September 25th, 2011 / 12:12 pm
Haut or not & Snippets

A friend of mine wants to know—what’s the hottest litmag in the room right now?


  1. DarylTuf

      Wobbling Roof.

  2. Jubal the Rattie

      Forklift, Ohio. Always and forever.

  3. Victor Infante

      Hmmm. Excepting the one I edit, as I’m terribly biased, the only print journal I find myself repeatedly subscribing to is “Rattle,” although I still consistently think “Pearl” is better than just about anything that’s followed it. I also deeply love “Ballard Street.” Online, I’m terribly addicted to England’s “3 a.m. Magazine.”

  4. J. A. Tyler

      My vote(s): Caketrain. Artifice. The Collagist. Birkensnake.

  5. Nonnie

      One Story

  6. Gregory Sherl

      LPZ, Notnostrums, Gargoyle

  7. Alban Fischer

      Fence, New York Tyrant, Octopus, LIES/ISLE, and, yeah, probably Forklift, Ohio. But I’m probably forgetting one (or more). There are so many good ones, really.

  8. Marc

      Conduit’s got it like that.

  9. Frank Hinton

      LIES/ISLE is good. Kill Author. Untoward is hot. 

  10. Alban Fischer

      Yus, Untoward.

  11. Alban Fischer

      Has anyone heard of Filter? That one’s pretty cool.

  12. Thomas Levy

      caketrain and artifice are sex

  13. deadgod

      Sports Illustrated.

  14. Duck_and_Cover

      The New Yorker

  15. Nick Sturm

      new issue of Poor Claudia. hands down.

  16. jtc

      Re: everyone

      This might be too much to ask but I’d like to hear why you’ve picked what you’ve picked. Some I agree with. Some I don’t. Some I haven’t even heard of. But, yeah. What is it about it that makes it the hottest in the/your room?

  17. marshall
  18. marshall


  19. J. A. Tyler

      for me:

      Caketrain is annual but hot damn they always pack their volumes with so much good work (new, fresh, startling, compelling)

      Artifice is only three issues in but they have beautiful production quality and a really nice mix of experimental and more concrete work to read through

      The Collagist goes monthly with a professional online format, wonderful excerpts from forthcoming books, and typically a great selection of reviews

      Birkensnake gives away its work for free online (and the works included are usually tantalizing for me, interesting and cleverly written) but they also produce these quirky print volumes, like their latest which includes metal shavings that magnetize to the cover to finish the title graphic

  20. Anonymous


  21. BoomersMustDie


  22. Brooks Sterritt

      Black Clock (title, design, heavy-hitting authors)

  23. karl taro

      i’m going with Paris Review. They are killing it right now.

  24. 'name'


  25. BoomersMustDie

      Yeah running three Bolano stories back to back was so fucking edgy

  26. Dawn.

      The Paris Review, The New Yorker, PANK, The Collagist, Midwestern Gothic.

  27. Roxane

      Actually, it was one novel serialized over four issues. And the past four issues of TPR have been exceptional save for the Bolano novel.

  28. BoomersMustDie

      How did you think the past four issues exceptional? Seems to me like it’s the same old names stirred in with a few flavors of the month. Slightly better covers, reportage killed off. PR is ancient and hoary so I expect as much. 

  29. Pontius J. LaBar

      Any in the pile on fire behind the Winn-Dixie.

  30. Roxane

      I thought the stories and most of the poetry were fantastic and the interviews were worth the price of admission, alone. If “the same old names” can write amazing stories, I don’t really give a shit that they are the same old names. 

