Most Prestigious Literary Magazines II

Earlier this month, I took a look to see which literary magazines have had the most success in the Best American Short Stories (BASS) anthology. Today I went through a similar exercise with the O’Henry Prize Awards – Prize Stories anthology. Every year, the series editor (formerly Larry Dark, now Laura Furman) selects 20 or so stories (from a shortlist of 50), which she gives to a panel of three jurors. These jurors then decided which stories are the best of the year. Naturally, given the nomination process, the anthology heavily reflected the taste of the series editor. Like BASS, The New Yorker came out on top in terms of number of appearances in the anthology during the four years I initially examined, but the other glossies also did well. Here are the magazines with at least three appearances from 2000 to 2003.

The O-Henry Awards

The New Yorker

The Atlantic Monthly


Harper’s Magazine
DoubleTake (3)

The Gettysburg Review



Zoetrope All-Story

O’Henry also names a “Magazine Award” winner every year. “This is determined by (1) the number of stories selected for Prize Stories […]: The O’Henry Awards, (2) the number and placement of stories among the top-prize winners, and (3) the number of short listed stories.” Again there is no surprise; The New Yorker, as a deep-pocketed weekly that has remained steadfast in its commitment to fiction, comes out on top.

O’Henry Magazine Award
1997 Epoch

1998 The New Yorker
1999 The New Yorker

2000 The Atlantic Monthly

2001 The New Yorker

2002 The New Yorker

I have not yet looked more closely at the Furman-edited anthologies, but I found the list of 2005 winners from the O’Henry web site. Here are what the results look like, amended to reflect Furman’s 2005 picks.

The O-Henry Awards
2000-2003, 2005

The New Yorker (20)
The Atlantic Monthly (8)
Esquire (6)
Harper’s Magazine (5)
Zoetrope All-Story (5)
DoubleTake (3)
The Gettysburg Review (3)

The Kenyon Review
McSweeneys (3)
Ploughshares (3)

The Threepenny Review

Now, if I can only find enough copies of the Pushcart Prize anthology to examine…

Update 9/21 – Cliff Garstang shares a link to a list of magazines (and their number of appearances in the anthologies) compiled by The Sand Hill Review’s Marty Sorensen. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t say which anthologies Marty analyzed.

One response to “Most Prestigious Literary Magazines II

  1. I contacted Marty Sorensen about the list parameters. Here’s his reply:

    Hi Cliff, the list was prepared by Mitch Berman at San Jose State and he shared it with us during a monthly meeting of the South Bay Writers Club. I can’t find the piece of paper he gave out, but I’m pretty sure it was 2002-3-4 and the Best American Short Stores and Pushcart Anthology, but I’m unclear about O Henry.

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