AWP Small Press Publisher Award

AWP’s Small Press Publisher Award is an annual prize for nonprofit presses and literary journals that recognizes the important role such organizations play in publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public. The award acknowledges the hard work, creativity, and innovation of these presses and journals, and honors their contributions to the literary landscape through their publication of consistently excellent work.

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

Finalists for the 2018 AWP Small Press Publisher Award

Winner to be announced at the #AWP18 Conference & Bookfair

Creative Nonfiction Logo

Creative Nonfiction is true stories, well told. Each issue of the quarterly features original essays and illustrations; writing that pushes traditional boundaries of the genre; notes on craft; micro-essays; conversations with writers and editors; and more. Almost every issue includes a writer's first publication, and the editorial team emphasizes a thoughtful editorial process and rigorous fact-checking as vital elements of the organization's overall educational mission. Simply put, Creative Nonfiction strives to demonstrate the depth and versatility of the genre it has helped define. 

Fence Logo

Fence was founded in 1998 in response to the field of periodicals dominated on the one hand by university journals with unstable student-based editorial boards and on the other by hard-to-spot coterie-based journals, which selected from within a social-academic network of ideological agreement. Twenty years later, Fence remains the only major literary periodical publishing a significant volume of poetry alongside its prose; publishing a vast majority of each issue from unsolicited submissions; maintaining diversity not only culturally and aesthetically, but also geographically.

The Normal School Logo

The Normal School is a bi-annual print and online journal featuring nonfiction, fiction, poetry, criticism, journalism, author interviews, and multi-media texts. Now in its tenth year of publication, The Normal School is nestled happily into California State University at Fresno like a comfy spore in a benign and mighty lung. It aspires to be the lit mag equivalent of the kid who always has bottle caps, cat’s eye marbles, dead animal skulls, and other treasures in his pockets. It also actively seeks to publish and promote work by historically under-represented and marginalized voices. Logo A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments publishes a rich mix of place-based literary work from new and established writers alike. Founded in 1997, is the world’s first online journal of place and the oldest online literary magazine still publishing. From poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to interviews, art galleries, reviews, and editorials–including the critically acclaimed Letter to America and A Life of Science series– publishes from three to six contributions per week, often with audio, image galleries, and video–all advertisement-free and with no cost or subscription required for access. 


Stephanie G’Schwind, Colorado Review / Colorado State University
Tobi Harper, Los Angeles Review / Red Hen Press
John Wang, Potomac Review / Montgomery College


Letters of nomination are accepted each year between August 1 and September 15. All nominations should be in PDF format and submitted through AWP's Submittable portal. Postal submissions will not be considered.

To nominate a candidate for the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, please consult our award guidelines.

Questions should be directed to: Christian Teresi, Director of Conferences, at

List of Winners

See a list of previous award winners and finalists.