National Book Awards Judges Announced

Three authors, a former librarian, and a bookstore owner will decide the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Submissions are now open.
The National Book Foundation announced the judges for the 2018 National Book Awards. Submissions are now open for each of the awards' five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and, new this year, Translated Literature. The judges for Young People's Literature are Robin Benway, Lamar Giles, Grace Worcester Greene, Valerie Koehler, and Mitali Perkins. Benway, the chair, won the 2017 National Book Award for Far From the Tree, one of the six young adult novels she has written.

Robin Benway Photo by Lorato Images

Giles is the author of Fake ID and Endangered and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Perkins, named a "Literary Light for Children" by the Boston Public Library, has written several novels, including You Bring the Distant Near, Rickshaw Girl, and Tiger Boy.  Greene was a children's librarian in Massachusets and a youth services consultant at the Vermont Department of Libraries. She has served on various book award committees, including the Caldecott, Newbery, and Boston Globe-Horn Book. Koehler owns Blue Willow Bookshop in West Houston, TX, and is on the board of the American Booksellers Association. The judges select 10 longlist titles for their category. Those books will be announced in September. Five finalists will be named on October 10 and the winners in each category will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony on November 14. For submission guidelines and entry form: The full press release from the National Book Foundation:

Twenty-five judges in five categories will review all titles submitted for the 69th National Book Awards

