Million Writers Award
Notable Stories of 2006

Here they are: The best online short stories published during 2006.

Some of the names here you will recognize (such as singer Janis Ian, who has written a top-notch speculative fiction story). Others you will recognize in the coming years. All styles and genres of short stories are represented below. All types of writing styles are on exhibit. The only criteria used to select these stories was excellence and, as you will see, there is plenty of excellence to be found among online journals and magazines.

Thanks to everyone who nominated a story. And a big thanks to the preliminary judges who helped screen the nominations and/or nominated their own lists of favorite stories: Jeff Bryant, Jackie Corley, Jeff Crook, Thom Didato, Nick Mamatas, Sean Merrigan, Jessica Schneider, Laurie Seidler, D. Antwan Stewart, Dan Wickett, and the two additional judges who wished to remain anonymous.

The top ten stories of the year will be released on May 23, with the public vote for the top story also beginning then. If you enjoy the Million Writes Award, consider supporting storySouth by making a donation to help cover the costs of using a secure vote system for the public vote part of the award (this will prevent people from hacking or manipulating the vote).

Thanks to everyone for helping to support online literature.

Jason Sanford
editor and publisher

Top Online Magazines and Journals

Million Writers Award for best online publication

  • Storyglossia wins this award for having six of their stories selected as notable stories of the year.  As it says on their website, "Stories matter." Steven J. McDermott, the editor of Storyglossia, proves this by consistently publishing stories which rank among the best short fiction on the web.

Million Writers Award for best publisher of novella-length fiction

  • Narrative Magazine is the co-winner in this category. This online magazine continues to dazzle and I'm sure it will shine even brighter now that they're the publisher of the much-missed StoryQuarterly (which I expect to be heavily represented in next year's list of notable stories).
  • The other winner is The King's English, which is also named winner-emeritus after winning for the previous two years. They remain the best online publisher specifically focusing on novella and longer-length fiction.

Million Writers Award for best new online magazine or journal

The Notable Stories of 2006


Aberrant Dreams

  • "Aftergame" by Jason D. Whitman (link no longer available)
  • "Azathoth's Starship" by Gerald W. Page and Jerry L. Burge
  • "Dr. Prida's Dream-Plagued Patient" by Michael Bishop (link no longer available)
  • "Mother's World" by Cat Rambo (link no longer available)

Abyss & Apex

The Adirondack Review



Arkansas Literary Forum

Atomjack Magazine

Baen's Universe
(Note: Except for the first selection, these stories can only be accessed with a subscription)

The Barcelona Review

Blithe House Quarterly: queer fiction lives here

Cautionary Tale

Cezanne's Carrot

ChiZine: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words

Clarkesword Magazine

Danforth Review

The Deepening



Dragon Fire

Drunken Boat

Eclectica Magazine

Edit Red


Fiction on the Web

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry

Front Porch Journal


Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly


Identity Theory

In Posse Review


The King's English

Konundrum Engine Literary Review

Laura Hird

The Lorelei Signal

Mad Hatters Review

Menda City Review

Mississippi Review

Narrative Magazine

Night Train

Noneuclidean Cafe

Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

The Pedestal Magazine

Per Conta Fiction

Pif Magazine



Raging Race

Slow Trains Literary Journal

Small Spiral Notebook

Spinetingler Magazine

Southern Gothic Online

Spork Press

Stickman Review

Strange Horizons


Summerset Review

Thieves Jargon


Toasted Cheese

The Thrilling Detective Web Site



Write This

Word Riot

Words Without Borders

Preliminary Judges

Many thanks to the preliminary judges who selected these notable stories. To avoid any conflicts of interest or peer pressure, these judges remained anonymous to both each other and the general public until they made their selections. In addition, they were not allowed to select stories or authors with which they had a conflict of interest (this means, for example, that judges could not select their own stories for inclusion on this list).

  • Jeff Bryant is a former Alabamian, which he states makes him immensely qualified at all things literary. He also runs the litblog syntax of things and once served as a first reader for a now-dead literary journal (although he swears his hands are free of blood from that killing).

  • Jackie Corley is the editor and publisher of Word Riot. Her writing has most recently appeared in The Flash, an anthology of flash fiction featuring the work of 100 authors. She maintains a personal Web site at

  • Jeff Crook is the author of four fabulous novels. His short fiction appeared last year in Nature, Eclectica, Pindeldyboz, Bewildering Stories, and Nanobison, and is scheduled for publication this year in Nature Physics, Hub magazine, the Tattered Souls, Black Dragon, White Dragon, Triquorum and Stalking Shadows anthologies, and an untitled Kerlak anthology. He is the editor of Southern Gothic and Postcards from Hell. He lives in Memphis.

  • Thom Didato is the publisher and founding editor of the award-winning online literary and arts magazine failbetter. He has published stories in many literary journals and is the co-editor the widely used classroom text, The Fiction Gallery (Bloomsbury USA). The former Program Manager at The Council of Literary Magazines and  Presses, Thom currently serves as the Graduate Programs Coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Nick Mamatas’ fiction has been nominated for the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards, with his short stories being published in the Mississippi Review Online, in genre publications such as Strange Horizons, Polyphony, and Chizine, and in slicks such as the men's magazine Razor and the German music-culture magazine Spex.  He’s also worked as a senior editor for Soft Skull Press in the late 20th century, and has done freelance editing for Prime Books, Disinformation Books, and BenBella. He edited the anthology The Urban Bizarre and the one-shot magazine Phantom #0.  He currently edits Clarkesworld Magazine.

  • Sean Merrigan is half-Welsh, half-Irish and  was born in Zimbabwe. Since then he's been a Catholic altar-boy, a gentleman's outfitter and a musician. He has been reviewing books and interviewing authors for Spoiled Ink and Edit Red since 2003 and is currently Site Manager for His interviews have also appeared in 3AM Magazine.

  • Jessica Schneider is a fiction writer and poet who blogs at

  • Laurie Seidler is the editor of Raised in New York City, she was the Australian Bureau Chief for Dow Jones & Co. before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • D. Antwan Stewart is a 2007 graduate of the M.F.A. in Writing Program at the Michener Center for Writers, where he was a James A. Michener Fellow in poetry. He is the author of a chapbook, The Terribly Beautiful (Main Street Rag Press, 2006), and has other poems and reviews appearing or forthcoming in Meridian, The Seattle Review, Bloom, Lodestar Quarterly, storySouth, Poet Lore, can we have our ball back?, New Millennium Writings, DIAGRAM, 42opus, CutBank Poetry, The Lambda Book Report, and others.

  • Dan Wickett founded the Emerging Writers Network (,, a community of over 1500 writers and readers, as well more recently co-founding Dzanc Books (, a non-profit dedicated to publishing and promoting literary fiction.  The first Dzanc Books title, Roy Kesey's All Over, will be published October 2007.
There were also two judges who wished to remain anonymous.

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