In 2004, we began with the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement. This competition solicits a single issue, published within the previous 3 years, that constitutes an unusually high realization of the belletristic journal's mission in combination with application of the highest standards of "learned" editorial practice--understood to encompass editing for selection of high-quality content, compelling arrangement of contents, style, visual appeal and readability, etc.
This award was subsumed into the Pheonix Award for Editorial and Design Achievement in 2020.
This award goes to the most improved journal, regardless of its state at the time the renovations began. A weak journal that has become excellent is eligible, but so too is an admired journal that manages to become dramatically better. Submissions must feature significant editorial change and may also feature change in design and other aspects of the journal's publication. Starting in 2020, the title and scope of this award changed to include Design achievement in addition to Editorial Achievement.
The recipient of the Codex Award is selected from journals covering the period before 1500. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, the arts, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the 'ancient' or 'medieval' periods. The award is for distinction within this historical field, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. This award was sunset after the 2019 MLA.
The Voyager Award will recognize excellence in any journal covering the period between 1500 and 1800. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, philosophy, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the early modern period. Specialized and general journals may apply; the award is for distinction within this historical period, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. Journals covering, say, both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—or any version of 'the long eighteenth century' are eligible for this award. This award was sunset after the 2019 MLA.
The Tallgrass Award honors the best journal in fields studying the North American continent (incl. Mexico) in all disciplines, including literature, history, politics geography, regional studies, and so on. A journal devoted to one American writer can qualify as can a journal covering a topic or subfield that is primarily addressed to north American locations. Journals publishing primarily fiction or poetry are excluded.