National Program Directors' Prize

Instituted by the directors of AWP’s member programs, two National Program Directors' Prizes for undergraduate literary magazines are awarded annually to outstanding journals in the categories of content and design. Each winning magazine receives a $1,000 cash award. Winners are announced in The Writer's Chronicle and in other media, and the winning magazines are acknowledged at AWP's Annual Conference & Bookfair the following year. Prize honoraria are sent directly to the winning magazines. The final judges for content and design are announced at the conclusion of the competition.


Undergraduate literary magazines published between March 15, 2019 and March 15, 2020 are eligible for consideration. Submissions must arrive at AWP by March 15, 2020. Consult our guidelines for more information.

2019 National Program Directors' Prize Winners

Winner Description

Content Award

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Selected by
Tyler Mills, Assistant Professor at New Mexico Highlands University and Editor-in-Chief at The Account

“Choosing a winner was difficult, as there is so much great work being done by undergraduates in literary publishing right now. Furrow, the 2019 Content Award winner published by undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,is an outstanding journal. The poems, essays, and stories, as well as the works of visual art, tackle the human experience through wonderfully crafted, unusual, tangible, and richly musical voices. I found myself getting lost in each work I was reading so that as I reached the end, I was both deeply satisfied but also wanted to turn the page. The high caliber of the works published in Furrow is a testament to the editors’ vision, as well as the talented, diverse breadth of writers in undergraduate studies across the country—and world—today. Furrow carefully selects and arranges works of literature so that a subtle theme in one leads to the next and the magazine, organically, becomes a unified whole.”

Design Award

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Selected by
Catherine Anderson, JOYS (Just Organize Your Stuff, Inc.)

Chimera is an eclectically beautiful presentation of poetry, prose, and visual art. The cover sparks curiosity with the combination of playful typography and luxurious paper stock. This contradiction is smart—encouraging the reader to explore and enjoy a creative journey. The compelling spreads play with type, color, pattern, line, scale, and shape—creating a lively flow throughout the pages. The carefully designed side folio provides visual connections and a precise lexicon to organize the content. The consistently inconsistent application of bold graphics and clean type unifies the diverse art forms and written word. The thoughtful areas of unused space and solid color frame the areas of focus. Aesthetically pleasing, the entire publication is a delightful representation of its name—Chimera—incongruous pieces presented in a very imaginative way.”