My Favorite Literary Magazines

As we continue with our big countdown and donation drive this month, we’ll keep you entertained with more thoughts on city life, writing life, and how the two lives intersect. Today I’m thinking about my favorite literary magazines, the ones I always read with excitement and interest, and the ones we here at Two Cities are often inspired by.

The New Yorker

is the big granddaddy of all literary magazines, I try to never miss a story. Every week the New Yorker manages to produce and curate some of the best creative writing that can be found; this is reflected by its reserved status in each year’s i Best American Short Stories. Every story is impeccably polished and star-studded. To get your proper short story education, the New Yorker can’t be passed by.

The Paris Review

When I’m looking for the same impeccable quality as the New Yorker, but for stories that are slightly more off the beaten path, the Paris review is always there. This equally hallowed literary magazine has the same elite personality as the New Yorker, but often has stories that are a little more satisfying for some reason. Endings in Paris Review stories always leave me uplifted or devastated. It’s maybe a greater willingness to feel something that makes the Paris review special.


Another highly esteemed magazine, but based in my hometown of Boston, Ploughshares is always a fresh and interesting voice. It has a different guest editor for each issue, which gives a new life and voice to each different edition. It’s great to dig back through past issues and choose one based on what author you love. I just picked up a copy from the Boston Book Festival edited by Nick Flynn.

One Story

I can’t get enough of the endlessly gripping One Story. For one, it only releases one carefully chosen story every three weeks; it’s just the right single serving to make the train ride home memorable, or to move you while you’re waiting the water to boil (I’ve got an electric stove that takes quite a while). One Story, which I interned for, is a small company run by a small but enthusiastic team of writers and editors with great taste. The stories you’ll get are more edgy, more experimental, more playful, and often more interesting than what you get from the larger glossier magazines and journals.

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