  31. BoomersMustDie

      Same old names does not a ‘hottest litmag in the room right now’ make… They do great interviews, but those are really the lit mag equivalent of celebrity profiles. And it’s not like Geoff Dyer, Jonathan Lethem, Jim Shepherd can’t be be found elsewhere. I don’t know much about poetry, to be fair, so maybe they’re doing better there

  32. BoomersMustDie

      I get a lot more excited about PANK than I do Paris Review, there’s always something in there I’ve never seen before. PR is too quietly competent for what it could be, and what we were promised it could be…

  33. Roxane

      I find consistent excellence hot. The reality is that most of the magazines listed here, many of which I read and really like, won’t be around in 5 years. There’s no shame in that. It’s hard to keep a magazine going, but hotness doesn’t just have to be about being “new.” It can also be about finding a way to last. The magazine I’d offer in response to this question is Unsaid, but I also love TPR. 

  34. Mike Meginnis

      Gonna be the jerk that says “mine,” partly ’cause my favorites have pretty much been named the hell out of, partly because I was gonna be that jerk anyway.

  35. BoomersMustDie

      A more prosaic reason not to mention TPR (I’ll concede that ‘T’): our petitioner has likely heard of it already… But don’t you think you could do better with a 1K per story per author and no other commitments as editor? Maybe it’s harder than it looks

  36. Roxane

      It’s harder than it looks. We all have ideas of how we could do better with the kind of money TPR and other such magazines have. I’d go nuts. I suspect editors in that position face difficult choices–do more to support truly innovative work and/or unknown writers and potentially sacrifice audience or maintain audience (and in turn their subscription fees, etc), by going with known quantities. It’s easy for smaller magazines like mine, and others listed here, to take chances, because we have nothing to lose.

  37. Xtrmntr Eyes

      Kill Author, LIES/ISLE and Artifice. None of them are afraid to do whatever the hell they want, fuck convention and showcase names you don’t see anywhere else

  38. BoomersMustDie

      I guess they have to weigh things out, editing, I gather, being all about contextualizing the new with the cozy competent old… 

      But the best lit mags in the 1910s-20s flared out after a couple of issues though (to be fair, a few were interrupted by fascism and revolution and war)

  39. BoomersMustDie

      Any votes for Triple Canopy, Cabinet or Canteen? (Haven’t read them for awhile)

  40. Roxane

      I have never been disappointed by an issue of Canteen.

  41. Jubal the Rattie

      No Colony also.

  42. Tsk

      Controversial opinion: magazines like The Paris Review actually publish a lot more interesting and surprising writers than most of the small press indie magazines being listed in this thread, most of whom quite literally recycle the same names issues after issue (and the same names between each other.) 

      Also, I think you are just lying if you think Kerry Howley, Amie Barrodale, Joshua Cohen, and Alexandra Kleeman (all of whom were published in the last few issues) are the “same old names” 

  43. postitbreakup

      My goal for 2012 is to get a story into Pank.

  44. postitbreakup

      Wow, thanks for introducing me to this one. Looks great

  45. BoomersMustDie

      Those names would be the aforementioned “flavors of the month,” although some the stories were definitely as good. Off topic:  a remarkably good looking bunch of writers… 

  46. NLY

      The one I’m actually most interested in seeing develop is a brand new place called The Brooklyner. It will probably emulcify and rot, given the opportunity, but hey, it’s got the opportunity. I’m not suggesting it as an ‘indie’ journal: it’s just a journal I’m currently interested in.

  47. Chet

      minus times

  48. Ken Baumann

      The Milan Review, LIES/ISLE.

  49. Anonymous

      Review of Contemporary Fiction, New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, Cerise Press, and from time to time, Barcelona Review.

  50. Tsk

      Your problem with this line of argument is that these authors make up the BULK of new fiction published by TPR in the last four issues. Other than the Bolano serialization, which seems fairly a-typical to me personally, the only obvious “same old name” author that TPR has published a story from is Jonathan Lethem. 

      Maybe you just really hate Lethem? 

      I know that’s it is par for the course for people on htmlgiant to knee-jerkingly claim that all larger magazines are horrible dinosaurs publishing the same authors and never doing anything interesting, blah blah, but TPR under Stein has a pretty good track record so far. 

