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 >

2020

One Story

2020 Print Prize Winner

($150,000 to $500,000 budget)
Collage of literary magazine covers

One Story is built on a singular vision: to publish one short story at a time. Each month, subscribers receive a single work of carefully curated fiction, printed in a pocket-size chapbook designed to give readers a chance to slow down and think deeply. To spotlight new voices, One Story only publishes authors once. It extends its devotion to nurturing talent with One Teen Story, a magazine featuring teen writers. Since its founding in 2002, One Story has worked to increase and expand the readership, creation, impact, and value of short stories in the world.

Judges’ citation:

Over the last two decades, One Story has become a standard-bearer for elegance in magazine publishing; each lithe issue, its design an homage to zine culture, contains a single riveting short story. This form is often likened to the sonnet, being short and perfectible, but the fictions in One Story create sumptuous, almost novelistic worlds. The magazine has assiduously built a warm and vital community of writers and mentors.  Favoring new and untested writers and never publishing the same one twice, One Story is a critical port of arrival. 

Conjunctions

2020 Print Prize Winner

(under $150,000 budget)
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Conjunctions has propelled literature forward for four decades by publishing groundbreaking fiction, poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction that marry visionary imagination with formally innovative execution. Each issue illuminates a complex theme—such as exile, desire, the body, or climate change—in a book-length format that gives space to long-form work and a multitude of perspectives. From its home in Bard College, Conjunctions and its founding editor, Bradford Morrow, have earned recognition for uplifting both new writers and contemporary masters who challenge convention.

Judges’ citation:

Every issue of Conjunctions is a feat of curatorial invention, continuing the Modernist project of dense, economical writing, formal innovation, and an openness to history and the world. Its longevity is a testament to its cultural staying power. Organized around a unifying idea, each issue stitches together work by storytellers and scholars to create a fluid and expansive survey of our most pressing human concerns.

Foglifter

2020 Print Development Grantee Winner

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Rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area, Foglifter is a platform for LGBTQ+ writers that supports and uplifts powerful, intersectional, and transgressive queer and trans writing through publication and public readings to build and enrich our communities as well as the greater literary arts. Since 2016, this biannual journal has provided a path to representation for a broad selection of LGBTQ+ voices, centering queer and trans literary artists of color, youth, elders, and those beyond traditional LGBTQ+ cultural centers so that readers and audiences can see their own experiences authentically represented through queer and trans literary arts.

Judges’ citation:

A passionate commitment to building community, a collaborative editorial project, and an unflagging sense of imagination are Foglifter’s abiding trademarks. A journal made by queer and trans writers imagining the journal their past selves would want to read, Foglifter is a bright spot on the literary map for thinkers, artists, and readers of many generations. The work it publishes is fresh, alive, and ripe with creative energy.


 

Kweli

2020 Digital Prize Winner

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Kweli’s mission is to nurture emerging writers of color and writers identifying as women by creating opportunities for their voices to be recognized and valued. Founding editor Laura Pegram has guided Kweli since 2009, publishing a triannual online journal and investing in writers’ growth through workshops, fellowships, readings, an annual conference, and an international festival. Kweli, which means “truth” in Swahili, celebrates cultural kinship and the role of the literary imagination to envision a world where the narratives we tell reflect the full truth of history and blaze a path of new possibilities for the future.

Judges’ citation:

Reading this journal is a revelation. Here are stories of deep, lived-in materiality. The abundant respect animating its editorial process means its writers, many of them women of color, do not have to justify their concerns and can simply dive into the pleasures of form and narrative. With its vibrant internationalism and the career- and craft-building opportunities it offers its writers, Kweli strives to publish a more generous, humane world into existence. 

Nat. Brut

2020 Digital Development Grantee Winner

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Nat. Brut (pronounced “nat broot”) is an online journal of art and literature dedicated to advancing inclusivity in all creative fields. Since 2012, it has published two issues annually—as well as folios that collect work at specific intersections of marginalized experiences—bolstering voices that are buried, ignored, or absent from public consciousness. As a home for the playful, the unruly, the formal, and the experimental, by artists who are trained and untrained, Nat. Brut believes in the power of juxtaposing diverging voices to form surprising and unfamiliar connections.

Judges’ citation:

Nat. Brut has carved out a corner of the internet and filled it with style and ingenuity. Its aesthetic is one of fascinating unorthodoxy, gracefully pairing each piece with a creative commons image sourced from the depths of cyberspace. Innovations in low-cost but creative career support demonstrate real empathy between editors and writers. Nat. Brut shows us how to relish what mainstream culture has overlooked or forgotten.

2019

The Common

2019 Print Prize Winner

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

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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

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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.