National Program Directors' Prize

Instituted by the directors of AWP’s member programs, two National Program Directors' Prizes for undergraduate literary magazines are awarded annually to outstanding journals in the categories of content and design. Each winning magazine receives a $1,000 cash award. Winners are announced in the Writer's Chronicle and in other media, and the winning magazines are acknowledged at AWP's Annual Conference & Bookfair the following year. Prize honoraria are sent directly to the winning magazines. The final judges for content and design are announced at the conclusion of the competition.


Undergraduate literary magazines published between March 15, 2014 and March 15, 2015 are eligible for consideration. Submissions must arrive at AWP by March 15, 2015. Consult our guidelines for more information.

2014 National Program Directors' Prize Winners

Winner Description

Content Award

Catch ,
Knox College

Selected by
John H. Fleming,
University of South Florida

"I loved the variety in Catch from Knox College. In addition to consistently high-quality poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction, Catch features poetic translations, a short screenplay, a movie review, an art show review, a tribute to Roger Ebert, a QR code that links to original music on the Catch website, a data-driven analysis on the use of military deployment in the drug war, and a scientific article on pollutants found in ice and snow. Catch is a remarkable display of talent, knowledge, and dedication—the very best undergraduate literary magazine in the country."

Design Award

Gannon University

Selected by
Maureen Lauran, George Mason University

"Totem 2013, is an outstanding example of meaningful, consistent, and appropriate use of typography. Readability and clarity were never sacrificed to design, and the overall design aesthetic of the journal was suitable to the subjects. With the unique manner chosen to separate and index the parts of the journal—prose, art, poetry— the topics were available singularly and still remained a part of the whole. Each element is bound together with a cover that enclosed the entirety. The somewhat fragile vellum overlay is not essential to the success of the design concept, but serves to further “encase” the separate booklets that make up the whole. Paper choices and the printing quality overall are commendable as well."

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List of Winners

See a list of previous National Program Directors' Prize winners.