Penguin Random House to Sponsor the Annual Black Literary Publishing Award


NEW YORK, NY (October 26, 2020) – The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) is pleased to announce that Penguin Random House will be the inaugural sponsor of the annual Black Literary Publishing Award, a new initiative launched by CLMP to support Black-led presses and presses that champion the work of BIPOC authors. The news was first announced at CLMP’s Annual Benefit, a virtual celebration to support independent literary publishing, which was livestreamed on October 22. The recipient of the first annual Black Literary Publishing Award will receive $10,000 and will be announced in spring 2021.

During the Annual Benefit, which Penguin Random House joined as a sponsor, CLMP also honored the recipients of its annual awards. Lisa Lucas, currently the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, received the Energizer Award for Exceptional Acts of Literary Citizenship, and Martin Riker and Danielle Dutton of Dorothy, A Publishing Project, received the Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Independent Publishing. The benefit began with a special appearance by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.

“At Penguin Random House, we’re committed to fostering a literary landscape that’s truly diverse, where emerging and underrepresented writers are recognized,” said Claire von Schilling, EVP, Director, Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility, Penguin Random House. “CLMP’s support of small, independent publishers, as well as grants like the Black Literary Publishing Award, help ensure that new, important voices are heard. We’re honored to support their 50-year legacy.”

“We’re deeply grateful to Penguin Random House for its support of CLMP and the Black Literary Publishing Award, which we see as one step in many we plan to take on our path toward helping to secure racial equity in our field,” said Mary Gannon, Executive Director of CLMP. “Penguin Random House’s commitment enables us to launch this important initiative and secure its future.”

Lisa Lucas will join Penguin Random House in January as the new Senior Vice President and Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books. Under her leadership at the National Book Foundation, Lucas spearheaded the distribution of 1.4 million books to young readers in public housing projects, and bestowed National Book Awards to John Lewis, Ibram X. Kendi, and Jesmyn Ward, among others.

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson. As of April 1, 2020, Bertelsmann is full owner of the company. With more than 300 imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English-  German- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and more than 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors. For more information, visit

About the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses

CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven independent literary magazines and presses thrive. The 50-year-old nonprofit provides its 575 member-publishers with funding and technical assistance; facilitates peer-to-peer learning and group action; serves as a dependable, essential hub for best practices, resources, and nurturing community support; and builds bridges to connect publishers with other groups of literary stakeholders, including readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, presenting organizations, and funders. Among its programs, CLMP administers the Energizer Award for Exceptional Acts of Literary Citizenship, the Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Independent Publishing, and the Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature, which celebrate magazines and books that make a significant contribution to our literary culture. In 2020, CLMP joined the Academy of American Poets and the National Book Foundation to establish the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, which provided $3.5 million to literary publishers and organizations impacted by COVID-19. Regrants from this fund were made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For press inquiries contact Mary Gannon at [email protected]