The Constellation Award

Underwritten by Penguin Random House for 2021 and 2022, the annual Constellation Award is given to honor an independent literary press that is led by and/or champions the writing of people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals for excellence in publishing. The 2022 recipient will receive $10,000 and will be announced in November 2022. The deadline to apply was September 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET.

This year’s judges are J.K. Fowler, Founder and Executive Director of Nomadic Press, and CLMP Board Members Beena Kamlani, author and freelance editor; Deborah Paredez, author, cofounder of CantoMundo, and Associate Professor at Columbia University; and Clarence Reynolds, Director of The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College CUNY.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Presses must be led by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and AAPI individuals and/or have a demonstrated commitment to championing books by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and AAPI authors.
  • Presses must have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their business practices.
  • Presses must be English-language and/or Spanish-language publishers based in the United States.
  • Presses must be independent publishers of literary books (over half the list must consist of fiction, poetry, drama, and literary prose).
  • Presses must not be primarily self-publishing (at least 50% of titles must be published by authors not on staff; presses should not charge authors a fee to publish their works).
  • Presses must have a 2-year track record of publishing at least 2 titles a year.
  • Presses’ annual net sales must be below $1 million.



The 2021 Constellation Award winner is Nomadic Press, headquartered in Oakland, California. Three finalists were also selected: FlowerSong Press in McAllen, Texas; BLF Press in Bloomington, Indiana; and La Impresora in Isabela, Puerto Rico. Read more.


The Constellation Award was established in 2020 with support from our Literary Hero and Inaugural Underwriter


and our Literary Champions

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