Words Without Borders, A Public Space, and Fence to receive first annual awards for outstanding literary magazines
Words Without Borders (WWB) has been named a winner of the inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes, the Whiting Foundation announced today. The prizes recognize three magazines for their superb publishing, advocacy of writers, and importance to the literary community.
“For a magazine devoted to literature in translation to win this groundbreaking prize makes a clear statement about the importance of international narratives within the US literary landscape today,” said WWB executive director Karen M. Phillips. “We are deeply honored and will use this opportunity to keep expanding the space for stories that break through boundaries and connect us to the world.”
The Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes were launched to acknowledge, reward, and encourage organizations that are actively nurturing the writers who tell us, through their art, what is important. Five expert judges looked for publications that embody the best of what magazines do: edit and publish extraordinary writing, support talented writers on the page and in the world, connect with readers, and advance the literary community. WWB, which won for the digital category, will receive $10,000 in 2018 and a matching grant of $10,000 in 2019 and 2020.
In their citation, the judges praised the magazine’s “robust, insightful array of otherwise unavailable international literature,” calling it “a monument to international collaboration and a shared belief in artistic possibility.”
The Whiting Foundation will provide the winners with support beyond the prize itself, including access to expert advisors for capacity-building projects. For WWB, which marks its fifteenth anniversary this year, this assistance will support the development of a new strategic plan and help the organization expand its impact on readers, translators, and writers.
“So many of the brilliant writers the Foundation has supported over the past four decades had their first editorial relationship and their first experience of publishing at the hands of literary magazines, who launched them into the world of readers,” said Courtney Hodell, Director of Literary Programs at the Whiting Foundation. “They’re a crucial part of the ecosystem, and yet there are few sources of external support available to them. We hope that this prize will draw fresh eyes to their compelling work.”