Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Association for Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) will move its offices to the University of Maryland this summer, becoming the latest addition to UMD’s Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private investment to revitalize Baltimore Avenue and the academic campus that further cultivates university-city partnerships. AWP, an organization that fosters literacy achievement, advances the art of writing, and advocates for arts and arts education, will be headquartered in the university’s Discovery District.
As the epicenter of academic research and economic development, the Discovery District-- formerly known as M Square-- was selected by the AWP Board of Trustees for several reasons, including the university’s academic strength in creative writing, highly educated workforce, modern and spacious facilities, proximity to Washington, D.C, access to extensive mass transit, and community development.
“It is exciting to see major academic organizations, established businesses and more startups drawn to Greater College Park,” said Ken Ulman, the university’s chief strategy officer for economic development. “The addition of AWP to Discovery District strengthens the academic partnerships we have in place at UMD, and demonstrates that arts and humanities are essential in transforming College Park into a world class university community.”
For the past 50 years, AWP has grown to support 550 college and university creative writing programs, 150 writers’ conferences and centers, and 50,000 writers. AWP works with a growing number of allied literary organizations to build audiences for contemporary literature. Its conference attracts 12,000 each year, and AWP’s magazine has a growing circulation of tens of thousands of readers.
"We are delighted that AWP has chosen to relocate to the University of Maryland," said Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. "They will join a vibrant arts and humanities community and create opportunities for students who are interested in not only writing, but also publishing, editing and nonprofit arts management."
AWP has been affiliated with a college or university since its inception in 1967. For the past 23 years, AWP has been headquartered at George Mason University.
“AWP sought a larger home that would serve AWP well for the next 20 years,” said AWP Executive Director David Fenza. “The University of Maryland will be a great headquarters for AWP as we build upon our services to writers, teachers and students. We look forward to partnering with this flagship institution and joining the dynamic intellectual life of College Park.”
The relocation of AWP to the University of Maryland will not only impact the Greater College Park community, but it is expected to boost Prince George’s County economy as well.
“Recently we announced that, since 2013, Prince George’s County has created over 15,000 new jobs,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I am now thrilled that we can add to that and welcome AWP to the Prince George’s County business community. The University of Maryland has worldwide recognition for its research, so it is exciting to see AWP become part of the campus’s arts and humanities fabric. AWP and the thousands of writers, teachers, and students that it represents is a superb addition to the County’s business community.”
AWP will move into their new office on Rivertech Court at the University of Maryland in summer 2017.