February 6th, 2012 / 11:30 am
Haut or not

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

—or 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 jump, I’ve compiled the responses.

By far the clear number one was …

But first, a note on my method/ I counted every time the litmag was mentioned; I also counted every “like” a comment received, because this is a popularity contest.

Also, I didn’t check the spellings of any of these journals—whether there’s technically a “the” in front or not, or whether it’s supposed to be Init-capitalized or in ALL CAPS or in all lowercase, or whether there’s supposed to be an equal sign or a plus sign between each of the letters, etc. Also, I didn’t include links to any of these journals unless the URLs were provided in the thread. Life’s too short, and you can just google them, anyway. And I didn’t check to see whether the journal is real, or was voted for only “ironically”; I trust you to determine such for yourselves. And I didn’t check whether the mag still exists or not; I think we all know that this will probably all end tomorrow? You’re lucky that I even compiled this, let alone italicized the titles. (And I didn’t check whether the title should not be italicized.) (All of this reminds me—Blake, the intern you promised me hasn’t reported in yet—check on that?)

So, bearing all this in mind, by far the clear number one hottest litmag in the room was:

  1. LIES/ISLE: 32 votes

…which is a journal that I myself was unaware of; shows how hip I am.

Rounding out the rest of the top ~ten were:

  1. The Paris Review: 25 votes
  2. The Collagist: 23 votes
  3. Artifice: 22 votes [tie]
  4. New York Tyrant: 22 votes [tie]
  5. Caketrain: 16 votes [tie]
  6. Kill Author: 16 votes [tie]
  7. Birkensnake: 15 votes
  8. Untoward: 14 votes
  9. Forklift, Ohio: 13 votes
  10. Asymptote: 12 votes [tie]
  11. PANK: 12 votes [tie]
  12. Fence: 11 votes [tie]
  13. Octopus: 11 votes [tie]
  14. Conduit: 10 votes [tie]
  15. Unsaid: 10 votes [tie]

Votes for The Paris Review generated some argument, with there being several votes against it that could have been read as meaning that it should be lower … but that I instead chose to read as a sign that folks feel passionately about it, and that it’s therefore “hot” (whatever that means—I deliberately left it vague).

Beyond that, there were multiple votes for:

  1. Annalemma: 9 votes
  2. DIAGRAM: 8 votes
  3. Poor Claudia: 8 votes
  4. The Milan Review: 7 votes
  5. The New Yorker: 7 votes
  6. Alice Blue Review: 6 votes
  7. Corium: 6 votes
  8. Pop Serial: 6 votes
  9. Sports Illustrated: 6 votes
  10. ABJECTIVE: 5 votes
  11. Midwestern Gothic: 5 votes
  12. Uncanny Valley: 5 votes
  13. Filter: 4 votes
  14. No Colony: 4 votes
  15. One Story: 4 votes
  16. Red Lightbulbs: 4 votes
  17. shallow: 4 votes
  18. Black Clock: 3 votes
  19. Electric Literature: 3 votes
  20. Gargoyle: 3 votes
  21. Triple Canopy: 3 votes
  22. 3:AM Magazine: 2 votes
  23. Abraham Lincoln: 2 votes
  24. The Brooklyner: 2 votes
  25. Camera Obscura: 2 votes (Issue 3 got singled out)
  26. Canteen: 2 votes
  27. Copper Nickel: 2 votes
  28. Dear Navigator: 2 votes
  29. Kenyon Review: 2 votes
  30. Kitty Snacks: 2 votes
  31. LPZ (la petite zine): 2 votes
  32. Metazen: 2 votes
  33. Mud Luscious Online: 2 votes
  34. NOON: 2 votes
  35. Notnostrums: 2 votes
  36. P-Queue: 2 votes
  37. Rattle: 2 votes
  38. Sixth Finch: 2 votes
  39. TRNSFR: 2 votes
  40. Tuesday: 2 votes
  41. US Weekly: 2 votes
  42. Wobbling Roof: 2 votes

Finally, the following litmags all received one vote: A Public Space, adj noun (“Brass Sopaipilla”, “Digital Hamper”), Ballard Street, Barcelona Review (“from time to time”), Bartleby Snopes, Bat City Review, Black Warrior Review, Brain Harvest, Cabinet, Cerise Press, Cream City Review, The Crystal Gavel, Dark Sky Magazine, Dragnet, Everyday Genius, Glimmer Train, GUD, Gulf Coast, The Gut, Harper’s, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Her Royal Majesty (“Paris-based, bi-annual print, but new stuff online too”), hermano cerdo, Hobart, Joyland, Juked, lamination colony, Locus Solus, London Review of Books, minus times, Missouri Review, The Moose & Pussy, Needle, Nether Magazine, New York Review of Books, [out of nothing], Pear Noir!, Pearl, The Pinch, Pyrta Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Safety Pin Review, Sidebrow, Sleeping Fish, The Society On Da Run, Sous Les Paves, Staccato, Super Arrow, Tarpaulin Sky, Tin House, Twelve Stories, Used Furniture Review, and Versal.

And there were also votes for “any in the pile on fire behind the Winn-Dixie” and “yo mama,” but I’ve never heard of those organs (although the first would make a great title for a journal).

Well, there you go. This should keep us busy for a while?



