2019 Barrelhouse Amplifier Awards go to the Appalachian Prison Book Project, and Flashback Fiction

Barrelhouse Magazine is thrilled to announce that the 2019 Amplifier Award goes to The Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit based in Morgantown, West Virginia that mails free books to people imprisoned in six states in the Appalachian region, facilitates year-round book clubs inside a federal prison in West Virginia, and recently launched a publishing wing called These Walls Can Talk. Again this year we were amazed at the number of worthy applicants and the sheer scope of the wonderful work being done by literary organizations, magazines, small presses, reading series, and everything in between.

The Amplifer award, co-sponsored by Submittable, is a one-time $1500 grant to an emerging literary organization and we thank Submittable once again for their generosity and support.

We chose the Appalachian Prison Book Project because we admired their timely and important mission and their commitment to sustainable growth and financial stewardship. In their application, The Appalachian Prison Book Project identified a clear goal of using this money to increase the scope of their publishing arm, which includes literary magazine and anthology collections, enabling them to be dispersed to a wider audience.

Appalachian Prison Book Project's Rayna Momen says, "There is a movement to silence the voices of the incarcerated. Appalachian Prison Book Project’s newly-created publishing wing, These Walls Can Talk, helps fill the void that is the world that keeps on moving despite so many people having been disappeared. By sharing writing from the inside, which can be seen as an act of resistance, we aim to lessen the distance between people on both sides of the walls, and are so grateful to Barrelhouse for helping us continue toward sustaining this new venture!"


This year, we also awarded a second prize of $500, which was generously sponsored by Mythic Picnic. We’re pleased to announce that the winner of this award is Flashback Fiction, an online literary magazine that publishes historical flash fiction, prose poetry and hybrid work, with a special interest in stories that help fill in some of the gaps in our history books and/or challenge assumptions about the past.

As always Barrelhouse is fortunate to be in a position to offer this kind of financial support to groups doing such good work in the literary space. We thank Submittable and Mythic Picnic for their generous support. We’re humbled by the great work being done by all the applicants and wish them luck in their future endeavors.