  51. BoomersMustDie

      How can something be atypical if it’s consistent across 100 percent of Stein’s issues? (Yes, I’m sure he’ll do something different in the next issue, I just don’t think Bolano was particularly daring choice and to drag it out for four issues and let it gobble up all of the fiction slots… )  I had really high hopes for him after seeing what he’d done at FSG and don’t see that the stuff he’s running has the same verve… you are welcome to disagree

  52. Tsk

      I meant that serializing a novel is not a “typical” move for a literary magazine, not that Bolano isn’t a typical author for Stein. 

  53. Leapsloth14

      The crystal gavel

  54. BoomersMustDie

      I like Lethem, wasn’t his best work though… and one of the responsibilities of running a mag like TPR should be to police the “same old names” so they don’t just use your magazine as a slush fund for their sloppier pieces… maybe my expectations are too high

  55. Madison Langston

      idk where we are going with hottest exactly but I think DIAGRAM, Poor Claudia, Unsaid, Caketrain, Pop Serial, Alice Blue Review, Corium, New York Tyrant

  56. Madison Langston

      also ABJECTIVE (rip)

  57. Non-Biased Observer

      It’s pretty clearly the Safety Pin Review.

  58. Lilzed

      TPR was started by the CIA.

      Just sayin.

  59. Brooks Sterritt

      no prob

  60. Lilzed

      “quietly competent.” lol

      That’s funny

  61. Adam D Jameson

      I know only the coffeehouse in Wicker Park (Chicago).

  62. Adam D Jameson

      Is it the hottest, though? I would’ve thought not hot. But I haven’t read it since 1999.

  63. Adam D Jameson

      Good addendum.

  64. BoomersMustDie

      It received some USIC money early on but was not ‘started by the CIA’… wealthy dowagers have provided far more funding than the feds ever have

  65. Adam D Jameson

      Since I’ve been published in Caketrain, The Collagist, and Birkensnake, I highly approve of your reasoning! (And I think Artifice is blacklisting me cuz I’ve thus far failed to head over to Rebekah’s place and see her adorable new cats.)

      Adding for actual value: I really, really like Birkensnake. Because I think the print edition looks great, and the web edition looks great (what a wonder to have both, and to have them both be done so well!), and because the work is always strong and varied (in many ways).

  66. Glauque


      (Also the lit mag that’s currently on the rightmost in the rack above.)

      They had Mary Gaitskill and Thomas Bernhard in their first issue. And just came out a great mega issue recently. (Sven Birkerts had something in it, I think.) Worth checking out, just my two cents.

  67. Adam D Jameson

      Mike, I like Uncanny Valley.

  68. Adam D Jameson

      Does the Minus Times still exist? (Of course, existing is not necessarily a prerequisite to being hot. I’m all wet for Locus Solus.)

  69. Adam D Jameson

      I deliberately left “hot” undefined.

  70. Adam D Jameson

      Because my friend did.

  71. Nick

      Mud Luscious Online is always really really great.  Love the genre blur.

  72. Adam D Jameson

      Thank you for all of these, everyone!

      Looks like Artifice is pretty hot. I may have to go over to Rebekah’s place after all… (and be nice to Tadd, which will be much harder).

  73. Mike Meginnis

      Thank you! We like you too.

      We’d still like to run “The Woords,” by the way. We were thinking of maybe doing it in our second print issue, now that we (essentially) have a first print issue and we haven’t been able to get it online. E-mail me sometime.

  74. William VanDenBerg

      There seems to be some concensus on The Collagist.  I’m also going to nominate them for The Nicest Rejection Letter Award.

  75. Guestate

      Some fine journals not yet mentioned… Joyland, Sidebrow, Gulf Coast, Sous Les Paves, Super Arrow, [out of nothing].

  76. deadgod

      The reportage and commentary, when they’re good, are as good as it gets–Jane Mayer, for example.

  77. NotI

      yo mama.

