The storySouth Million Writers Award

The Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2011

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Here they are: The best online short stories published during 2011.

Many thanks to the editors and readers who nominated stories. And a big thanks to the preliminary judges who screened the nominations and/or picked their own favorites: Lena Andersson, Sarah McCraw Crow, Thom Didato, Shaun Duke, Dorothee Lang, Robert Laughlin, Judah Mahay, Sean Markey, Erica Naone, Karen L. Newman, Nick Ripatrazone, Wayne E. Yang, Pete Young (along with the judges who wished to remain anonymous).

The top ten stories of the year will be released in June, with the public vote for the top story beginning then. Thanks to the support of our donors we have nearly $1000 in cash and prizes for the the winners of the public vote.

Thanks to everyone for their support of online literature.

Jason Sanford
founding editor

Top Online Magazines and Journals

Million Writers Award for best online publication

  • The winner of this year's Million Writers Award for best publication is Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, which placed five stories on this year's notable list. Back in 2008 Cha was named our best new online magazine, so it's great to see them continuing to publish such great fiction. I really enjoy reading this nicely designed and well-edited magazine and highly recommend everyone check them out.

Million Writers Award for best new online magazine

  • The winner of this year's Million Writers Award for best new online magazine is The Good Men's Project, which was founded by Tom Matlack in 2009 as an anthology and documentary film featuring men’s stories about the defining moments in their lives. Since then, The Good Men's Project has launched an impressive website and, from the point of view of short story lovers, began publishing fiction in 2011. Since 2011 was the first year for their fiction, that qualifies them as a MWA new magazine. And since they placed three stories on this notable list, that makes them worthy of this year's best new online magazine award.

    Runner-ups for best new online magazine were The Journal Of Unlikely Entomology, Tinge Magazine, and In the Snake Magazine.

The Notable Stories of 2011

(* Selected by more than one preliminary judge)

The 2nd Hand

3AM Magazine


AGNI Online


Apex Magazine

The Apple Valley Review

Asymptote Journal


The Barcelona Review

Beneath Ceaseless Skies


Blip Magazine


Carve Magazine

Center for Fiction

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

Chiaroscuro (ChiZine): Treatments of Light and Shade in Words

Clarkesworld Magazine

The Collagist

Connotation Press

Crossed Genres

Daily Science Fiction

Dark Sky Magazine



Drunken Boat

Eclectica Magazine


Eunoia Review


Fantasy Magazine

Fiction Fix

Fifty-Two Stories

Freight Stories

Fringe Magazine

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry

fwriction : review


The Good Men Project

Gray Sparrow

Guernica Magazine

Identity Theory


In the Snake Magazine

Jersey Devil Press

The Journal Of Unlikely Entomology


The Kenyon Review Online

Lightspeed Magazine


Menda City Review


Necessary Fiction

Nite Blade

On The Premises

Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show


Plots with Guns

Prick of the Spindle

Red Fez Publications


Sentinel Nigeria Online




Story Quarterly Online

Strange Horizons


Summerset Review

Superstition Review

Tinge Magazine

Torrey House Press

TriQuarterly Online

Used Furniture Review

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Word Riot

Words without Borders

Zocalo Public Square

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).

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Lena Andersson emigrated to the United States when she was 6, eventually landing in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she grew up and lived (with a few stops in Texas, California, and Colorado) until Hurricane Katrina. She now lives in upstate New York and teaches writing and American literature at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, where she has been co-advisor of the college's literary club for 5 years.

Jackie Corley is the editor and publisher of Word Riot. Her collection of short stories, The Suburban Swindle, was published by So New. She maintains a personal website at

Sarah McCraw Crow's fiction has won So to Speak's 2011 fiction contest and been a finalist in Press 53's 2010 open awards, Yemassee's 2008 short-story contest, and Stanford's 2007 fiction contest. Her short stories have been published in So to Speak, Waccamaw, Literal Latte, Trillium Literary Journal, and Stanford alumni magazine. Her nonfiction has been published in a number of magazines, websites and newspapers; and more recently she has written a bunch of literary-magazine reviews for The Review Review. She's also at work on a novel about the family of the expatriate artist John Singer Sargent.

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.

