UM Alumnus Leads VQR Magazine to Prestigious Nominations

W. Ralph Eubanks credits English faculty with providing his solid career foundation

ralph eubanks ole miss university of mississippi virginia quarterly review national magazine award alumnus finalist general excellence nomination

W.Ralph Eubanks

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi alumnus W. Ralph Eubanks has led Virginia Quarterly Review magazine to four National Magazine Award nominations.

That’s the equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize for magazines. Each year the American Society of Magazine Editors recognizes outstanding work. VQR is a finalist in four categories for 2014: General Excellence, Reporting, Fiction, and Essays and Criticism. This is the eighth General Excellence nomination for the publication in the last 11 years.

Eubanks, from Mount Olive, earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1978 from UM. He said he is happy with the recognition for his team’s work.

“I am proud to see VQR acclaimed by the magazine publishing community,” Eubanks said. “We are able to attract major writers because of the close amount of care that we give their work – and that we allow them to write longer pieces than they can at other publications. VQR is also dedicated to launching emerging talent, so they can be published alongside their more established peers.”

Before becoming VQR editor in 2013, Eubanks was director of publishing at the Library of Congress.

But his foundation began at Ole Miss.

“I firmly believe that when I arrived in Oxford in 1974, Ole Miss was a place for ambitious small-town boys like me to think beyond their modest beginnings,” Eubanks said. “Without forward-thinking English professors like Louis Dollarhide, James Mengert, Thomas Brown, John Crews, Evans Harrington and Christina Murphy to inspire me – to name just a few – I never would have expanded my thinking and my world beyond the small town in which I began.”

VQR is among good company with the award nods. Other magazine nominees include Bon Appetit, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and GQ.