"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."
The winners of the second annual Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes were announced, with two more prizes in place after the inaugural year. In their first year, the prizes, which are conferred by the Whiting Foundation, recognized two print magazines and one digital publication; this year, development grants, awarded exclusively to magazines with small budgets, have been added to each of those categories, for a total of five awards per year totaling $144,000.
American Short Fiction, based in Austin, won in the under $150,000 budget category, and received a $30,000 purse. The funding for all prize winners unfolds over three years, and the awards in the second and third years are made as matching grants.
"We decided to expand the prize from three to five categories so we could offer a development grant for digital and print magazines with very small budgets," Courtney Hodell, director of literary programs at the Whiting Foundation, told Publishers Weekly. "Last year we were astounded by how strong some of the publications in this category were, and how much they clearly matter to emerging writers. This is where they get a chance to be read for the first time by a wider audience, develop some important editorial relationships, and gain in confidence and craft. The magazines deserve the same kind of attention and support they're lavishing on their writers. The work the best of these do will in time benefit more established magazines and eventually book publishers, so we should all be encouraging them and watching them with interest.”
According to the Whiting website, 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 co-editors 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.”
The judges’ citation reads: 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.
The call for applications for the 2020 Literary Magazine Prizes will be announced in mid-September on the Whiting Foundation’s website, with a deadline of December 2.
For complete information on the winning publications, go here: https://whiting.org/writers/whiting-literary-magazine-prizes/current.