Ecotone Wins AWP Small Press Publisher Award

2022 AWP Small Press Publisher Award in front of the Climate IssueWe’re proud to share that AWP has selected Ecotone for the 2022 Small Press Publisher Award, given in alternate years to a small press or a literary magazine. Recent past winners include One Story, Creative Nonfiction, Birmingham Poetry Review, Milkweed Editions, and Graywolf Press.

The Small Press Publisher Award, as described by AWP, “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.” AWP also recognized and American Short Fiction as finalists for this year’s award. We’re grateful for this support of our mission, and delighted to be in such fine company.

Upon accepting the award during AWP 2022, editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell offered these remarks:

I want to thank AWP for making space for literary magazines and presses in the beautiful way that it does. It’s an honor to receive this award.

Ecotone’s mission is twofold: we have a mission to train new editors and designers in the craft, and a mission of what we call reimagining place, or thinking about place in new ways, and bringing new voices into the space of place-based writing. There’s a great need for offering training for editors and designers. We rightly think of the primary producers of literature as the first people, the most important people, but we all need our work out in the world, and we need it edited well and designed beautifully. To make room for giving people the skills to do that is really important. There’s also right now a great need to think about the climate crisis and the ways that it affects, especially, poor and marginalized communities. I saw recently that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is saying that almost half of the world’s population is at risk now from serious effects of climate crisis—so it’s no joke, and we think of that as a big part of our mission.

Thank you to AWP for affirming those needs and parts of our mission. Many, many thanks to our nominators, and to the judges. And I want to briefly thank a couple of other people, including one person who can’t be with us tonight. David Gessner was the founding editor of Ecotone and is our editor in chief. He remains a fierce advocate for the work the magazine does, and we can’t thank him enough for his vision and the work he continues to do. UNC Wilmington and its department of creative writing have been steadfast supporters of our work, and we’re deeply thankful. Lots more people to thank, past and present—when you’re a magazine that trains new editors, you work with so many wonderful people.

I want to recognize Sophia Stid, our associate editor, who is here, and Michael Ramos, our art director, who is here. Thanks to both of you for your work—if you could wave your arms a little so people know who you are—and there are some other Ecotone team members in the room as well; could y’all wave your arms? I want people to see you! Thank you for your work.

I want to say thank you as well to our fellow finalists—please read and subscribe to American Short Fiction. You won’t regret it.

Long live literary magazines, and long live the fight for a sustainable place for us all to live.

Ecotone staff after receiving the 2022 AWP Small Press Publisher Award
Ecotone staff celebrate the 2022 AWP Small Press Publisher Award. Left to right: poetry editor Cass Lintz; co–fiction editor Emily Lowe; associate editor Sophia Stid; Cynthia Sherman (executive director, AWP); editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell; art director Michael Ramos; comics editor Ryleigh Wann; and co–fiction editor Kaylie Saidin.