Million Writers Award
Notable Stories of 2007

Here they are: The best online short stories published during 2007.

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, Benjamin Chambers, Jackie Corley, Jeff Crook, Kristina Marie Darling, Thom Didato, Caitlin Horrocks, Krista McGruder, Sandra Novack, Tripp Reade, Cynthia Reeser, Laurie Seidler, D. Antwan Stewart, and Dan Wickett (along with three judges who wished to remain anonymous). Please also see the notes at the bottom of this page to learn more on why I removed one story from this list while also allowed storySouth stories to be considered.

The top ten stories of the year will be released during the final week of May, 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

  • Blackbird wins this award for having seven of their stories selected as notable stories of the year.  As it says on the Blackbird website, the sole principle behind the selection of any writing for publication, whether in print or online, should be excellence--and this year Blackbird proved they practice what they preach. Congratulations to Blackbird's entire editorial staff for consistently publishing stories which rank among the best short fiction on the web.

Million Writers Award for best publisher of novella-length fiction

  • As in previous years, Narrative Magazine and The King's English have continued to be great places for longer-length fiction on the web. However, this year's award goes to Jim Baen's Universe, which has published a number of excellent science fiction and fantasy novellas as they help prove that long fiction can succeed online.

Million Writers Award for best new online magazine or journal

  • Farrago's Wainscot wins the award for best new online magazine. With an amazing sense of both design savy and what makes for a compelling story, Darin Bradley and the FW editors are showing the great heights which can be reached in online publishing. The runner ups for best new magazine were Wheelhouse Magazine and Coyote Wild.

The Notable Stories of 2007


3711 Atlantic

3AM Magazine


5 Trope

Aberrant Dreams

Abyss & Apex



Baen's Universe
(Note: With the exception of Terry Bramlett's novelette, these stories can only be accessed with a subscription)

Bear Parade


Boston Review

Cafe Irreal

Carve Magazine

Cautionary Tale

Cezanne's Carrot


ChiZine: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words

Clarkesword Magazine

Contrary Magazine

Coyote Wild

The Del Sol Review




Drunken Boat

The Dublin Quarterly

Eclectica Magazine



Fantasy Magazine

Farrago's Wainscot


Five Chapters

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry

Front Porch Journal


Green Integer Review

Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly


The Hub

I Am This Meat e-anthology

Identity Theory

In Posse Review


The King's English

Lamination Colony

Literary Mama

Lone Star Stories

Lost Magazine

Mad Hatters Review


Menda City Review

Mississippi Review


Narrative Magazine


Night Train

Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
(Note: The first two stories can only be accessed with a one-issue purchase)

Our Stories

Oxford Magazine

Per Conta Fiction

PERIGEE: Publication for the Arts

Pick of the Spindle



Serendipity Magazine

Southern Gothic Online

Steel City Review

Stirring: A Literary Collection




Strange Horizons


Summerset Review

Susurrus: The Literature of Madness


Theaker's Quarterly Fiction

Thieves Jargon



The Thrilling Detective Web Site

Underground Voices


Weird Tales

Wheelhouse Magazine

Word Riot

Words Without Borders


Zoetrope: All Story

Additional information

There are two items which need to be clarified:

First, I was honored when Terry Rogers, editor of Menda City Review, selected my story "Book Scouts of the Galactic Rim" as one of his three editorial selections for the Million Writers Award. I thought that would be the end of the story (so to speak), but a preliminary judge then picked the story for this notable story list. While I'm also honored by that, I can't in good conscious list the story here. But I also wanted to thank both Rogers and this judge for liking the story enough to pick it and didn't want them to think I'd totally ignored their wishes.

Second, during the first four years of this award I refused to allow stories from storySouth to be considered as notable stories. I understand this was frustrating for storySouth authors, but I wanted to avoid any possible conflict of interest since I was also editing the fiction for storySouth. Now, though, Scott Yarbrough edits and selects the storySouth fiction so I figured it would be okay for storySouth stories to be in the running for the notable story list (and several stories were indeed selected by the preliminary judges). Unfortunately, that's as far as it goes--I won't consider these stories for the top ten selections. I encourage people to read these stories. I also congratulate the authors for being selected to this list.

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).

Benjamin Chambers is founder and editor of The King’s English, an online journal that specializes in novella-length fiction and has won the Million Writers Award for Best Publisher of Novella-Length Fiction three years in a row. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, ZYZZYVA, American Foreign Service Journal, and many other journals. He also writes a guest column on New Yorker fiction at Emdashes.

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 website at

Jeff Crook is the author of four fabulous novels. His short fiction has appeared in Nature, Eclectica, Pindeldyboz, Bewildering Stories, and Nanobison, 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.

Kristina Marie Darling is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of five chapbooks, which include Fevers and Clocks (March Street Press, 2006) and The Traffic in Women (Dancing Girl Press, 2006). A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2006, her poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, which include Janus Head, Rattle, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Rain Taxi, The Adirondack Review, The Main Street Rag, Tarpaulin Sky, CutBank, The Mid-American Review, Jacket, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and others. Recent awards include residencies from the Centrum Foundation and the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts.

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.

Caitlin Horrocks' fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in a number of literary journals, both online and in print. Former prose editor of Hayden's Ferry Review, she currently teaches at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Krista McGruder has farm in Eagle Rock, Missouri.

Sandra Novack's literary novel Precious will be published by Random House Feb 2, 2009. Her short story collection will be published in the following year (Random House). She has published in over thirty literary venues, including The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, Chattahoochee Review, and Descant. Three of her stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Stephen King selected her story, "Memphis," as a Notable Story of 2007 in BASS. She has a blog at No Name Writer.

Tripp Reade's fiction has most recently appeared in the anthology, Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction, the journals 42opus and Prose Toad, and includes a 2005 Million Writers Award notable story. He reviews books for Paste magazine and is a January 2008 graduate of the Queens University MFA program.

Cynthia Reeser is the editor of Prick of the Spindle, a newspaper staff writer, and a visual artist. Her book reviews and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Bookslut, Tarpaulin Sky, elimae, NewPages and others.

Laurie Seidler is the founding editor of []. She has an MFA from California College of the Arts and a BA from Yale. Her stories have appeared in a variety of journals, including 42opus and Small Spiral Notebook.

D. Antwan Stewart took his M.F.A. in Writing at the Michener Center for Writers, where he was a James A. Michener Fellow in poetry. He is the author of The Terribly Beautiful (2006) and Sotto Voce (2008), both Editor’s Choice Selections in the Main Street Rag Poetry Chapbook Series. Other poems appear or are forthcoming in Meridian, Callaloo, Many Mountains Moving, Bloom, storySouth, Poet Lore, Anti-, DIAGRAM, Verse Daily and others. In Fall 2008, he will begin a Ph.D. in English (Creative Writing) at the Center for Writers, the University of Southern Mississippi.

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, was published in 2007.

There were also three judges who wished to remain anonymous.

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