CLMP Announces the 2023 Firecracker Awards Finalists and Christine Holbert of Lost Horse Press as the Recipient of the Lord Nose Award

May 16, 2023 (New York, NY)—The Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), the national nonprofit organization that for 56 years has supported the work of independent literary publishers, has announced the finalists for its ninth 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.

Each winner in the books category will receive $2,000—$1,000 for the press and $1,000 for the author or translator—and each winner in the magazine categories will receive $1,000. Publishers of the winning titles will receive a free one-year membership to CLMP, and magazine winners will also receive a one-year CLMP Member subscription to Submittable. Additionally, the winning publications will be featured in a national publicity campaign that includes promotional materials being distributed to over 750 independent booksellers across the country in coordination with the American Booksellers Association.

CLMP has also announced that Christine Holbert, founder and publisher of Lost Horse Press, is the recipient of this year’s LORD NOSE AWARD, given to a publisher or editor in recognition of a lifetime of superlative independent literary publishing.

The winners of this year’s FIRECRACKER AWARDS will be announced and the Lord Nose Award will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony on June 22, 2023, at 6 PM ET.


Brother Alive by Zain Khalid, published by Grove Atlantic
God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu, published by A Public Space Books
Stories of a Life by Nataliya Meshchaninova, translated by Fiona Bell, published by Deep Vellum
Violets by Kyung-sook Shin, translated by Anton Hur, published by Feminist Press
When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà, translated by Mara Faye Lethem, published by Graywolf Press

Brown Neon by Raquel Gutiérrez, published by Coffee House Press
Conversations with Birds by Priyanka Kumar, published by Milkweed Editions
Imminent Domains: Reckoning with the Anthropocene by Alessandra Naccarato, published by Book*hug Press
O by Tammy Nguyen, published by Ugly Duckling Presse
Optic Subwoof by Douglas Kearney, published by Wave Books

Customs by Solmaz Sharif, published by Graywolf Press
Look at This Blue by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, published by Coffee House Press
Maafa by Harmony Holiday, published by Fence Books
The Rupture Tense by Jenny Xie, published by Graywolf Press
Togetherness by Wo Chan, published by Nightboat Books

128 Lit
The Ampersand Review of Writing & Publishing
LIBER: A Feminist Review
Lines & Breaks

The Arkansas International
Ninth Letter
Oxford American

Christine Holbert, Founder and Publisher of Lost Horse Press

FICTION: Karen Maeda Allman, former Author Events Co-Coordinator, Elliott Bay Book Company; Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth (Riverhead Books); Vauhini Vara, author of The Immortal King Rao (W. W. Norton).

CREATIVE NONFICTION: Cinelle Barnes, author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir (Little A); Daisy Hernández, author of The Kissing Bug (Tin House); Emerson Whitney, author of Heaven (McSweeney’s).

POETRY: Kemi Alabi, author of Against Heaven (Graywolf Press); Jenny Gropp, author of The Hominine Egg (Kore Press); Komal Mathew, author of For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons (Zone 3 Press).

MAGAZINE: S. Tremaine Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Northwest Review; Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn, Editor in Chief, The Rumpus; NaBeela Washington, Founder and Editor in Chief, Lucky Jefferson.

More information about the judges can be found here.

CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven independent literary magazines and presses thrive. Since 1967, CLMP has provided publishers with funding and technical assistance; facilitated peer-to-peer learning and group action; served as a dependable, essential hub for best practices, resources, and nurturing community support; and connected publishers with other groups of literary stakeholders, including readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, presenting organizations, and funders. Along with directly serving 1,000+ publishers located in every state in the country, CLMP administers the Lit Mag Adoption program, which provides educators and students with discounted magazine subscriptions; the annual Indie Lit Fair, in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival; the $10,000 Constellation Award, given to honor an independent literary press that is led by and/or champions the writing of people of color for excellence in publishing; and the Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature, which celebrate magazines and books that make a significant contribution to our literary culture, among other programs.

For press inquiries contact Mary Gannon at [email protected]