AWP Small Press Publisher Award Winners

Previous winners and finalists of the AWP Small Press Publisher Award. Scroll over each image for more information.

Year Winner Finalists


Winner: 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.

  • Obsidian
  • The Rumpus


Dzanc Books Dzanc Books
Dzanc Books

Winner: Dzanc Books is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, created in 2006 to champion innovative and award-winning literary fiction and nonfiction. The press also runs the Dzanc Writers-in-Residence Program, which places published authors in public schools to teach creative writing to elementary and secondary students; organizes the Disquiet International Literary Program, a writing conference held in Lisbon, Portugal; and runs an expansive internship program for those interested in independent publishing. The press is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Four Way Books
  • Nomadic Press


Ecotone Ecotone

Winner: Ecotone’s mission is twofold: to publish and promote the best place-based work being made today, and to offer new editors and designers intensive training in the craft. Founded in 2005, the award-winning biannual magazine features writing and art that reimagine place. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities. In each issue, emerging and established contributors explore the ecotones between landscapes, genres, disciplines, and identities. Ecotone and its sister imprint, Lookout Books, are produced by faculty and students in the MFA program at UNC Wilmington.

  • American Short Fiction


Milkweed Editions Milkweed Editions
Milkweed Editions

Winner: Milkweed Editions, founded in Minneapolis in 1980, Milkweed Editions is one of the nation’s leading independent publishers of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Operating as a nonprofit organization empowers Milkweed to acquire titles on the basis of artistic excellence and transformative potential and to invest significant resources in developing writers’ work and bringing it to a wide audience—engaging local, national, and international communities in the kind of conversation facilitated uniquely by literature

  • Dzanc Books
  • Etruscan
  • Noemi Press


Birmingham Poetry Review Birmingham Poetry Review
Birmingham Poetry Review

Winner: Birmingham Poetry Review, founded in 1987 and published out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a 250–300-page annual journal devoted to publishing poetry and poetry translations by established, emerging, and previously unpublished poets, essays on craft, and reviews of poetry collections. In addition, we feature an internationally acclaimed poet in every issue, including a new suite of poems by the poet, an interview with the poet, and an essay written on the poet’s body of work.

  • Ecotone


Zephyr Press Zephyr Press
Zephyr Press

Winner: Zephyr Press, founded in 1980, is recognized as a leading translation press of international poetry and prose. From our landmark bilingual edition of The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova in 1990, to our unique contemporary Chinese line, featuring work from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, we strive to bring exceptional international writers to English-speaking readers, and to foster a deeper understanding of other cultures and languages. Our catalog includes books from more than a dozen languages (and counting). Zephyr Press is run by Jim Kates, Christopher Mattison, and Leora Zeitlin.

  • Green Writers Press
  • Split Lip Press


Creative Nonfiction Creative Nonfiction
Creative Nonfiction

Winner: 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
  • The Normal School


Coffee House Press Coffee House Press
Coffee House Press

Winner: Coffee House Press began as a small letterpress in 1972 and has grown into an internationally renowned nonprofit publisher of literary fiction, essay, poetry, translation, and other work that doesn’t fit neatly into genre categories. Coffee House is both a publisher and an arts organization. Through our Books in Action program and publications, we’ve become interdisciplinary collaborators and incubators for new work and audience experiences. Our vision for the future is one where a publisher is a catalyst and connector.

  • Belladonna*
  • CavanKerry Press


Guernica Guernica

Winner: Guernica is an award-winning magazine of literature, politics, art, and ideas. Free and online since its founding in 2004, the magazine gives equal weight to reportage, polemic, and criticism of domestic and international affairs, alongside first-person narrative, fiction, poetry and visual art by established and emerging artists. Its authors and artists come from more than sixty countries, write in dozens of languages, and offer original—at times, radical—takes on global issues. Issues of the magazine publish twice monthly with new work appearing every weekday on Guernica Daily.

  • Beloit Poetry Journal
  • Creative Nonfiction


Graywolf Graywolf

Winner: Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. Graywolf champions outstanding writers at all stages of their careers to ensure that diverse voices can be heard in a crowded marketplace. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Graywolf publishes poets, nonfiction writers, and fiction writers whose various and challenging literary works have recently been recognized with a National Book Award, two Pulitzer Prizes, four National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • Bellevue Literary Press (BLP)
  • Coffee House Press
  • Etruscan Press
  • Salmon Poetry


One Story, Inc. One Story, Inc.
One Story, Inc.

Winner: One Story, Inc. is an award-winning, independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit literary publisher devoted to promoting the art form of the short story and supporting the authors who write them. For over eleven years, their flagship magazine, One Story, has published the best from established and emerging authors of short fiction, and is now one of the largest circulating literary magazines in the country with over 15,000 readers. In 2012, One Story, Inc. established One Teen Story, a short story literary magazine for readers of young adult fiction.

  • The Cincinnati Review
  • Creative Nonfiction


Sarabande Books Sarabande Books
Sarabande Books

Winner: Sarabande Books

Sarabande Books was founded in 1994 to publish poetry, short fiction, and essay; to disburse these works with diligence and integrity; and to serve as an educational resource for readers, students, and teachers of creative writing. Sarabande's first titles appeared in 1996, and the press currently has more than 150 titles under contract or in print, many of them prize-winning. Sarabande authors and staff members conduct an estimated 225 readings, workshops, and lectures per year, and they strive to make their programs and services accessible to all.

  • Bellevue Literary Press (BLP)
  • Coffee House Press
  • Red Hen Press