History of the Journal

Prairie Schooner, a national literary quarterly published with the support of the English Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Press, is home to the best fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews being published today by beginning, mid-career, and established writers.

To celebrate Prairie Schooner’s tenth birthday, associate editor Maurice Johnson wrote in the Spring 1937 issue, “Like other little magazines, the Schooner was not published for money’s sake, paid nothing for contributions, and sought to print the work of new writers not yet accepted by the wealthy, policy-bound periodicals. Unlike most little magazines, the Schooner has been long-lived. . . and it has published the early work of more than twenty writers whose subsequent appearances in print have brought them general recognition.”

Johnson’s vision has been upheld during our nearly ninety-five years of publication and the modest figure of twenty writers has swelled to hundreds of authors who got their start at Prairie Schooner before the mainstream publishing houses took a first look. The magazine has presented work by Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates, National Endowment for the Arts recipients, and MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows. Work first published in Prairie Schooner has been reprinted or cited in the Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Prize volumes, Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Poetry.

In 2001 UNL alumna and former Prairie Schooner editorial assistant Glenna Luschei endowed Prairie Schooner in perpetuity through the University of Nebraska Foundation. The Glenna Luschei Endowed Editorship and Fund for Excellence at Prairie Schooner provides support for the magazine’s program, one $1,500 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award and ten Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Awards of $250 each, special editorial projects, national exposure for the magazine and its contributors, and support for the editorship. Thanks to this generous gift, Prairie Schooner looks forward to its next eighty-five years of publication.