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.
- 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