CLMP Announces the 2021 Firecracker Awards Finalists

May 10, 2021 (New York, NY)—The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the national nonprofit organization that for more than 50 years has supported the work of independent literary publishers, has announced the finalists for its seventh annual FIRECRACKER AWARDS, given for the best independently published books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry and the best literary magazines in the categories of debut and general excellence.

The publishers of winning books and magazines  receive a free one-year membership to CLMP, and magazine winners receive a one-year CLMP Member subscription to Submittable. The winners are also featured in a national publicity campaign that includes promotional materials distributed to over 500 independent booksellers across the country through the American Booksellers Association.

The Firecracker Awards winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by The Center for Fiction on June 23, 2021, at 7PM ET. Learn more:


David Tung Can’t Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College by Ed Lin, published by Kaya Press
Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera, published by Feminist Press
Further News of Defeat by Michael X. Wang, published by Autumn House Press
Hezada! I Miss You by Erin Pringle, published by Awst Press
Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia, published by Graywolf Press
Silverfish by Rone Shavers, published by CLASH Books
Telephone: A Novel by Percival Everett, published by Graywolf Press
Temporary by Hilary Leichter, published by Coffee House Press
When the Whales Leave by Yuri Rytkheu, translated by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse, published by Milkweed Editions
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, translated by Polly Barton, published by Soft Skull Press

Bright Archive by Sarah Minor, published by Rescue Press
The Dragons, the Giant, the Women by Wayétu Moore, published by Graywolf Press
Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country by Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Sarah Booker, published by Feminist Press
Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine, published by Graywolf Press
Lecture by Mary Cappello, published by Transit Books
The Names of All the Flowers by Melissa Valentine, published by Feminist Press
Nine Moons by Gabriela Wiener, translated by Jessica Powell, published by Restless Books
Pass With Care by Cooper Lee Bombardier, published by Dottir Press
Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell, published by Transit Books
This Is One Way to Dance by Sejal Shah, published by University of Georgia Press

america, MINE by Sasha Banks, published by co•im•press
DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi, published by Wave Books
Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa, published by Graywolf Press
Homie by Danez Smith, published by Graywolf Press
The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed, published by Coffee House Press
OBIT by Victoria Chang, published by Copper Canyon Press
Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz, published by Graywolf Press
Salt Body Shimmer by Aricka Foreman, published by YesYes Books
Wound from the Mouth of a Wound by torrin a. greathouse, published by Milkweed Editions
Year of the Dog by Deborah Paredez, published by BOA Editions

Gasher Journal
Lucky Jefferson

American Short Fiction
The Kenyon Review
Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America
New England Review
Oxford American
Raleigh Review
The Seventh Wave
World Literature Today


FICTION: Natanya Ann Pulley, author of With Teeth (New Rivers Press); Irene Yoon, Director, LARB Publishing Workshop at the Los Angeles Review of Books; and Robert Yune, author of Impossible Children (Sarabande Books).
CREATIVE NONFICTION: E. J. Koh, author of The Magical Language of Others (Tin House Books); Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World (Graywolf Press); Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments (Milkweed Editions).
POETRY: Sarah Gambito, cofounder of Kundiman and author of Loves You (Persea Books); Raquel Salas Rivera, author of while they sleep (under the bed is another country) (Birds, LLC); Malcolm Tariq, Programs & Communications Manager, Cave Canem, and author of Heed the Hollow (Graywolf Press).
MAGAZINES: Charles Flowers, Editor, BLOOM Literary Journal; Keetje Kuipers, Editor, Poetry Northwest; Marcus Wicker, Poetry Editor, Southern Indiana Review.

CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven independent literary magazines and presses thrive. We provide publishers with funding and technical assistance; facilitate peer-to-peer learning and group action; serve as a dependable, essential hub for best practices, resources, and nurturing community support; and build bridges to connect publishers with other groups of literary stakeholders, including readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, presenting organizations, and funders. Along with directly serving 700+ member-publishers located in almost every state in the country, CLMP administers the Lit Mag Adoption program, which provides to educators and students discounted literary magazine subscriptions for use in the classroom; an annual Indie Lit Fair, featuring magazines and presses at the PEN World Voices Festival; the Literary Writers Conference, a professional development event for writers held every December in New York City; and the annual Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature, which celebrate magazines and books that make a significant contribution to our literary culture. To learn more about CLMP, visit


For press inquiries contact Mary Gannon at [email protected]