  78. Trey

      i agree w/ DIAGRAM because it’s an online journal that gets like active respect from people that normally don’t respect online journals, so it seems to be doing something right. I guess I don’t know about it’s overall respect (and I don’t have any bias against online journals and have appeared once in DIAGRAM so maybe I’m biased toward it) but I know that I go to the Univ of Missouri and there’s not a lot of respect flying around for online journals, but DIAGRAM is pretty well respected. seems hot.

      although maybe seems problematic that I’m defining hot in that way. I guess if I really took hot to it’s real definition I’d probably say like Sixth Finch or maybe Octopus (although Octupus is sort of like less hot now. still very very good, but not hot) or I don’t know what. Sixth Finch seems like a good answer

  79. Trey

      ‘real definition’ isn’t right, I mean what I perceive as its definition, something like ‘fresh, doing something new’ and probably not really close to ‘respected by people who only usually respect print journals’

  80. Dirtypetticoats

      Her Royal Majesty is great. Based in Paris, bi-annual print, but new stuff online too.

  81. Russ

      Haha, the idea of it being hard to be nice to Tadd is really funny. Just about the easiest-to-get-along-with guy ever.

  82. Russ

      According to this post, my friends edit some of the hottest literary magazines in the room. That’s a good feeling.

  83. Mark Danowsky

      Camera Obscura’s Issue 3 is impressive. 

  84. Gary McDowell

      Copper Nickel.

  85. joe

      The Gut.

  86. cfw
  87. Estanislao Pónz

      in méxico (in case anybody here speaks spanish/wants to learn/wants +10 tacos in hipsterism: is groundbreaking.

  88. Adam D Jameson

      I realized I was reading only the “Around Town” section and the cartoons. So I canceled my subscription. (This was also when I was living outside NYC.)

  89. Adam D Jameson

      OK! I’ll email you! I was just thinking about this and feeling like a total dick about having fallen out of contact about it…

  90. Jubal the Rattie

      I like the writing in many lit mags however I confess to being especially seduced by production and so therefore publications like Forklift, Ohio and No Colony and DIAGRAM and others with illustrations and a look-and-feel I like are particularly appealing to me. And that is true of online pubs also.

  91. Jeffblackman2001

      Probably Dragnet or The Moose & Pussy, but I’m just a handsome troll.

  92. Largehearted Boy: Shorties (Stream the New Ryan Adams Album, Michael Chabon, and more)

      […] HTMLGIANT readers recommend hot litmags. […]

  93. Tchuch

      Dear Navigator, P-Queue, TRNSFR, Abraham Lincoln, Kitty Snacks, Tuesday. 

  94. Jack O'Neal

      US Weekly is doing some really interesting avant garde stuff these days

  95. Chet

      had an issue out about 2 years ago. kennedy operates at southern speed

  96. deckfight

      …annalemma anyone?

  97. Lilzed
  98. Dave C Sterner

      Electric literature…if you haven’t checked them out, then you’re behind the curve.

  99. William Owen

      Electric Lit is one i would buy in hardcover if they put it out like that. Fence and Rattle have been incredibly excellent issue after issue for years now. Tarpaulin Sky. Brain Harvest. And Staccato. Fucking love Staccato

  100. Aaron Barrell

      A Public Space

  101. J.

      Also, don’t forget the interviews. Or the Édouard Levé, which was pretty damn interesting…

  102. J.

      Kind of can’t believe nobody’s mentioned NOON or Harper’s here.

  103. J.
  104. Will

      that’s cuz the editors of Noon haven’t told their minions to go reply on this message board…

  105. Daisy Atterbury

      “Brass Sopaipilla” or “Digital Hamper,” by Benny Lichtner at Brown. the first issue published David Ohle, Blake Butler, Rob Walsh and Tim Ramick. Sleeping Fish is also great, as is Fence.

  106. Jubal the Rattie

       Recommend George Saunders story “Home” in New Yorker. Think it’s online for
      free. Maybe from back in June or so. It’s hot.

