Arkansas International won the 2021 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize, which includes a nearly $15,000 prize and a three-year capacity-building mentorship.
Of the other five winners, judges praised the magazine for its “outstanding fiction, non-fiction, poetry and comics,” adding that “the Arkansas International lives up to its name, publishing fiercely observant and open works by writers around the world.”
Launched by the U of A’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the English Department in 2016 and staffed entirely by graduate students, Arkansas International has published fiction, poetry, essays, comics and translated works in more than 60 countries, including Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela, South Korea, Iran, Philippines, Hong Kong, Russia, Italy and Hungary. Their goal is to bring emerging and established voices from the United States and abroad into conversation.
“I am very proud of our hard-working student writers and faculty. Thanks to their commitment and dedication, Arkansas International continues to grow in stature and reputation. The Whiting Award testifies to the fact that Arkansas International is poised to become one of the most talked about and talked about literary journals today,” says Davis McCombs, director of the creative writing and translation program.
The Whiting Foundation has supported writers and writing for nearly four decades. The Literary Magazine Award, launched in 2018, is given to nonprofit print and digital publications that “publish extraordinary writing with verve and flair.” In addition to the prize money, the grant includes marketing and fundraising mentorship that will take place over the next three years.
“I’m so proud of our staff, the graduate students who work hard day in and day out to make the magazine such a success,” said Bryan Hurt, Editor-in-Chief. “Their passion and commitment to finding and publishing the best literature in the world makes them humble and inspiring.”
Kait Yates, editor-in-chief, agrees. “The award would not have been made possible without the attention of the development team, who lead our grantmaking efforts, in addition to the editorial teams and staff, who put tremendous effort into the production and curation of each number.”
Both Bryan and Kait hope the award will open up new avenues, including increased fees, production quality and staff compensation. “This grant is a great opportunity for the Arkansas International to develop and grow, and I’m personally very excited about where this will take us next,” Bryan adds.
Launched by the U of A Program in Creative Writing and Translation, Arkansas International is published every two years and reviews unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, comics and works in translation. Issues and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.arkint.org/store.
Founded in 1966, the U of A program in Creative Writing and Translation at the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences consistently ranks among the top 40 MFA programs nationally, according to Poets and writers magazine. the Atlantic Monthly named the U of A one of the “five most innovative MFA programs” in the nation. Noteworthy graduates include Barry Hannah, CD Wright, Lucinda Roy and Nic Pizzolatto.