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Firecracker Awards


UPDATE: 2016 Firecracker Award Winners announced.


The FIRECRACKER AWARDS FOR INDEPENDENTLY AND SELF-PUBLISHED LITERATURE are a revitalized iteration of the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, originally established in 1996. Last year, twenty-six publishers were finalists among 240 entries in the various categories. Marie NDiaye’s Self-Portrait in Green (Two Lines Press) as translated by Jordan Stump, Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press) by Jeffery Renard Allen, Bernadette Mayer’s Sonnets (Tender Buttons Press), Joe Johnson’s graphic novel Beauty (NPM Publishing) as illustrated by Kerascoët, and Patty Blount’s Some Boys (Sourcebooks) all took home prizes in 2015. Additionally, three magazines were awarded: Tin House for General Excellence, Story for Best Debut, and Poetry Magazine for Poetry.

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses has once again joined forces with the American Booksellers Association to present the annual Firecracker Awards, devoted to celebrating independent literary publishers and self-published works of high literary merit.

“ABA is excited to see the return of the Firecracker Awards, and enthusiastically supports the efforts of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses to promote the works of independent literary publishers,” said ABA Development Officer Mark Nichols. Submission for the 2016 Awards, to take place on May 19th, are now closed. A long list of finalists will be announced for the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles.


2016 Firecracker Award judges:


Brad Johnson (Store Manager at Diesel, a Bookstore), Yiyun Li (author and contributing editor at A Public Space), and Dawn Raffel (author and former Executive Editor for O, The Oprah Magazine)


Kelly McMasters (author), Meredith Walters (Director of Programs at Brooklyn Public Library), and Claire Kirch (Midwest Correspondent at Publishers Weekly)


Kazim Ali (author and founding editor of Nightboat Books), Ifeanyi Menkiti (owner of Grolier Poetry Book Shop), Tim Nolan (author), Stephanie Strickland (author), and Jonathan Welch (author)


Don Lee (author), Ander Monson (author and editor of Diagram), David Martinez (author and editor for Gulf Coast), Molly Rose Quinn (author and Director of Public Programming at Housing Works Bookstore), and Clarence V. Reynolds (Director at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY)


The 2016 Firecracker Awards are sponsored by:

ingram logo



2015 Firecracker Award Winners


Fall Gala

Chinese Food Under the Manhattan Bridge—TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!


Writers Conference Nov. 10 - 11

Hundreds in Hudson

at the 1st Read & Feed


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Poets Read Fiction

May 17 at Berl's

2nd Annual Firecracker Awards

May 19 at Poets House