  1. Yumi Mi Tummi

      ugh of course Happy Dog Mom wouldn’t be on a list made by HTMLGiant

  2. Helen
  3. A D Jameson

      I am merely the messenger. (I also abstained from voting in that thread, as I was more curious to see what others thought.)

  4. Stephen Tully Dierks
  5. Helen

      I am not aiming my big guns at you, just puffing a bit of smoke around and abound.

  6. A D Jameson

      Hi, Stephen!

  7. A D Jameson

      Bullets I can dodge. Smoke cannot be avoided.

  8. A D Jameson

      It kind of is now.

  9. A D Jameson

      Incidentally, Necessary Fiction has published me twice, and ran a very nice review of my first book, so I am deeply in their debt!

      Hobart, the checks Aaron sent me all bounced.

  10. Helen

      Conflict of interest on my part for NF – a bit of my novel is going to (hopefully) be published by them soonish. Hobart I like because I keep catching on to links that lead there, and always to good things.

  11. Matt Rowan

      What this really shows is there just a lot of excellent publications at work these days. I don’t really think of them in terms of their standing on this list. I love them all. Also, there is a curious lack of Happy Dog Mom Lit Journal here. Once again.

  12. Mason Johnson

      Needs more dogs and more moms.

  13. Anonymous

      The entire list is a gangbang of conflict.

  14. postitbreakup

      A D J, I don’t think you spend enough of your time tabulating results & making lists. I really think you should work on that

  15. Anonymous

      What’s up with the random linking?

  16. herocious

      Bikini Magazine

  17. Walter Mackey

      What about Screaming Seahorse?

  18. postitbreakup


  19. postitbreakup


  20. reynard

      sorry but i don’t see what function this list serves, us weekly is clearly the best

  21. Anonymous

      I’m excited to have Artifice included in such great company. & while I imagine that putting up links to this entire list would be a tremendous pain, I’m going to go ahead and slip in a link to Artifice, right here, in case y’all want to check our hotness: http://artificebooks.org/

  22. postitbreakup

      what criteria do y’all use to decide if something is actually a litmag or just someone’s blog that their friends post on?

      i used to think it was if they had a print edition or not, but this  doesn’t seem as relevant anymore, so i don’t know what is

  23. Frank Hinton

      48 are you fistfucking me? we run 5 stories a week and regularly give bjs to male contributors. 

  24. Matt Rowan
  25. Matt Rowan

      If it’s any consolation, Frank, your endorsement of Untoward’s hotness got us the lion’s share of our votes. I don’t know if that’s a consolation, but I hope it is. 

  26. Matt Rowan

      I never know what’s a consolation. 

  27. M. Kitchell


  28. Mason Johnson

      Would be interesting to see how these numbers correlate with traffic/hits of the websites for these individual journals. (Especially for the journals that are exclusively-online.)

      Anyone willing to provide numbers? Say, average hits per day for the last month maybe? It’s fine if you don’t want to share this, I can understand everyone not wanting to.

  29. Erik Stinson
  30. Mason Johnson
  31. Michael J. Martin

      I’ve yet to receive my bj Frank.

  32. Anonymous
  33. Anonymous

       that would be interesting…………………not

  34. A Depressed Hamster

      where is the list of “the hottest lists”?

  35. Anonymous

      New game for determining hottest lit mag contributors: reverse rankings. Add up each of your publications. Throw all data away. Everyone is disqualified except that black dot girl with the bewbz.

  36. Andrew.

      Let’s do a “The Hottest Publishing House” now!

  37. Michael J. Martin

      I do. I’m at the site now. I haven’t left it in 10hrs. Life ruiner. DJ KAY SLAY is the truth, sometimes.

  38. Mike

      From “About” LIES/ISLE: “While acknowledging that our work is influenced by the systems under which it operates, we also believe that it possesses the agency to affect change.” And to what causes do they attribute this “affect”? A Gershwin tune? Who am I kidding? It’s obviously Lady Gaga. Fucking illiterates.

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  40. Mean Penguin

      Ya know, normally Slice is really good about blatantly cheating at games like this. It must’ve finally come to pass that every single staffer got preggo.

  41. Darby Larson

      this is the most important list in the history of lists

  42. Anonymous
  43. Anonymous

      submit submit submit submit! rejection rejection rejection

  44. barry graham

      the idea that hobart and everyday genius only got one vote is mind boggling. and storyglossia not getting even one, thats just disgusting… especially considering some of the journals that received multiple votes. 

  45. Banango

      red lightbulbs should be higher, guys

      also happy dog mom. happy mom dog. whatever, i love those guys.

  46. Anonymous

      Not a single mention of Do Not Look at the Sun? Surely the hottest thing out there… so hot the latest issue was actually illegal. http://www.donotlookatthesun.com/

  47. leapsloth14
  48. Anonymous

       happy dog mom didn’t “break” until after this poll was taken

  49. Anonymous

       I don’t believe it existed yet when this poll was taken?

  50. Anonymous

      Los Angeles Review of Books

  51. Anonymous

      Los Angeles Review of Books, Berfrois, Full-Stop, New Inquiry…

  52. Anonymous

      Los Angeles Review of Books

  53. Anonymous

      Berfrois, Full-stop

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