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George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature  

The award will be given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional generosity to writers by excellent work in one or more of the following activities:  

• Teaching creative writing and literature;
• Serving as a mentor, supporter, or guide to writers;
• Publishing or editing literature, especially works by emerging or neglected talents;
• Building new resources that benefit writers (reading series, presses, awards, endowments, fellowships, stipends, programs, community centers, foundations, etc.);
• Administering to programs or institutions that benefit writers or that expand audiences for contemporary authors; and
• Working generally to make North America a more supportive place for contemporary literature and its makers.

To receive the award, the recipient must be willing to travel to the AWP annual conference.


Eligibility Requirements

Any living individual who meets the above criteria may be nominated for the award except for the following: members of the current AWP board or staff; family members of the AWP board or staff; and former AWP trustees or staff who served AWP within the last four years. A former trustee or employee of AWP may be nominated for the award only after at least four years have lapsed between the deadline for nominations and his or her last official day of service to AWP. Previous recipients of the award may not be nominated or considered. Self-nominations will not be considered.


Letters of Nomination

Anyone, nonmember or member of AWP, may submit a letter of nomination. Nomination letters should feature the following:

• An explanation of how your nominee fulfills the criteria.
• Specificity. Please note where the nominee did good works, length of service, names of writers helped, or detailed descriptions of what your nominee did or built in support of writers.
• Brevity. Your letter of nomination should be no longer than two pages, single-spaced, in a 12-point font.
• Attribution. The date, your name, return address, email address, and signature must appear on your letter.
• The Award Committee reviews over 100 letters each year. Please prepare your letter with care. 


Letters of nomination are accepted each year between September 1 and Octobe1 30, and should be uploaded here. Please email letters of nomination to:

Cynthia Sherman

Executive Director



Duration of Active Nominations

Letters of nomination will remain in active consideration for three years, for three cycles of the process of adjudication. If you submit your letter in 2020, for instance, your letter of nomination will remain active until the end of the 2022 cycle of deliberations.



Each year the AWP Board of Trustees and Staff choose three individuals from AWP’s general membership to serve as judges of the nominees. This Award Committee of three judges ranks and selects the recipient of the award. AWP selects new judges each year. As is the case with other literary awards, the deliberations of the judges are confidential.

For information about the award's namesake author and for a list of past winners, please visit AWP's website.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.