The Best American Magazine Writing 2023

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Pub Date 21 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2024

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The Best American Magazine Writing 2023 will feature a selection of articles honored by this year’s National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media. These awards are sponsored and administered by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The National Magazine Awards are one of the most prestigious journalism prizes for print and digital media in the United States. More than 300 leading journalists, including the editorial leaders of the most widely read magazines and websites in the country, read more than 1,000 entries and then choose fewer than three dozen feature stories to honor as National Magazine Awards finalists and winners. Originally limited to print magazines, the awards now recognize magazine-quality journalism published in any medium.

Each annual anthology includes articles representing a broad range of writing, from hard-hitting investigative reporting and lyrical fiction to eloquent feature writing and incisive cultural criticism Recent anthologies of the Best American Magazine Writing have included work from publications such as The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, GQ, Harper’s, Mother Jones, New York, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Wired, as well as from journals and websites like Buzzfeed, Catapult, the Georgia Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, the Marshall Project, The Nation, the Paris Review, Poetry, ProPublica, Public Books, Slate, and Zoetrope: All-Story.

Sid Holt is executive director of the American Society of Magazine Editors and a former editor at Rolling Stone and Adweek magazines.

The Best American Magazine Writing 2023 will feature a selection of articles honored by this year’s National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media. These awards are sponsored and administered...

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Featured Reviews

This was such an amazing collection of magazine articles! I particularly enjoyed the Viola Davis piece and the piece on nepo babies.

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Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley.

This is the first volume of this type of Best American series I’ve read. And I guess, I am proud to say that I had actually read most of them before.
Many of the essays address women and women’s issues. It is no surprise that an essay/report about the post-Roe era makes the cut. But what is also include are essays that showcase how society’s view of motherhood effects the lives of women. From the story of a woman being convicted for the deaths of her children in a fire while her landlord faces no time or lawsuit (“She Never Hurt Her Kids” by Samantha Michaels) to a call for paid family leave by Natasha Pearlman to experiences on Tinder by Alison Davis. There is reporting about the separation of parents and child at the border, detailing how the policy went into effect (“We Need to Take Away Children” by Caitlin Dickerson) but also a detailed article about the fate of a baby girl from Afghanistan who was taken from her relatives and allowed to be adopted by an American couple.
It isn’t all serious issues, though. There is Jazmine Hughes excellent profile of Viola Davis, which was a pleasure to read again. Serpell’s thoughtful essay about prostitutes in literature, focusing a bit on the book Nana. There is “Acid Church” by Courney Desiree Morris which is about so many things that have to do with heart and community/tribe.
There are two essays that I did raise my eyebrows at. The first was the one about Nepo Babys. While I am aware of the debate that seemed to happed early this year, I just found the whole topic to be just “well, yeah, that’s not new” so the essay by Nate Jones just got a shrug from people. And then there is Chris Heath’s essay “The Militiamen, the Governor and the Kidnapping that Wasn’t”. This is about the men charged with plotting to go after Governor Whitmer. Heath’s essay takes a good hard look at the men as well as how they were portrayed in the media and the issues with the case. It isn’t that Heath is wrong per se in some of the issues he addresses. It’s just that even if you believe the informant lead the men along, there is still the disturbing sentences that the men uttered about the Governor. In other words, whether Heath intended it or not (and I don’t think he did) the essay almost suggests that verbally talking about violence against women isn’t anything that bad and is just what the average man does. It was the type of essay that while you know is good and does raise some valid issues, you are also not surprised it was written by a man, about other men, for a magazine that is targets men.
Still, this collection, and even Heath’s essay, are well worth reading.

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I thought this anthology was wonderful. I loved their selection of magazine articles. Award winners for sure. This was the first type of collection I have read like this and found it to be enjoyable. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Five stars.

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Interesting format for magazine articles that you might have missed over the last year or were unable to read because of paywalls. I didn't agree with all the selections but it is good to see the different styles and features from around the country

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