Neha Patil

Canteen (magazine)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Discipline  Literary journal
Publication history  2007-present
ISSN  1936-3168
Language  English
Frequency  Biannual
Canteen (magazine)

Canteen is an English-language literary and arts magazine published twice a year. Founded in 2007 by publisher Stephen Pierson, editor-in-chief Sean Finney, executive editor Mia Lipman, and former art director Sai Sriskandarajah, the magazine asks its contributors to reveal their creative process to the reader. As described by Finney, "Canteen is the literary magazine that comes with instructions." "Canteen was born at the restaurant of the same name in San Francisco, where chef Dennis Leary hosted literary salons." The magazine has offices in Brooklyn, NY, and San Francisco, CA.



Canteen consists of photos, essays, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and paintings by both well-known and amateur writers and artists. In addition to input from published authors and celebrated artists, the magazine accepts submissions of written and visual work from readers through their website. Issue five of Canteen was named "Book of the Week" by the arts blog Large Hearted Boy and WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn for skillfully combining word and image.

Anatomy of a Photo Contest

In 2010, Canteen held a photo contest that was designed to reveal the decision-making processes behind such competitions, which are sometimes criticized for their opaque nature. The magazine published the comments and critiques of the contest's judges in full, as well as the response of one of the critiqued artists. The competition was judged by Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman and photographer Matthew Porter. Winning entries, along with other images selected from the contest's submissions, were presented in a show at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn in August 2010.

canTeens (tutoring program)

In September 2008, Canteen launched a literacy tutoring program for middle school students in Harlem, NY. The workshops are designed to increase the students' confidence in their work, as well as encouraging them to continue writing and to share it with others. Workshops have been taught by contributing Canteen authors such as Porochista Khakpour, Gina Gionfriddo and Garth Risk Hallberg, and other authors such as Lorraine Adams and Amy Braunschweiger. At the end of each semester, the students' work is compiled into a professionally designed and printed magazine that is nationally distributed.


Outwrite is a flash-fiction writing contest created by Canteen that pits an established writer against literary novices who have never been published, deciding the winner based on audience response. In the inaugural contest in Los Angeles on April 12, 2010, Dana Goodyear (poet and New Yorker staff writer) competed against unknowns Bradley Spinelli and A. Wolfe. Wolfe's piece garnered the best audience reaction and took home the grand prize. Canteen is planning more Outwrite events to be held in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Madison, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

Notable Contributors

Matthew Porter (photographer)
Tao Lin (author)
Dana Goodyear (poet)
Benjamin Kunkel (author)
Joyce Maynard (author)
Nathaniel Rich (author)
Stephen Elliott (author)
Ben Fountain (author)
Porochista Khakpour (author)
Po Bronson (author)
Stephen Shore (photographer)


Canteen achieved national distribution through Disticor with its first issue in 2007. It is sold at most Barnes and Noble locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as at independent bookstores around the country.


Canteen (magazine) Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Aislinn Paul
Erika Slezak
David Lynn Jones