  107. 343

      The Society On Da Run

  108. Matt Rowan

      I’m gonna be controversial and agree with two of them being Annalemma and Artifice. Those are just great. I think Twelve Stories is worth mentioning. Lots of great stuff there, and an excellent concept for publication. I’d like to say The New Yorker, which seems to be doing better and mixing things up a bit in recent years, but still bores me with the kind of Jonathan Franzen-esque slice-of-suburbia or waspy-new-york-life they often publish. They should be required to publish something by George Saunders or exhibiting his kind of whimsy every other issue. Others that are hot, Metazen, Everyday Genius, Bartleby Snopes, Used Furniture Review.

      Also, the criterion for hot was how much I like something right? And I mean me, Matt Rowan, specifically. I should hope my brand of solipsism is justified somewhere. 

      A rising star is Red Lightbulbs. Keep them in mind, jerks. 

      P.S. – to all who have mentioned Untoward in this thread, you truly are the real heroes. 

  109. Richard Thomas

      Of the previously mentioned, dying to get into Caketrain, The Collagist, Annalemma, Black Clock, Copper Nickel, etc.

      Of the not mentioned (I skimmed, so apologies if I missed these guys) Juked, Hobart, GUD, Bat City Review, Black Warrior Review, Cream City Review, Dark Sky Magazine, The Pinch, Versal, Needle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Missouri Review, Metazen, Pear Noir!, etc.

      Happy to see that I’m in a couple places mentioned here: PANK (online), Gargoyle, 3:AM, etc.

      GREAT LIST. I’m taking extensive notes.

  110. Jcvandez

      Tin House

  111. Tim Jones-Yelvington
  112. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      It is less that it is hard to be nice to him and more that it is sometimes fun to be mean.

  113. Tadd Adcox

      aw you guys

  114. Tadd Adcox

      um, i’m gonna go ahead and give the shout-out for Red Lightbulbs, duh

  115. Tadd Adcox

      cool! haven’t seen this one, thanks.

  116. Tadd Adcox

      um, duh, yes, definitely

  117. Matt Rowan

      Shut up, Tadd. 

      (Huh, I see what you mean, Tim.) 

  118. Matt Rowan

      Finally, something I can obtain that’s equal to Thor’s hammer. 

  119. Tim Jones-Yelvington


  120. Anonymous

      Yes! If you’re in the Pacific NW, it’s all about Filter.

  121. Alban Fischer
  122. BoomersMustDie

      That article reads a little nuts, friend…

  123. Tsk

      ha, definitely my thought at a lot of ones listed. NOON rules. 

  124. J.

      seems undignified, doing such a thing

  125. BoomersMustDie

      I prefer A Private Space

  126. i don't know guys

      seems “really hard” to consider apathy “hot”

  127. stephen

      the naked-dude-playing-video-games cover is one of the few recent lit mag covers i’ve seen that i’ve liked 

  128. stephen

      i wish they’d publish the current generation’s “hot” writers, though, instead of the previous or so generation

  129. stephen

      idk what i mean exactly, but just not publish nathan englander or whatever.. it’s called electric lit so it’s supposed to have something to do with the electric/read:online generation, right? or no

  130. stephen

      i have never read nathan englander. lol
      sup everybody

  131. Madison Langston

      think you meant ‘really hard’ and ‘hot’ but idk, i’m not sure

  132. BoomersMustDie

      Nathan’s a known-known to reel in the rubes…

  133. mimi

      are you sure your comment wasn’t meant for the chick lit thread?

      or as an addendum to jimmy’s man matrix?

  134. elizabeth ellen

      i miss lamination colony. they was hot.

  135. Sh

  136. Sh

      Also, Nether Magazine? At

  137. “The Hottest Litmag” as determined by everyone who has ever read HTMLGIANT | HTMLGIANT

      […] at least those who responded a while back when I asked folks to name “the hottest litmag in the room.” As of that moment. And now, after the […]