Promoting the Work of Member Presses


Honoring the many design and production teams within our community whose work furthers a long tradition of excellence, the AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show annually recognizes achievement in the design, production, and manufacture of books, book jackets, and journals. Through a traveling exhibit and an acclaimed annual catalog of selected entries, the competition visually teaches the tenets of good design and fulfills its mission to “honor and instruct” while providing a source of discussion and creative and resourceful ideas.

Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show BJJS 2021 logo

The 2021 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show selections were announced in May 2021 and are on display virtually via the AUPresses Design site. Judging had taken place remotely in February 2021, with jurors selecting 101 entries from 33 member publishers in 7 categories from among more than 520 entries. While the pandemic halted the traveling show, the 2021 Show catalog was available digitally, allowing for a wider audience to view the show selections; and the show was widely promoted on social media from both @AUPresses and @AUPressesDesign (on Twitter and Instagram).

Judging for the 2022 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show returned—in person—to the AUPresses Central Office in New York City January 27-28. Jurors selected 51 books and journals, and 41 jackets and covers as the very best examples from a large pool of excellent design. The selected entries were announced via the AUPresses Design website on the UP Commons in April 2022, The Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Committee is looking forward to planning the return of the traveling show, barring unforeseen developments, in Fall 2022.


The Association uses the #ReadUP tag on social media to highlight our members’ publications and stories about the valuable work of university presses. Though this tag originated in University Press Week celebrations, its exhortation is always relevant—just like university presses!

The AUPresses shopfront continued to support our promotion of member work to readers. We had a little fun and invited readers to #SlowDown and #ReadUP in Summer 2021.  And once again, we were able to leverage the platform to expand the reach of the UP Week Gallery, this year with the theme #KeepUP. Read below about some of the special reading lists created for the 10th anniversary celebration of UP Week, too!

The Books for Understanding program was launched in 2001 to connect the university press mission to current public issues that require deeply informed engagement and decision-making. More than 50 bibliographies were published between 2001 and 2014—showcasing the scholarship available on current events topics ranging from Climate Change to Reproductive Rights. The program remains dormant at this time, although the relaunch of the AUPresses Digital Digest blog now provides a space for timely resource round-ups that fill a little bit of the Books for Understanding gap. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, member presses published relevant reading lists and created free-access libraries of scholarship; Digital Digest post highlighted this service and collected links. 


Due to the unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries has been put on a hiatus. We anticipate that this program will resume when the Central Office staff restructure/reorganization has been completed.

#KeepUP University Press Week November 8-12, 2021 banner logo
University Press Week

University Press Week 2021 was held November 8-12. Its theme, Keep UP, marked our tenth anniversary and celebrated how university presses have evolved over the past decade. Eighty-six presses contributed entries to the Keep UP Gallery and Reading List, all of which were featured in a LitHub article. Sixty-five books comprised our UP Week page on, and the Keep UP blog tour of 56 posts considered the forward-thinking work that has made university presses leaders in their fields and a force to keep up with.

During the week, a Publishers Weekly “Soapbox” article by AUPresses President Lisa Bayer (Georgia) and Executive Director Peter Berkery featured perspectives from five individuals who became university press directors in the past decade: Jennifer Crewe (Columbia), John Sherer (North Carolina), Emily Poznanski (Central European), Amy Brand (MIT), and Tony Sanfilippo (Ohio State). New Books Network also featured an interview with Bayer.

Demonstrating the excellence and innovation of university presses over the past decade, the University Press Week Task Force curated several lists highlighting “A Decade of Excellence.” These lists celebrated new university presses; Nobel Prize laureates and National Book Award winners; and a whole decade of work to #ReadUP and #KeepUP with, including graphic nonfiction and fiction, books for the next generation, creative collaborations, podcasts, and breakthrough books. As part of the UP Week blog tour, member presses presented their own “top 10” lists of the projects that made their presses a force to Keep UP with in the past decade.

Our signature event was a discussion of the future of university presses with author Deesha Philyaw (West Virginia), bookseller Stephen Sparks (Point Reyes Books), and press director John Sherer (North Carolina). This online event was sponsored by Seminary Co-op bookstore, moderated by Alena Jones of the Co-op, and later broadcast on C-SPAN BookTV. For more media highlights, see University Press Week 2021 in the News.

Once again, UP Week coincided with an Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee webinar—on the Anti-racist Toolkit for Organizations—and the University of Illinois Press Fall Publishing Symposium.

University Press Week 2022 is scheduled for November 14-18.

Stand UP Award
Portrait photo of Shawn Wong

The 2021 Stand UP Award was presented to author, professor, activist, and lifelong advocate for Asian American literature Shawn Wong during the AUPresses 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting. (A video of the presentation is available.) Through this award, the Association honors people who have done extraordinary work in support of university presses, recognizing advocates who are not on staff at a member press but who stand up from within the communities that presses work with, speak to, and serve. Wong was recognized for his decades of support for the University of Washington Press, including leading grassroots efforts in 2019-2020 to protect the press’s right to publish the landmark 1957 novel No-No Boy by Japanese American author John Okada.