Top 50 Literary Magazines

 Taken from:

 Find a complete listing of literary magazines here.

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.


  1. New Yorker
  • 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
  1. Ploughshares
  • 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. Online submissions
  1. The Atlantic
  • 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.
  1. Harper’s Magazine
  • Founded in 1850 and always well honored. It is an outstanding commercial literary magazine with a circulation of 220,000 readers. Submissions by email at
  1. Tin House
  • 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.
  1. Paris Review
  1. New England Review
  1. Georgia Review
  1. Kenyon Review
  1. Five Points
  • 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
  1. Threepenny Review
  1. Antioch Review
  1. Callaloo
  1. Virginia Quarterly Review
  • One of the very best journals out there. This journal is often honored. Published by The University of Virginia since 1925. Online submissions
  1. Southern Review
  1. Conjunctions
  1. Epoch
  1. Granta
  1. Gettysburg Review
  1. Cincinnati Review
  1. Yale Review
  1. Southwest Review
  1. Hudson Review
  1. Triquarterly
  • Founded in 1958 Triquarterly has always published great work. The magazine is honored often by national anthologies. Online submissions
  1. Crazy Horse
  1. Iowa Review
  1. Agni
  • Published by Boston University since 1972. This literary journal is always publishing great work.Online submissions
  1. Alaska Quarterly Review
  1. Mcsweeney’s 7
  1. Shenandoah 1949
  1. Boulevard
  1. Harvard Review 1986
  1. Fence
  1. American Scholar 1999
  1. Subtropics 2006
  1. Witness
  1. Volt
  1. Xconnect
  1. Prairie Schooner
  1. The Missouri Review
  1. Oxford Review
  1. Bomb
  1. A Public Space
  1. Chicago Review
  1. Connecticut Review
  1. Black Warrior Review
  1. American Poetry Review
  • 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:
  1. Poetry
  1. Barrow Street
  1. Massachusetts Review

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