Skip to main content

VQR Wins Phoenix Award From CELJ

PUBLISHED: February 21, 2006

The Virginia Quarterly Review has been honored as the winner of the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, presented by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ), the major international organization supporting editors of academic journals. The Phoenix Award is given to the journal that has demonstrated dramatic and significant improvements for the period from 2003 to 2005.

In the judges’ opinion, VQR rose to the top of this year’s Phoenix list in part because it “extends the notion of what an academic journal is and can do.” VQR “truly has arrived at the boundary between an academic and a high-brow trade publication.” The journal has undergone what one judge called “a breathtaking overhaul, top-to-bottom-and-back-again, of its rationale and format.” This judge continued, “Maintaining position as a leading ‘national journal of literature and discussion’ has obliged VQR to reinvent itself—[an obligation it has] met with imaginative panache. The new issues are star-studded while remaining very much open to new light.” Another judge noted:

The sample issues for [VQR] offer stunning examples of the journal’s transformation. The revamped design is visually compelling—both in the new cover’s vibrancy, color, and bold design and its often hauntingly beautiful and/or shocking interior illustrations. The editor has indeed accomplished his goal to visually ‘draw people into the issue.’ The content of the issues is equally compelling, hard-hitting, and seductive. The Fall 2004 issue’s portfolio on 9/11 is a brilliant piece of work that never becomes maudlin or self-righteous but rather draws the reader into both the experiential reality of the disaster and its cultural effects. This is achieved in part by a wide array of aesthetic, cultural, personal and social responses spawned by the disaster—personal memoir, cartoon art, photography of ground zero, accounts of a court case on the Bush administration’s policies on prisons, poetry, etc.

This is the second major award conferred on VQR by the CELJ in the past year. Last January, VQR was awarded the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, which honored the best single issue of a literary or belletristic journal, published within the previous three years, that realized a journal’s mission and at the same time met the highest standards of “learned” editorial practice. With the Phoenix award, VQR becomes the first journal to receive awards from CELJ in both the belletristic and scholarly categories.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by CELJ in this way,” says Ted Genoways, editor of VQR. “I think most readers regard us as primarily a literary magazine. So to be honored for our achievement as a scholarly journal is especially noteworthy. We have made it our goal to offer our readers the best of both worlds—literary and academic—and it’s gratifying that the judges at CELJ, over the last year, have acknowledged our efforts.”

Recommended Reading