Awards Fiction Kenya Nonfiction Trinidad and Tobago United States

Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, Celeste Mohamed among Firecracker Awards 2022 finalists

The finalists for the Firecracker Awards 2022, including Celeste Mohamed, Percival Everett, Caseen Gaines, and Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, were announced on May 18, 2022.

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) is an organisation of independent literary publishers and magazines founded in the USA in 1967. The CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to 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, Magazines/General Excellence, and Magazines/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.

The finalists for 2022 were announced on Wednesday and these are the writers of African descent who made the cut;


Judging panel: Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea (Red Hen Press); Carley Moore, author of The Not Wives (Feminist Press); Cristina Rivera Garza, author of Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country (Feminist Press).

  • The House of Rust: A Novel, Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, published by Graywolf Press
  • Pleasantview, Celeste Mohammed, published by Ig Publishing
  • The Trees: A Novel, Percival Everett, published by Graywolf Press

Creative Nonfiction

Judging panel: Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer (Graywolf Press); Joni Tevis, author of The World Is on Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse (Milkweed Editions); Melissa Valentine, author of The Names of All the Flowers (Feminist Press).

  • Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way, Caseen Gaines, published by Sourcebooks

Reactions from some of the writers:

Again, He has looked with favour upon me and my work.  Pleasantview is a finalist for the 2022 CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature in the USA. The awards are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to literary culture. I am so happy and grateful to see Pleasantview on this list.❤️❤️❤️

Celeste Mohammed

So honored that FOOTNOTES is a finalist for the 2022 Firecracker Award in Creative Nonfiction! Big thanks to @CLMPorg and, of course, the team at @Sourcebooks. 🎉📚

Caseen Gaines

The winners of this year’s Firecracker Awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on June 23, 2022.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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