The Common Receives a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize: The Largest National Prize for Nonprofit Literary Magazines, a Grant Award of $60,000
The Common magazine has been selected as the winner of the Whiting Foundation’s Literary Magazine Prize for medium-sized print magazines, the largest prize category. The Common will receive a total of $60,000 over three years. These funds will support The Common’s mission of featuring new and underrepresented artistic voices from around the world who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.
The Whiting Foundation literary magazine prizes are the largest national prizes for nonprofit literary magazines. The prize encourages its winners to strive for visionary goals, such as reaching for new talent and investing in their own sustainability and their ability to bring their writers to a wider readership. It also offers winners support beyond the prize itself, lining up expert advisors to help tackle perpetual challenges such as fundraising and marketing, and helping them form a cohort to think through challenges and opportunities they share.
“We are honored to receive the country’s most generous literary magazine prize,” said editor in chief Jennifer Acker. “The work we do to discover, edit, and translate today’s most urgent and talented voices is expensive, and Whiting funds will be invaluable in supporting our intensive work with authors.”
The Whiting judges wrote: “In the pages of The Common, ‘location’ is understood as a roving artistic and intellectual GPS point. Stunning portfolios, sophisticated design, and an intuitive sense of literary connectivity give readers access to a deep reservoir of global perspectives, and unite them as students of the human condition. The Common’s exemplary resources for teachers and its devotion to elevating new writers will help bring into being a new generation of readers and thinkers.”
The Common has always paid print contributors and has recently expanded to providing honoraria for its online contributors as well. Whiting funds will sustain this practice and further enable The Common to support its writers through promotional work such as newsletters, social media, and public events. The magazine, Acker says, strives “to publish writers well—to ensure their writing reaches as many readers as possible.”
“I am delighted that The Common’s excellence has been recognized with a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize,” said Amherst College President Biddy Martin. “The Common’s support of diverse literary voices and of our students tangibly contributes to a vibrant literary community on campus.”
The four additional magazines to receive 2019 awards are American Short Fiction (print prize winner, budget under $150,000), Black Warrior Review (print development grantee), The Margins: A Publication of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (digital prize winner), The Offing (digital development grantee).