PEN America Literary Awards PEN/Magid Award for Editing


The PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, established in 1993, honors a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Candidates for this biennial award include current editors-in-chief, literary editors, and “back-of-the-book” editors of serious general interest magazines, book reviews, or literary reviews and quarterlies, whose intellectual discernment and wide range of interests recall the late PEN America Member Nora Magid. The winning nominee will receive an award of $2,500.

Alexandra Watson

Alexandra Watson, Apogee Journal, 2019 Winner

Judges: Mark Doten, Kima Jones, Daniel A. Olivas

From the judges’ citation: For Watson’s high literary stewardship as the editor of Apogee, a journal of literature and art, foregrounding writers of color and engaging with issues of race, gender, and class, including Apogee‘s “Alternate Canon” series.


Featured Works

Apogee Issue 7 Cover

Apogee Issue 8 Cover

Apogee Issue 9 COVER

Apogee Issue 10 Cover


Previous Winners

(This award is offered every other year, in odd-numbered years.)

1993  Peter Stitt, Gettysburg Review

1995  Herbert Leibowitz, Parnassus

1997  Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review

1999  Stan Lindberg, Georgia Review

2001  Askold Melnyczuk, AGNI

2003  Robert Fogarty, Antioch Review

2005  Willard Spiegelman, Southwest Review

2007  Bradford Morrow, Conjunctions

2009  Hannah Tinti, One Story

2011  Brigid Hughes, A Public Space

2013  Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

2015  Rob Spillman, Tin House

2017  Michael Archer & Joel Whitney, Guernica

2019 Alexandra Watson, Apogee Journal



Selection Process

Candidates can only be nominated by a Professional Member of PEN America who is in good standing and whose admiration of the candidate’s work prompts him or her to articulate, in some detail, the ways in which the editor has made a personal mark upon the literary quality of the publication. All nominations may be supplemented by nominations from the judges themselves.