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 their career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication they edit.  The winning editor will receive an award of $2,500.

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. Nora Magid was for many years the literary editor of The Reporter. The award is made possible by a grant from PEN member Gerald Weales. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.

Nominations for the 2021 award will be accepted from June 15–August 15, 2020. Nominate here.

Featured Winner: Alexandra Watson, Apogee Journal, 2019

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.”

Alexandra Watson

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.)

2019 Alexandra Watson, Apogee Journal

2017  Michael Archer & Joel Whitney, Guernica

2015  Rob Spillman, Tin House

2013  Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

2011  Brigid Hughes, A Public Space

2009  Hannah Tinti, One Story

2007  Bradford Morrow, Conjunctions

2005  Willard Spiegelman, Southwest Review

2003  Robert Fogarty, Antioch Review

2001  Askold Melnyczuk, AGNI

1999  Stan Lindberg, Georgia Review

1997  Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review

1995  Herbert Leibowitz, Parnassus

1993  Peter Stitt, Gettysburg Review


  • Especially welcome are candidates who are editors of magazines, journals, and reviews published by small or regional presses, or magazines whose subjects are aimed at a specialized, but literate, readership.
  • Editors may not nominate themselves.

Nomination Guidelines

Nominations for the 2021 cycle will be open June 15–August 15, 2020.


Candidates can only be nominated by a Professional Member of PEN America whose admiration of the candidate’s work prompts them 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.