print Prize Winner

(under $150,000 budget)

American Short Fiction publishes stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure the world with delicate expertise. Founded in 1991, ASF has earned a national reputation for first-rate fiction and a commitment to fostering the careers of a diverse range of writers. Each issue, assembled by coeditors Adeena Reitberger and Rebecca Markovits, publishes works by well-known authors alongside emerging voices that enrich our understanding of ourselves, our world, and the possibilities of the form.

Judges’ citation:

Thirty years after its founding, American Short Fiction continues to build on its legacy of artful innovation. Budding talent appears in company with venerated masters, and the magazine’s deep investment in its Austin community gives it a strong foundation for creating national resonance. It remains urgent and fresh, its purpose clear: to shake us awake and bring the peculiarity of existence into full focus.

Black Warrior Review

2019 Print Development Grantee Winner

Named for the river that runs along The University of Alabama, Black Warrior Review is the oldest continuously-run literary journal produced by graduate students in the United States. Since its founding in 1974, it has become known for nurturing writing that moves outside boundaries of form and genre, and has a rich history of taking risks and championing the unexpected. BWR continues to create space for experimentation by showcasing uncommon literature by intergenerational and international writers that push against expectations and subvert structures of oppression.

Judges’ citation:

Full of elegance and grit, fluidity and resolve, Black Warrior Review is a singular beacon for adventurous writing that shines forth from Alabama. This journal brings together what is gorgeous and necessary in literature today, treating each piece it publishes as an act of optimistic revolution. Black Warrior Review dissolves convention and leaves possibility in its place.


 

The Margins

2019 Digital Prize Winner

The Margins is a literary, arts, and ideas magazine dedicated to inventing the Asian American creative culture of tomorrow. As the editorial arm of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, it draws upon a commitment to social justice to imagine a vibrant, nuanced, multiracial, and transnational Asian America. The digital magazine currently houses three special projects: Open City, A World Without Cages, and the Transpacific Literary Project, and works in tandem with AAWW’s fellowship programs to nurture emerging Asian American writers.

Judges’ citation:

An indispensable incubator for audacious intellect and human complexity, The Margins reshapes literature even as it creates space for nuance, voice, imagination, and connection. As an institution, it has a profound impact on our cultural consciousness: the legion of writers The Margins has nurtured redefines our understanding of what it is to be Asian American in this country, and in the world.

The Offing

2019 Digital Development Grantee Winner

The Offing is an online literary magazine publishing creative writing in all genres and art in all media. It champions writing that digs deep into the wonder and horrors of the world, examines everyday curiosities and cultural artifacts, and challenges aesthetics, politics, ideologies, literature, and the human experience. The Offing makes compensating writers a priority and actively amplifies voices marginalized in literary spaces. The Offing is a place for new writers to test their voices and for established writers to test their limits.

Judges’ citation:

The Offing is a cross-genre concourse of art and ideas that engage the world and our present moment head-on. The magazine’s vibrancy is due in no small part to its unswerving commitment to amplifying marginalized voices, and its sharp but compassionate understanding of what writers need to thrive. The Offing sets the mark and pushes us past it. 

 

2018

A Public Space

2018 Print Prize Winner

($150,000 to $500,000 budget)

A Public Space welcomes voices and conversation unheard elsewhere. In print, online, and in person, the singular literary, arts, and culture magazine nurtures writers and readers, too, expansively challenging them to move beyond borders. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, A Public Space is committed to excavating archives of distinction, and devoted to nurturing new talent through its fellowship program as well as dynamic events for everyone.

Judges’ citation:

Every issue of A Public Space juxtaposes finely wrought, carefully edited pieces, putting them in dynamic conversation with one another. An expertly assembled mix of contributors includes emerging talents as well as writers rediscovered through a kind of archival derring-do. Through its sought-after fellowships, meanwhile, APS extends to out-of-the-mainstream writers an admirable level of editorial support. It stands as a paradigm of what literary magazines can be: a gorgeously curated collection we experience as a cabinet of wonders.

Fence

2018 Print Prize Winner

(under $150,000 budget)

Fence is a biannual print journal of poetry, fiction, art, and criticism. Founded by Rebecca Wolff and in continuous publication since 1998, their mission is to maintain a dedicated venue for writing that speaks across genre, socio-cultural niches, and ideological boundaries. Fence publishes largely from unsolicited submissions, and is committed to the literature and art of queer writers and writers of color. Fence encourages collective appreciation of variousness by showcasing writing that inheres outside of the constraints of opinion, trend, and market.

Judges’ citation:

If American contemporary literature can  be described as a site for novel language experiments, we owe a great deal of that to Fence and the writers it’s championed. Fence burst on the scene twenty years ago, changing the landscape of work published by literary journals. The magazine remains as vital now, and its campaign against literary homogeneity as urgent. Open an issue at random and you’ll find something vivid, strange, and beautiful, something joyfully pushing at the limit of poetic form and trusting its readers to keep up. This pioneer remains central to the canon.

Words Without Borders

2018 Digital Prize Winner

Words Without Borders is the premier destination for global literary conversation. Founded in 2003, WWB seeks to expand cultural understanding by giving readers unparalleled access to contemporary world literature in English translation while providing a vital platform for today’s international writers. To date, its free digital magazine has published work by more than 2,200 writers from 134 countries, translated from 114 languages. WWB’s online education program, WWB Campus, brings this eye-opening international literature into the classroom.   

Judges’ citation:

Working tirelessly to bring a robust, insightful array of otherwise unavailable international literature to grateful readers—and publishers—Words Without Borders has singlehandedly expanded the breadth of the contemporary literary conversation.  This is writing that places you inside a culture. In focusing on translators as artists, it plays an essential role in the publishing ecosystem. With translations from more than a hundred languages now available in its archives, and through its organizational partnerships and other readership-building endeavors, the project stands as a monument to international collaboration and a shared belief in artistic possibility.