Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Good for you, McSweeney's

Buried in this NYT story on the National Magazine Awards, you'll find that McSweeney's won for fiction this year, beating the New Yorker, Playboy, Virgina Quarterly Review, and Zoetrope: All Story.

I've been trying to dig up old lists of finalists, but haven't had much luck. (I haven't really tried all that hard. I know that at least a couple of them are available at Snarkmarket.) What strikes me about this year's list is how few surprises there are. Where are the small lit mags no one has heard of that are printing great stories? (VQR is the only "small" magazine on the list, and they've been getting a lot of attention lately. Esquire and Granta are the only two big story publishers I can think of who weren't finalists this year, especially since the Atlantic Monthly doesn't print fiction anymore. (A quick glance a Snarkmarket's lists of old finalists reminds me of two more: The Paris Review and Harper's, although under their new editor, TPR seems to be focusing as much on reportage as fiction this days, which is a bit of a disappointment to me.) Is that it? Are the New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, and Harper's really the only four magazines reaching a mass audience who print fiction? (As much as I love them, I'm not sure it can be said that McSweeney's, VQR, TPR, Zoetrope or Granta reach a mass audience.)

Please tell me that I'm missing someone.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

Maybe you can tell that I was witing in a hurry when I was posting yesterday. I think the thoughts as a whole were good, but they weren't always polished.

For example, while I start out in this post whining about there being no small lit mags that the National Mag Awards brought to my attention, I apparently ignore the fact that a small mag, McSweeney's, actually won the award, which is pretty cool, and then I finish by complaining that there are so few big mags that still publish fiction. There's at least two distinct thoughts in there, and yet they both got crammed, without my even realizing that I'm talking about two different things, into a single post.

We're heading into the summer, so I should do better in the future.