Firecracker Awards

Celebrating the Best of Independently Published Literature

Firecracker Awards Seal

The CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to our literary culture and the publishers that strive to introduce important voices to readers far and wide. Prizes are awarded in the categories of Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Magazine/General Excellence, and Magazine/Best Debut. Each year, CLMP also awards the Lord Nose Award, given to a publisher or editor in recognition of a lifetime of work in literary publishing.

For this year’s awards, we’re thrilled to announce that 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. In addition, a national publicity campaign spotlights and promotes our winning titles each year. In partnership with the American Booksellers Association, promotional materials—including a press release and shelf talkers featuring the winning titles—are distributed to over 750 independent booksellers across the country. Winners are also promoted in CLMP’s newsletters, on our website, and through a dedicated social media campaign. The publishers of winning titles receive a free one-year membership to CLMP, and magazine winners receive a one-year CLMP Member subscription to Submittable. To read press coverage about the 2021 Firecracker Award winners, visit our Press Center.

The deadline to submit entries to the 2022 Firecracker Awards was November 15, 2021. The submission period is currently closed. Finalists will be announced in spring 2022; the winners will be announced in June 2022.

Submission Guidelines

  • Books must be published by an independent publisher during the 2021 calendar year.
  • Anthologies and self-published titles are not eligible but works in translation and graphic novels are welcome.
  • English-language submissions from international publishers are eligible.
  • Authors of books must be living at the time of submission.
  • Both print and digital magazines are eligible.
  • Magazines submitting in the General Excellence category must have published regularly for at least the past two years.
  • Magazines submitting in the Best Debut category must have launched during the 2019, 2020, or 2021 calendar years.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries publishers may submit.
  • The entry fee is $65 ($55 for CLMP Members) for the first book and $30 ($25 for CLMP Members) for each additional entry.

Interested in becoming a CLMP Member? Join now.

2022 Firecracker Award Judges


Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea, published by Red Hen Press

Carley Moore, author of The Not Wives, published by Feminist Press

Cristina Rivera Garza, author of Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country, published by Feminist Press


Creative Nonfiction

Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer, published by Graywolf Press

Joni Tevis, author of The World Is on Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse, published by Milkweed Editions

Melissa Valentine, author of The Names of All the Flowers, published by Feminist Press



Xandria Phillips, author of Hull, published by Nightboat Books

Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of tsunami vs. the fukushima 50, published by Milkweed Editions

Jillian Weise, author of Cyborg Detective, published by BOA Editions



Lana Barkawi, Executive and Artistic Director, Mizna

Rob Greene, Publisher, Raleigh Review

Miah Jeffra, Cofounder, Foglifter Journal



The Firecracker Awards are sponsored by