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. received the 2024 Small Press Publisher Award.

Finalists for the 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award

Kai Coggins

Obsidian cultivates, through publication and critical inquiry, Black imagination, innovation, and excellence—supporting Black, African, and African Diaspora creatives globally. Initially founded by poet Alvin Aubert, Obsidian’s current editor is Duriel E. Harris. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a premier journal dedicated to African Diaspora literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print and year-round at Obsidian has also been recognized by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses for editorial achievement. Obsidian will celebrate its fiftieth year of publication in 2025.

With a focus on place, climate, and justice, is an independent magazine founded in 1997. As the world’s first place-based online literary journal, we were founded on a vision of marrying poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction with articles and community case studies. The works publishes on a rolling schedule merge literary and graphic art with science and activism in a beautiful, interactive design. The journal has always been advertisement-free and does not charge to access our content, nor charge to submit (except contests). Our work has been awarded the John Burroughs Nature Essay Award and been included in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays/Poetry anthologies.

Kai Coggins

The Rumpus publishes original fiction, poetry, literary humor writing, comics, essays, book reviews, and interviews with authors and artists of all kinds. Our mostly volunteer-run independent magazine strives to be a platform for risk-taking voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere. We lift up new voices alongside those of more established writers our readers may already know and love. We want to bring new perspectives into the conversation that will make us all look deeper. Visit to read new work five days a week.

2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award Judges

Kai Coggins

Kai Coggin (she/her) is the inaugural poet laureate of the City of Hot Springs, and author of four collections, most recently Mining for Stardust (FlowerSong Press 2021). She is a certified master naturalist, a K-12 teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, a Catalyze Grant fellow with the Mid-America Arts Alliance, and host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country—Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award, named 2020 and 2023 “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, and nominated for Arkansas State Poet Laureate and Hot Springs Woman of the Year, her award-winning poetry has been widely published and anthologized. She lives with her wife in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis is the author of three collections: One Wild Word Away (BOA Editions, 2024); Night Angler, winner of the James Laughlin Award; and Revising the Storm, winner the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. A recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, Cave Canem, the NEA, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Whiting Foundation, Davis’s poems have appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and Ploughshares. He teaches with the University of Arkansas, serves as poetry editor for Iron Horse Literary Review, and is a core faculty member of The Rainier Writing Workshop.

Ruth Dickey

Ruth Dickey is the executive director of the National Book Foundation and has spent over twenty-five years working at the intersection of community building, writing, and art. She was a 2017 fellow with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and served as a judge in fiction for the 2019 National Book Awards. The recipient of a Mayor’s Arts Award from DC, Ruth’s first book, Mud Blooms (Harbor Mountain Press, 2019), was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and received a 2019 Silver Nautilus, and her second book, Our hollowness sings, is forthcoming from Unicorn Press in 2024. Photo credit: Libby Lewis.


Letters of nomination are accepted each year between September 1 and October 27. All nominations should be in PDF format and submitted through AWP's online submission portal. Postal submissions will not be considered.

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

Should you need assistance with processing your nomination please feel free to contact Aubrey Kamppila, conference events manager, by emailing