Terrain.org Wins 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award

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Terrain.org Wins 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award

Terrain.org, a nonprofit, independent magazine of place, climate, and justice publishing since 1998, has won the 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award.

The award was announced on February 7, 2024 at the AWP awards ceremony held at the Kansas City Public Library the evening before the start of the 2024 AWP Conference and Bookfair. Award judges were Kai Coggin, Geffrey Davis, and Ruth Dickey.

Simmons Buntin

Terrain.org editor-in-chief Simmons Buntin accepts the 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award.
Photo by Rebecca Reuter.

Terrain.org was chosen as the winner after being named a finalist in 2022, 2020, and 2018. The other finalists for the 2024 award are Obsidian and The Rumpus.

The 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 and Bookfair in the year following the recipient’s recognition (next year, in Los Angeles, March 26-29). In even years, the award is given to a journal, and, in odd years, to a press.

Terrain.org editor-in-chief Simmons Buntin accepted the award on behalf of the online literary magazine’s all-volunteer editors and editorial board.

Terrain.org 2024 AWP Small Press Publisher Award Acceptance Speech

Thank you, old friends and new. My name is Simmons Buntin, Terrain.org’s founder and editor-in-chief. It is an honor and delight to accept this award among such admirable and important company as Obsidian and The Rumpus.

You can read more about Terrain.org, the world’s first online literary journal of place, on the AWP awards page and of course on our website. But let me add one more important detail that may not be obvious: Terrain.org is an all-volunteer, ad-free, no-cost-to-subscribe-or-submit-regular-submissions independent magazine. Though we are paying market with a particular focus on place, climate, and justice, we operate solely off of donations, contest fees, and a few small grants. And we have been doing so for more than 25 years now.

So this award is not only an honor and delight, it is critical for our continued success; for independent magazines especially benefit from this kind of award, with its essential monetary prize and its free booth for next year’s bookfair. So, thank you Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and thank you, esteemed judges.

Let me also thank a few more folks, because Terrain.org is a community of editors as much as it is a collection of award-winning contributions. We have over 20 volunteer editors and nearly 40 international, volunteer editorial board members. Tonight I am especially delighted to thank Elizabeth Dodd and Derek Sheffield, our nonfiction and poetry editors, respectively, who have joined me this evening and who likewise pour their heart and soul—and a heck of a lot of time and sometimes their wallets—into our little endeavor. Thanks also to the other Terrain.org folks attending AWP this year: reviews editor Renata Golden, education editor Janine DeBaise, assistant editors Chaun Ballard, Jennie Case, Sean Enfield, and Jarrett Ziemer, editorial board members Taylor Brorby, Kurt Caswell, Suzanne Frischkorn, CMarie Fuhrman, Allen Gee, Sean Hill, and Juan Morales, and contributing editor Hannah Fries.

I’m also pleased to announce our new, limited-run Climate Stories in Action series in partnership with the Spring Creek Project. Twelve contributions across genres will run weekly beginning in May. Each contributor is paid $200, and there is no entry fee. Submit by April 8, and learn more at terrain.org/climate.

And finally, please join us for our offsite reading Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the historic Kirk Family YMCA, where we’ll celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The reading is free, and we’ll have some nibbles and sparkling waters, too, though I suspect the reading itself will be quite nourishing.

Again, thank you for this incredibly meaningful and helpful award. And thank you all for your beautiful art, your creative activism, your essential changemaking.