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.

2023 AWP Small Press Publisher Award Judges

Jennifer Perrine Jennifer (JP) Perrine is the author of four books of poetry: Again, The Body Is No Machine, In the Human Zoo, and No Confession, No Mass. Their recent poems, essays, and stories have been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, the Oregon Poetry Community Fellowship, and the K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Award, as well as fellowships from the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Caldera Arts Center, and Oregon Humanities. Perrine co-hosts Portland’s Incite: Queer Writers Read series, teaches writing and gender studies at Portland Community College, and serves as a wilderness guide. Photo credit: Kateshia Pendergrass.

Carey SalernoCarey Salerno is the executive director and executive editor of Alice James Books, an independent publishing house that was established in 1973 and is dedicated to poetry. Salerno holds a BA from Western Michigan University and an MFA from New England College. She is the author of Tributary (2021), Shelter (2009), and co-editor of Lit From Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013). Her work-in-progress is a book of literary criticism and versification in relation to publishing arts. One of her current editorial projects is the New & Collected Poems of Jean Valentine. She teaches courses in poetry and publishing arts for the University of Maine at Farmington and resides in New Jersey.

Deborah TaffaDeborah Jackson Taffa is the director of the MFA CW program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Winner of the PEN Jean Stein Grant, her memoir Whiskey Tender is forthcoming from HarperCollins Harper in 2023. A recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, Public Space, Rona Jaffe, and Kranzberg Arts Center, she is a citizen of the Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo. She earned her MFA in Iowa City.


Letters of nomination are accepted each year between September 1 and October 28. 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.

Should you need assistance with processing your nomination please feel free to contact Aubrey Kamppila, Conference Events Coordinator, by emailing

List of Winners

See a list of previous award winners and finalists.