Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is pleased to announce the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, an annual award for non-profit presses and literary journals. AWP recognizes that non-profit presses and literary journals fill an important need by publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public.

The AWP Small Press Publisher Award recognizes the hard work, creativity, and innovation of presses and journals and honors those organizations that have contributed to the literary landscape through consistently excellent work.

The award includes a $2,000 honorarium from AWP and a complimentary exhibit booth, including two complimentary conference registrations, at AWP’s Annual Conference & Bookfair in the year following the recipient’s recognition. In even years, the award will be given to a journal, and in odd years, the award will be given to a press.

Criteria for the AWP Small Press Publisher Award

The AWP Small Press Publisher Award is for presses or journals that have consistently demonstrated excellence in the following: quality and discernment in curatorship of published work; quality of content; quality of editing; and skill and innovation in design. Nominees will be committed to nurturing the talents of their published authors, supporting their literary communities, and actively engaging in consistent and effective public engagement and outreach.

Eligibility Requirements for the AWP Small Press Publisher Award

The AWP Small Press Publisher award will be given to a press or journal that has made significant contributions to contemporary literature.

The nominee will be a non-profit 501(c)(3)
The nominee will have participated in at least three previous AWP bookfairs, which may include the bookfair held in the year in which they are nominated.
The nominee will have been in operation for five years or more at the time of its nomination.
The nominee may not employ current AWP board or staff members, family members of the AWP board or staff, or former AWP board or staff members who have served AWP within the last four years.
The winner must travel to the AWP conference to receive the award.

Guidelines for Letters of Nomination

Letters of nomination should include an explanation of how the non-profit press or literary journal fulfills the criteria above, a detailed explanation of how the nominated organization has contributed to the literary landscape, demonstrated consistent excellence in the criteria above, and demonstrated commitment to nurturing authors.

Letters should be no longer than two single-spaced pages. Letters should include the name, return address, and signature of the nominating person as well as contact information for a representative of the organization nominated who can accept the award on behalf of the organization. Nominations must be submitted electronically as a PDF document to No postal submissions will be considered. An employee of an organization may not nominate his or her own organization for the award.

Send Letters of Nomination to

Christian Teresi
Director of Conferences
Association of Writers & Writing Programs

Letters must be received between August 1 and midnight EST on September 15, 2012. The AWP conference committee will select the finalists and determine the award winner. Five finalists will be announced in November. The recipient will be announced and given the honorarium at AWP’s Opening Night reception at the conference. The winner will receive a complimentary booth at the bookfair following the year the award was presented. Booths are not transferrable; winners who choose not to exhibit at the following year’s bookfair may elect to defer usage of the complimentary exhibit space for up to two years. Previous recipients of the award may not be nominated and will not be considered. Nominations will be considered for three years, including the year the nomination is submitted.

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