Our criteria for this list has changed and we feel the literary magazines on this list are much better ranked than our previous list. It’s always hard to build this list, but we looked about close to 20 data points in coming up with this list. The most important criteria we used this time was date of founding, number of national anthologies publications (and we looked at a lot of them), and the quality of work of and names of passed greats published in the magazines.
The purpose of this list is to help writers find a place to publish their writing that will get them some recognition. We feel when a magazine is published over a long period of time and is recognized nationally we feel it gives the authors more opportunity for exposure. Also these magazines tend to have a very good name in literary circles. We know that many will not agree fully, and some will feel we�ve left a good or great publication off the list. That�s okay. The best thing to do is go to our message boards and post your opinion under our top 50 boards and make a case for adding it to this list.
This list also includes BOLD type where literary magazines take online submissions. We feel this is an important step for a magazine to take. We feel that by taking submissions online magazines are opening themselves up to many more voices and have a better opportunity to find new talent that we want to read. To this end, we have a suggestion. Go down this list and pick out a literary magazine that takes online submissions. Go to their site and submit your work. Also while you are there buy a subscription. Support those who support writers.
Top 50 Literary Magazine
The best of the best. We didn’t have any commercial magazines on our last list, but it was a shame to leave this literary magazine out.
After lots of emails here it is one the oldest and the most honored magazine of all. Started in the 1920s and has a circulation of over a million readers. Online submissions
Founded in 1971 Ploughshares is our best and highest ranked university non-commercial literary magazine. It is more honored by national anthologies than any other magazine except the New Yorker. It is an outstanding publication. We had the honor a little while back of interviewing Editor Ladette Randolph. Ploughshares is excellent and outstanding. Online submissions
Founded in 1857 and often honored by national anthologies. This is another outstanding commercial magazine with a very large circulation of about 400,000 readers. They do publish new writers from time to time. Submissions by email.
Founded in 1850 and always well honored. It is an outstanding commercial literary magazine with a circulation of 220,000 readers. Submissions by email
Started in 1998 but quickly became one of the best and best known literary magazines in the country. It has been honored by national anthologies more times than many literary magazine that have been publishing for over 100 years. We interviewed Editor Rob Spillman awhile back. Tin house is a great magazine, read the interview, buy the magazine.
The Paris Review started in 1953 and is one of the best known literary magazines in the world. It is always publishing great authors and great works.
No online submissions.
Started in 1978 and is one of the best known and best loved literary magazines in the country. It is outstanding. Online submission by payment.
Started in 1947 and has won many awards. It is a great literary magazine that publishes great authors and great works. No online submissions.
One of the best literary magazines in the country. You can always find great writers in its pages. Started in 1939. We recently did an interview with the great Poet David Baker. one of the editors of the Kenyon Review. The magazine is one of the best out there, always. Submissions online .
Is published by Georgia State university and is in our top 10 of these 50 for being always in national anthologies and winning awards. Founded in 1996 still less than 20 years old but a great literary magazine. Online submissions
Founded in 1980 and one of the best literary magazines out there. It’s always in national anthologies and winning awards. Online submissions
Publishes great authors and great writing. It has been published by Antioch College since 1941. We love the Antioch review. They are in our database, and an outstanding literary magazine. No online submission
A journal publishing great authors and great works. Founded in 1976. Online submissions
One of the very best journals out there. This journal is often honored. Published by The University of Virginia since 1925. Online submissions
A great literary magazine. No online submissions
An outstanding literary magazine. No Online submissions.
Published by Cornell University since 1947 and always publishes great authors and great writing. No online submissions.
An outstanding literary magazine that has been publishing since 1889. They are honored with awards often. No online submissions.
Founded in 1988 this literary magazine has been honored and talked about in national press often. Great work from great authors. No Online submissions
Started in 2003 this literary magazine has published many outstanding authors and outstanding work. No online submissions.
For 100 years this literary magazine has published great works by great authors. It’s always worth a read and a submission. No online submissions.
This literary magazine can trace its roots back to 1915. Published by Southern Methodist University. The magazine is always publishing great work. No online submissions.
Founded in 1947 this literary magazine publishes outstanding work and authors. No online submissions.
Founded in 1958 Triquarterly has always published great work. The magazine is honored often by national anthologies. Online submissions.
This literary magazine has been publishing great authors since 1960. We really enjoy Crazy Horse Magazine. This is a rare gem among many magazines of its kind. They are old school, so to speak. We recommend you buy a copy. Online submissions.
Founded in 1970 this literary magazine publishing great work again and again. No online submissions.
Published by Boston University since 1972. This literary journal is always publishing great work. Online submissions.
Alaska Quarterly Review
Founded in 1980 and published at the University of Alaska of Anchorage. The magazine publishes great work. No online submissions
This magazine was founded in 1988 and has a large following. They also publish book. The literary magazine publishes great names in writing. Online submissions.
This literary magazine began publishing in 1949 and is one of the very best. No online submissions.
The literary magazine has been publishing great work since 1985. It’s one of the best. Online submissions.
Has been publishing outstanding work since 1986. Online submissions.
This literary magazine has been publishing great work since 1998. Online submissions.
An outstanding literary magazine since 1999. Online submissions
This literary magazine has only been publishing for 6 years, but has been honored so many times it made our list. No online submissions.
First published in 1987 the literary magazine has come on strong lately with many honors. Online submissions.
Published since 1991 this magazine is always coming up with great work. On online submissions.
Glimmer Train is only way down here at 38 because they do not publish poetry. Most of our numbers that go into this list are based on awards and anthologies, and magazines on our list take a big hit for only publishing Short stories or only poetry. It’s not a perfect method. Glimmer Train is one of the best literary magazines in the country. If they published poetry they would most-likely be in the top 10.
This literary magazine has been publishing since 1927 and is one of the very best. Their new website is very well done, and they now take online submissions!
Since 1978 this magazine has won many honors and has published great works by great authors. The Missouri Review is one of those old. Online submissions.
The journal was founded in the 1970s and is always publishing great works. No online submissions.
The literary magazine has been publishing since 1981 and always has great authors. No online submissions.
Was founded in 2006 but has won many honors in the short time it has been publishing. Online submissions.
Founded in 1946 this literary magazine is always publishing great works. No online submissions.
An outstanding literary magazine. No online submissions.
This literary magazine was founded in 1947 and always publishes great works. The Black Warrior Review is always publishing outstanding works by amazing authors. We are big fans of this unique and long standing magazine. Online submissions.
This literary magazine only publishes poetry and was founded in 1976. It is one of the top 2 poetry magazines in the country. No online submissions.
The best poetry magazine in the country. Founded in 1912 and always publishing great poets. Online submissions.
The literary magazine only publishing poetry and was founded in 1998. One of the best. No online submissions.
One of the very best. Founded in 1959 and is always publishing great work. Online submissions.