Underwritten by Penguin Random House, 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 2023 recipient will receive $10,000 and will be announced in January 2024. The deadline to apply was September 11, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
This year’s judges are Jamia Wilson, vice president and executive editor of Random House, 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, former 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 a 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 two-year track record of publishing at least two titles a year.
- Presses’ annual net sales must be below $1 million.
The winner of the 2022 Constellation Award is La Impresora, based in Isabela, Puerto Rico. Two finalists were also selected: FlowerSong Press in McAllen, Texas, and Kaya Press in Los Angeles, California. Read more.
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