AWP Prize for Undergrad Lit Mags

Formerly the National Program Directors’ Prize, the AWP Prize for Undergrad Lit Mags is awarded annually to one outstanding undergraduate-led journal and two runners-up. The prize celebrates the work of undergraduate student writers and editors, including exceptional content, cohesive design, and innovation.

Submissions to the AWP Prize for Undergrad Lit Mags are open February 1–28 each year. The 2024 guidelines, which are below, will be updated for 2025 soon.

Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduate literary magazines, both print and online, published from January 1 through December 31, 2023 are eligible for consideration for the 2024 prize. Magazines must be edited and staffed (including leadership roles) primarily by undergraduate students and must publish at least fifty percent undergraduate writing (i.e., fifty percent of the titles included in the magazine must be authored by writers who were undergraduate students at the time of submission to the journal).

AWP institutional members may submit one issue for free. Nonmember programs must pay a $15 entry fee. Programs that house multiple undergrad lit mags may submit multiple issues, but they must pay the $15 fee for each entry beyond the one free entry allotted to member programs.

Any issue that has previously been submitted to the contest is not eligible for resubmission.


Each entry should be accompanied by a brief cover letter (200–300 words) that describes your editorial and/or design process. Please emphasize the role undergraduates play in your magazine and highlight anything else notable about your publication.

The submission form will also include fields to add contact information; please provide the most up-to-date information possible. If your primary contact is graduating, is leaving the program, or may otherwise be unavailable, please provide at least one backup contact, such as a faculty advisor.

We are no longer accepting submissions via email or snail mail; entries must be uploaded to our Submittable portal by February 28, 2024. For print journals, please upload a complete PDF version of your magazine. For online journals, please include a URL or PDF so we may view your magazine. If you need more information to grant viewing access to the judge, please email


The winning magazine receives a $1,000 cash award; the first runner-up receives $500; and the second runner-up receives $250. All three winners will be posted on our website, announced on social media, and acknowledged at the annual AWP Conference & Bookfair the following year (i.e., 2024 winners will be recognized at #AWP25), and the first-place winner will receive a blurb from the judge and a feature in the Writer’s Chronicle. Prize honoraria are sent directly to the winning magazines.