Shaun Duke is a PhD. student at the University of Florida studying postcolonialism, science fiction, posthumanism, and fantasy. He co-hosts The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Duke and Zink Do America with his best friend. He is also a wannabe writer and can be found babbling about SF/F, literature, film, and similar topics on his blog, The World in the Satin Bag. His fiction has been published in Residential Aliens and Phantasmacore, with a story forthcoming in Bruce Bethke's Stupefying Stories.

Dorothee Lang is a writer, web freelancer and traveler, and the editor of BluePrintReview. She lives in Germany, and always was fascinated by languages, places and stories, themes that reflect in her own work and her web projects the latest being >language >place, a collaborative blog carnival. She blogs in virtual notes.

Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. His short stories "In the Evening Made" and "The Spirits of '26" have been Notable Stories, and he served once before as a preliminary judge. He has published 100 short stories, 200 poems and one novel, Vow of Silence. His website is at

Judah Mahay was born and raised in the rustic backwoods village of Talkeetna, Alaska, and currently lives on Long Island. His writings have been published in numerous journals. In 2008, he won the North Shoreian Yearly Writing Contest and had his story "Lord of the Dome" made into a short film after winning a contest by WeMakeYourMovie. He is also the founder of the business community and resource The website has grown to over seven hundred artists and has published eleven video/audio podcasts, co-published ten articles with North Shoreian Magazine, and hosted the annual Be Your Art Writing Contest. In 2010, he was accepted to Robert Wilson's Watermill Center residency by a panel of internationally acclaimed artists to write his Watermill Grimoire. Find out more at

Sean Markey's fiction has been published in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, and Sybil's Garage. Sean, a special education teacher, lives in Salt Lake City, UT. When not writing or teaching, he enjoys playing the drums, watching videos of baby owls, and dreaming of life as a storm chaser. You can follow along with his adventures at

Erica Naone is an assistant editor at Technology Review, where she covers topics related to the Internet and computer software. Her novel Needle and Fang was shortlisted in the 2009 International 3-Day Novel Contest. She lives with her husband in Allston, MA.

Karen L. Newman lives in Kentucky where she's an active member of Horror Writers Association and edits the magazines Illumen and Cosmic Crime Stories. She's also a book editor for Morrigan Books. She's been named Chair of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award jury for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection and is the 2011-2012 East Regional Director for the Kentucky State Poetry Society. She edited the online magazine Afterburn SF for over four years before the market closed. Over four hundred of her short stories and poems have been published both online and in print in places such as Dark Tales of Terror, Kentucky Monthly, and The Pedestal Magazine. She writes a column for The Black Glove: Horror Culture and Entertainment. Her poetry collections include EEKU (Sam's Dot, 2005), ChemICKals (Naked Snake Press, 2007), Toward Absolute Zero (Sam's Dot, 2009), and ChemICKal Reactions (Naked Snake Press, 2010). Two of her poems received honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. She's been nominated for a Rhysling Award, James B. Baker Award, and twice nominated for a Dwarf Star Award. Please visit her online at

Nick Ripatrazone is the author of two books of poetry, Oblations and This Is Not About Birds (Gold Wake Press 2012), and a forthcoming book of non-fiction, The Fine Delight: Postconciliar Catholic Literature (Cascade Books 2013). His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, Praire Schooner, and has received honors from ESPN: The Magazine.

Wayne E. Yang grew up in South Carolina, where he learned to eat grits the proper way: smothered with butter and sprinkled with salt. You can imagine his horror when he went to graduate school in upstate New York and saw people eating their grits with milk and sugar. His writing and photography have appeared in The North American Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Asian Review of Books, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle,, and other publications. He is a former associate editor at literary magazine Night Train. His web site is

Pete Young lives in Hua Hin, Thailand, with his wife, son and two socialist dogs. For the greater part of 2011 he kept a weekly short fiction journal "Friday Short Fiction" at his Live Journal blog. He posts mainstream and genre book reviews at and has reviewed for Strange Horizons, Vector and Foundation. He has twice won the Nova Award for his fanzine Zoo Nation, once more as guest-editor for the fanzine Journey Planet, and also works as a photographer and graphic designer. He is usually at altitude somewhere around the planet when not plugged into the internet.

There were also three judges who wished to remain anonymous.

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