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Firecracker Awards

Celebrating the best of Independently and Self-Published Literature

The CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently and Self-Published Literature are a revitalized iteration of the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, originally established in 1996. This distinguished literary awards series spotlights books and magazines making a sparkling contribution to our literary culture, and publishers striving to introduce important voices to readers far and wide.

A national campaign celebrates and promotes our winning titles each year. Working with the American Booksellers Association, we spotlight the Firecracker Awards through Bookselling This Week, and the national Red Box Mailing, which goes out to independent booksellers across the country.

The 2018 Firecracker Awards ceremony will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, June 7 at Poet’s House in NYC, and will be hosted by poet Dorothea Lasky. Submissions for the 2019 awards will open fall 2018.

2018 Firecracker Award Finalists
CLMP firecracker awards small press independent literature


Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor (Rescue Press)

Tom o’Vietnam by Baron Wormser (New Rivers Press)

I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On by Khadijah Queen (YesYes Books)

North Station by Bae Suah, trans. Deborah Smith (Open Letter)

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (Akashic Books)

Moonbath by Yanick Lahens, trans. Emily Gogolak (Deep Vellum Publishing)

Wolf Season by Helen Benedict (Bellevue Literary Press)

The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked edited by Sheila Black, Michael Northen, Annabelle Hayse (Cinco Puntos Press)

The Passion of Woo & Isolde by Jennifer Tseng (Rose Metal Press)

Empire of Glass by Kaitlin Solimine (Ig Publishing)


CLMP firecracker awards small press independent literature


Acker by Douglas Martin (Nightboat Books)

Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life by Chelsea Martin (Soft Skull)

In the Province of the Gods by Kenny Fries (The University of Wisconsin Press)

Surviving Jersey: Danger and Insanity in the Garden State by Scott Loring Sanders (Outpost 19)

Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit by Aisha Sabatini Sloan (1913 Press)

Vagrants & Uncommon Visitors by A. Kendra Greene (Anomalous Press)

Patagonian Road by Kate McCahill (Santa Fe Writers Project)

Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System by Sonya Huber (University of Nebraska Press)

The Flowers in My Mothers’ Name by Philip Harris (Nomadic Press)

There You Are: Interviews, Journals and Ephermera by Joanne Kyger and edited by Cedar Sigo (Wave Books)


CLMP firecracker awards small press independent literature


Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora (Copper Canyon Press)

While Standing in Line for Death by CAConrad (Wave Books)

Silk Poems by Jen Bervin (Nightboat Books)

Field Theories by Samiyah Bashir (Nightboat Books)

Starshine & Clay by Kamilah Aisha Moon (Four Way Books)

blud by Rachel McKibbens (Copper Canyon Press)

I Know Your Kind: Poems by William Brewer (Milkweed Editions)

The Happy End / All Welcome by Mónica de la Torre (Ugly Duckling Presse)


One Story

New England Review


Words Without Borders

Full Stop


Georgia Review


Creative Nonfiction



Aquifer: The Florida Review Online

Better than Starbucks


Erizo: A Journal of the Arts

Flock Literary Journal


Paper Brigade

Poet’s Country

The Wax Paper

True Story

Under a Warm Green Linden

>Read about the 2018 Judges

 >View the 2017 Firecracker Award winners
>View the 2016 Firecracker Award winners

The Firecracker Awards are sponsored by


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