CLMP’s 2022 Firecracker Awards: Winnings Shared by Authors, Presses

In News by Porter Anderson

The Firecracker Awards from CLMP go to both books and their independent presses, as well as to literary magazines.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: SubstanceP

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
As we double back to pick up more book and publishing industry awards wins, we look today at the 2022 Firecracker Award winners announced this summer by the  Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), a nonprofit organization supporting the work of small literary publishers.

Following our July story about the organization’s plan to honor three independent publishers at its November benefit, we now want to bring you up to date on this year’s CLMP Firecracker Award winners, which feature the interesting pattern of providing a cash prize both for a winning book’s author and for the independent press that produced the work.

This year, a winning book is awarded US$2,000, half of that going to the author or translator and half to the press. Each winner in a literary magazine category is awarded $1,000.

CLMP’s more-than 900 member-presses work in many formats: print and digital books, magazines, online publications, chapbooks, and zines. One of CLMP’s main efforts is to “increase the organizational capacity” of such publishers. In its mission statement, the organization (founded in 1967) says, “CLMP provides direct technical assistance to independent literary publishers and produces programs designed to bring the many communities our work touches together, including readers, writers, literary translators, booksellers, educators, and librarians.

This year’s Firecracker Awards are the eighth annual iteration of the program and have been issued in the categories of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, magazine/general excellence, and magazine/best debut. We’ll add the shortlists below.


Creative Nonfiction


Magazines/Best Debut

Magazines/General Excellence

The 2022 CLMP Lord Nose Award

In addition to those key awards, the Firecrackers include a “Lord Nose Award,” conferred as a lifetime achievement award in literary publishing. It’s an award that honors the memory of the late Jonathan Williams, who was the founding publisher of The Jargon Society, and also was a prolific poet and photographer.

Bradford Morrow. Image: CLMP, Lily Henderson

This year, that accolade goes to Bradford Morrow, who is the editori of Conjunctions, which publishes “innovative fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by emerging voices and contemporary masters.”

In its rationale for Morrow’s selection, the CLMP announcement notes, “Morrow is author of 10 books of fiction, including the novels Come Sunday (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988), The Almanac Branch (Simon & Schuster, 1991), Trinity Fields (Viking, 1995), Giovanni’s Gift (Viking, 1997), Ariel’s Crossing (Viking, 2002), The Diviner’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), The Forgers (Mysterious Press, 2014), The Prague Sonata (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017), and The Forger’s Daughter (Mysterious Press, 2020), and a collection of stories, The Uninnocent (Pegasus Books, 2013).

“Co-editor of the anthologies The New Gothic (Random House, 1991) and The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death (W. W. Norton, 2011), Morrow is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

“He founded and edits the literary journal, Conjunctions, for which he received the PEN/Nora Magid Award, and has also published several volumes of poetry, including Posthumes (Cadmus Editions, 1982) and A Bestiary (Grenfell Press, 1990), as well as a children’s book, Didn’t Didn’t Do It (Putnam, 2007), in collaboration with the cartoonist Gahan Wilson.”

The 2022 CLMP Firecracker Awards Shortlists


Creative Nonfiction


Magazines: Best Debut

Magazines: General Excellence

Jurors for the 2022 CLMP Firecracker Awards


Creative Nonfiction



Submissions to the 2023 Firecracker Awards will be accepted in the fall. Finalists will be announced in spring 2023. The winners will be announced at the Firecracker Awards ceremony in June.

While often thought to be an American association, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, has member-companies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceana. Image: CLMP

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 140th awards-related report in the 147 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

We urge publishing professionals to spend 10 minutes responding to the current survey of book awards’ dynamics and values. The survey can be accessed here, and it’s open through August 15. More on this is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on children’s books is here, more on publishing and book awards is here, more from us on Vietnam’s market is here, and more on the publishing industry in Asia is here.

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.