Martin Lammon, founder of the Donald Hall Prize, talks to two guests (Black women dressed in evening attire) at the 2019 AWP Gala

AWP Award Series Endowments

“The AWP Award Series has created an extraordinary treasure trove of books that will continue to be read as long as there are readers. Donors to AWP’s endowments help us change writers’ lives and preserve an irreplaceable literary legacy.”

    —Supriya Bhatnagar, former director of publications, AWP

AWP’s endowments support the AWP Award Series, providing over $20,000 in prizes and publication to gifted writers each year. Press partners are New Issues Poetry & Prose, Red Hen Press, University of Georgia Press, and University of Pittsburgh Press.

The Donald Hall Endowment

Started by AWP Board President Emeritus Martin Lammon, the prize honors Donald Hall, former US poet laureate and a remarkable teacher and mentor. The endowment provides funding for the $5,500 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and publication by University of Pittsburg Press.

The Grace Paley Endowment

Spearheaded by writer Gerry LaFemina when he served on the AWP Board, the prize honors Grace Paley, “one of the great writers of voice in the twentieth century.” The endowment funds a $5,500 prize for short fiction and publication of a short story collection by Red Hen.

The Sue William Silverman Endowment

Sue William Silverman received the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction in 1995. She says, “A literary memoir is turning life into art. I now had credentials to make this claim: not only for me, but for the genre itself.” The endowment she started funds a $2,500 award for a work of creative nonfiction and publication by the University of Georgia Press.

The James Alan McPherson Endowment

Initiated by McPherson's student, friend, and biographer, Allen Gee, with his daughter Rachel McPherson. The prize honors James Alan McPherson, the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a tenured professor at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. The endowment provides funding for the $5,500 James Alan McPherson Prize for the Novel and publication by University of Nebraska Press.

The AWP Board of Directors invites you to join us in supporting these endowments. With an emphasis on recognizing diversity and offering a platform for new voices, the AWP Award Series enriches our literary landscape year after year. Thank you for your generosity.

All donations to the Award Series Endowments are fully tax-deductible.

Interested in creating an endowment to build a legacy? We are happy to talk with you about our existing endowments as well as planned giving. Contact Executive Director Cynthia Sherman at