Noon (Literary Annual)

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EditorDiane Williams
FounderDiane Williams
CompanyNoon, Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City

NOON is a literary annual founded in 2000 by American author Diane Williams. NOON Inc. launched its 24th edition in March 2023. NOON is archived at The Lilly Library along with the personal literary archive of founding editor Diane Williams. The Lilly is the principal rare books, manuscripts, and special collections repository of Indiana University.

NOON publishes fiction and occasional essays. A full table of contents, including back issues, is available on the NOON website.

NOON stories have won numerous awards and prizes, including:

NOON has published stories by Tao Lin, Gary Lutz, Dawn Raffel, Sam Lipsyte, Ottessa Moshfegh, Roxane Gay, Dylan Nice, Anya Yurchyshyn, Rhoads Stevens, Annie DeWitt, Karl Roloff, and R.O. Kwon, and regularly publishes Christine Schutt, Deb Olin Unferth, Clancy Martin, Lydia Davis, Rebecca Curtis, Brandon Hobson, Kathryn Scanlan, Greg Mulcahy, Vi Khi Nao, Kim Chinquee, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Susan Laier, Rob Walsh, Ashton Politanoff, Lucie Elven, Kayla Blatchley, Nathan Dragon, Tetman Callis, Robert Tindall, and others.[1] The journal has published original drawings by Raymond Pettibon and regularly publishes drawings by Augusta Gross and photographs by Bill Hayward, as well as translations by Lydia Davis.

Several NOON contributors have published debut, critically acclaimed short story collections in 2020: Souvankham Thammavongsa, with How To Pronounce Knife (Little, Brown and Company);[2] Kathryn Scanlan, with The Dominant Animal (MCD/FSG, 2020);[3] and Mary South, with You Will Never Be Forgotten (FSG Originals).[4]

Critical response[edit]

For The New Yorker in October 2021, Merve Emre wrote, “NOON publishes the most interesting short-story writers working in English.”

In January 2016, Rachel Syme of The New York Times described the magazine as "a beautiful annual that remains staunchly avant-garde in its commitment to work that is oblique, enigmatic and impossible to ignore. . .stories that leave a flashbulb's glow behind the eyes even as they resist sense."[5]

In 2007, Deb Olin Unferth told Bookslut that NOON founder and editor Diane Williams "inspires excellence and demands discipline. More than an editor, she is an editor-artist."[6]

In the May/June 2014 issue of Poets & Writers, Travis Kurowski wrote, "NOON contains prose chiseled to its barest, most arresting essence--a concision attributed by most to Williams's high demands as an editor."

In the Los Angeles Times on March 19, 2013, David Ulin wrote, "The new issue of Noon landed last week, and as usual, it’s a compendium of unlikely pleasures: short prose and illustrations that challenge us to think about meaning and narrative. The brainchild of fiction writer Diane Williams, who edits it, Noon has been around since 2000, publishing a single issue annually; it is elegantly designed and curated, a journal that wears its intentions on its sleeve....These are oblique stories, stories that exist in the interior, getting at the things we know but do not know we know."[7]

The Times Literary Supplement reviewed NOON in its Learned Journals section on October 30, 2009. Alison Kelly wrote, "[T]he best stories in NOON are, indeed, stunning, in the sense that they leave one conscious of powerful meanings not yet fully absorbed. ... [T]he journal has proved its staying power and achieved a respected position. . . NOON has intellectual weight. Over the years it has investigated, and pushed the boundaries of, the means and processes of communication. ... Williams's editorial vision ensures the intelligence and integrity of the journal as a whole."

Kevin Sampsell described the magazine as a "beautifully-produced literary journal that features the strongest offbeat writing from a select group of literary stylists."[8]

In The New York Sun, Benjamin Lytal called NOON "One of American fiction's finest and most focused journals."[9]

Library Journal wrote that "NOON sets itself apart from the crowded field of literary journals with the quality of its submissions, its clean, easy-to-read design, and eye-catching cover. This independent, not-for-profit annual features essays, fiction, interviews, art, and translation that are as diverse as its contributors, who are both published and previously unpublished and come from international backgrounds. The editors of NOON adeptly select innovative, original, and highly readable work."[10]

Christopher Frizzelle, editor of The Stranger, wrote "Noon, another literary journal that belongs on the list of literary journals that don't suck. The downside to Noon is that it only comes out once a year. The upshots are that Noon has a serif font, crisp photos, and excellent writing, or at least writing by writers I love."[11]

Time Out New York said "Even if it shares some authors with mainstream publishers, Noon still shimmers with courage, strangeness and unknown voices" and that editor Diane Williams "has a penchant for devout stylists and squirm-inducing topics."[12]

The magazine has been described as a "beautifully-produced literary journal that features the strongest offbeat writing from a select group of literary stylists."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NOON Annual". Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  2. ^ "'How to Pronounce Knife,' by Souvankham Thammavongsa: An Excerpt". The New York Times. 21 April 2020.
  3. ^ "The Dominant Animal by Kathryn Scanlan review – deeply, darkly enjoyable". 6 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Mary South". Mary South. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  5. ^ Syme, Rachel (15 January 2016). "Short Stories". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Deb Olin Unferth Interview in Bookslut". Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  7. ^ "The discreet charm of Noon". Los Angeles Times. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  8. ^ a b Kevin Sampsell Interview from the Believer, reprinted in New York Tyrant
  9. ^ The New York Sun
  10. ^ Library Journal
  11. ^ Frizzelle, Christopher. "Nightstand". The Stranger. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  12. ^ Time Out New York

External links[edit]