AWP Writing Organization Award

The AWP Writing Organization Award is a new award that will annually recognize writing conferences, festivals, centers, workshops, residencies, retreats, and other organizations for the important work they do to serve the writing community. The late poet and fierce writing organization advocate Kurt Brown worked hard to shine a light on these groups as an important part of the literary ecosystem. The Writing Organization Award is a continuation of that legacy.

Based on letters of nomination, AWP awards a $2,000 honorarium and a complimentary bookfair booth, including two conference registrations, to each year’s winning organization.


The AWP Writing Organization Award will be granted each year to a writing organization that excels in at least one of the following areas:

  • improves the craft, careers, and/or lives of the writers it serves
  • develops and employs innovative programming
  • serves a broad range of writers from diverse backgrounds
  • provides scholarships, financial assistance, and/or important resources to writers

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible organizations include writing conferences, centers, festivals, workshops, residencies, retreats, and/or any other established groups or organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • has been in operation for five years or more at the time of nomination
  • provides regular programming for writers, such as year-round services, annual events, monthly meetings, etc.
  • is independently run and not affiliated with a larger business or company; if housed by a university, must offer programming that is open to community members outside of the university itself
  • must be willing and able to send at least one representative to the AWP Conference & Bookfair to accept the award

Any organization that meets the above criteria may be nominated for the award, with two exceptions:

  1. organizations run by members of the current AWP Board of Directors or AWP staff, family members of the AWP Board of Directors or AWP staff, or former AWP board members or AWP staff who served AWP within the last five years
  2. organizations that have participated as a literary partner at the AWP Conference & Bookfair within the last five years

Letters of Nomination

Nominations will open via our online submission portal in fall 2024. Letters of nomination can be submitted by attendees or participants of the organization, as well as anyone who has benefitted from or observed the positive impact of the organization; current staff and board members may not nominate the organization they serve. Former staff and board members may not nominate an organization if they have served it within the past five years.

Letters of nomination should include an explanation of how the writing organization fulfills the criteria above and a detailed explanation of the organization’s contribution to the writing community.

Letters should be no longer than two single-spaced pages. Letters should include the name, return address, and signature of the nominating person as well as contact information for an organization representative who can accept the award on behalf of the organization. All nominations should be in PDF format and submitted through AWP’s online submission portal. Nominations received by post, email, or any format outside of the submission portal will not be considered. Please note that while multiple people may submit letters of nomination, the judges will select winners based on the content of the letters and the programming of the organizations; a greater quantity of letters will not increase an organization’s chance of winning.

Previous recipients of the award may not be nominated and will not be considered. Nominations will be considered for three years, including the year the nomination is submitted.


All letters of nomination submitted before the deadline will be reviewed by a small committee who will select three finalists and determine a winner. The recipient will be announced during the Wednesday night Literary Awards Celebration at the AWP Conference & Bookfair. The winner will receive a complimentary booth, including two conference registrations, at the bookfair following the year the award was presented. (For example, the winner of the 2025 award will be announced at the #AWP25 Conference & Bookfair and receive a booth at the #AWP26 Conference & Bookfair.) The winner will also receive a $2,000 honorarium. Booths are not transferrable; winners who choose not to exhibit at the following year’s bookfair will forfeit their complimentary exhibit space.

All finalists will be announced on AWP’s website and social media accounts and featured in the Writer’s Chronicle.