New York, NY (March 14, 2018) – Today, the National Book Foundation opens submissions for the 69th National Book Awards. The Foundation also announces its 25 judges for this year’s Awards, in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the newly added Translated Literature category. “While the judges comprise a wide array of vocational and geographical backgrounds, all have displayed a powerful dedication to the written word and the literary world at large,” said David Steinberger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation. “The judging process for the National Book Awards is a serious undertaking,” said Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We have full confidence that this year’s panelists will pull from their deep wells of expertise to make their decisions with enthusiastic and skilled discernment.” This year’s judges include writers, booksellers, academics, editors, critics, and translators from across the country. Panelists include National Book Awards Winners, Finalists, and Longlisted authors; a Pulitzer Prize winner and a finalist; a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Guggenheim, Cullman, and Fulbright Fellows; founders of literary websites and organizations; professors, bookstore owners, and a librarian; two former presidents of the National Book Critics Circle and a former executive director of the National Book Foundation. The judges for the 2018 National Book Awards will select 50 Longlist titles, 10 per category, which will be announced mid-September. These will be winnowed down to 25 Finalists, announced on October 10. Winners in all five categories will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 14. Fiction panel: Chris Bachelder, Laila Lalami (Chair), Min Jin Lee, Laurie Muchnick, Chinelo Okparanta Nonfiction panel: Rachel Cass, John Freeman, Annette Gordon-Reed (Chair), Sarah Manguso, Andrés Reséndez Poetry panel: Mary Jo Bang (Chair), Ken Chen, Elise Paschen, Danez Smith, Stephen Sparks Translated Literature panel: Karen Maeda Allman, Sinan Antoon, Harold Augenbraum (Chair), Susan Bernofsky, Álvaro Enrigue Young People’s Literature panel: Robin Benway (Chair), Lamar Giles, Grace Worcester Greene, Valerie Koehler, Mitali Perkins Judges’ Bios Fiction Chris Bachelder is the author of Bear v. SharkU.S.!, and Abbott Awaits. His most recent novel, The Throwback Special, was a Finalist for the National Book Award. His fiction and essays have appeared in McSweeney’sThe Believer, and The Paris Review. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Cincinnati, where he teaches at the University of Cincinnati. Laila Lalami (Chair) is a novelist. Her most recent book, The Moor's Account, won the American Book Award, was on the Man Booker Prize longlist, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. She is a columnist for Nation and a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, she is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award. A New York Times bestseller, Pachinko was a Top 10 Books of the Year for the New York TimesUSA Today, BBC, and the New York Public Library, and on over 75 best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times, NPR’s “Fresh Air” and USA Today. Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor at Kirkus Reviews, and has been writing and editing book reviews for more than 25 years. Her career began at the Village Voice Literary Supplement, and as the book editor of Newsday and Bloomberg News. A former president of the National Book Critics Circle, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and many other publications. Chinelo Okparanta is the author of the novel Under the Udala Trees and the short story collection Happiness, Like Water. Her honors include two Lambda Literary Awards, an O. Henry Prize, and finalist selections for the International DUBLIN Literary Award and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award. She has been nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award as well as the NAACP Image Award in Fiction. In 2017, Okparanta was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. Nonfiction Rachel Cass is the head buyer at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became a bookseller in 2006, managed the award-winning Harvard Book Store author event series from 2011 to 2013, and became head buyer in 2013. Before becoming a bookseller, she pursued graduate work in mathematics, completing an MA in mathematics from Brandeis University in 2008. John Freeman is a writer, editor and anthologist. His books include The Tyranny of E-mail, How to Read a Novelist, and Maps, a collection of poems. He has also edited two anthologies on inequality, the latest of which is Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation. The former editor of Granta, he lives in New York City, where he teaches at NYU and edits the literary biannual Freeman's. He is also executive editor of the Literary Hub. The former president of the National Book Critics Circle, his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Annette Gordon-Reed (Chair) is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2009). She is the author, among other books, of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997) and (with Peter S. Onuf), “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books including 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize. She lives in Los Angeles. Andrés Reséndez is an author and professor of history. His recent book, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, winner of the 2017 California Book Awards in nonfiction, and winner of the 2017 Bancroft Prize by Columbia University. He teaches courses on food and history, colonial Latin America, and Mexico. Poetry Mary Jo Bang (Chair) is the author of eight books of poems, including A Doll For Throwing, Louise in Love, The Bride of EThe Last Two Seconds, and Elegy, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her translation of Dante's Inferno, illustrated by Henrik Drescher, was published by Graywolf Press. She has received a Hodder Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. She teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis. Ken Chen is the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop. He received the Yale Younger Poets Award for his book Juvenilia. An NEA, NYFA and Bread Loaf fellow, Chen co-founded the cultural website Arts & Letters Daily and CultureStrike, a national arts organization dedicated to migrant justice. A graduate of Yale Law School, he successfully defended the asylum application of an undocumented Muslim high school student from Guinea detained by Homeland Security. Elise Paschen is the author of The Nightlife, BestiaryInfidelities, and Houses: Coasts. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker and Poetry Magazine, among other magazines, and in numerous anthologies. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is a co-founder of the Poetry in Motion program. A graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute and lives in Chicago with her family. Danez Smith is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead, finalist for the 2017 National Book Award, and [insert] boy, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. A Black, Queer, Poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota, Danez’s work has been featured widely, including in the New York Times, Guardian, Best American Poetry, and on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Stephen Sparks is co-owner of Point Reyes Books, an independent bookstore in Point Reyes Station, California. He is a board member of the Northern California Booksellers Association, a contributing editor at LitHub, and has served as a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Booksellers Association Indies Choice Book Awards, and other awards. His first book, Fog: an Object Lesson, is scheduled to be published by Bloomsbury in 2019. Translated Literature Karen Maeda Allman is Author Events Co-Coordinator at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. She has served on jury and awards panels for Hedgebrook, the Washington State Book Awards, the NEA Big Read Book Review Committee, the NEA Literary Translation Fellowships, the Kiriyama Prize, and the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She has worked in bookstores since 1989, and in 2017 won a Seattle Arts and Lectures Prowda Literary Champions Award. Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, and translator. He holds degrees from Baghdad, Georgetown, and Harvard, where he specialized in Arabic literature. His books include l’jaam, The Corpse Washer, The Baghdad Eucharist, and The Book of Collateral Damage (forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2019). His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence won the 2012 American Literary Translators’ Award. He is an Associate Professor at New York University. Harold Augenbraum (Chair) is Acting Editor of The Yale Review. He is the former Executive Director of the National Book Foundation and was a Franke Visiting Fellow at Yale University. He has translated, among others, the works of José Rizal, Juan Rulfo, Cabeza de Vaca, J.Á. González Sainz, and the poetry of Marcel Proust. His most recent translation is the 1885 Filipino novel Nínay by Pedro Paterno, under a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Susan Bernofsky directs the literary translation program in the Columbia University School of the Arts. Her translations include works by Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Jenny Erpenbeck, and Yoko Tawada. Her many prizes and awards include the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize, the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She blogs about translation at Álvaro Enrigue was a Cullman Center Fellow and a Fellow at the Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies. His work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, London Review of Books, and El PaísSudden Death, his most recent novel, was awarded the prestigious Herralde Prize in Spain, the Elena Poniatowska International Novel Award in Mexico, and the Barcelona Prize for Fiction. Enrigue was born in Mexico and lives in New York City. He teaches at Hofstra University. Young People’s Literature Robin Benway (Chair) is a New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young people. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than 20 countries. Her most recent book, Far From the Tree, won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Robin grew up in Orange County, California, and is a graduate of UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles. Lamar Giles is the author of the Edgar Award Nominated Fake ID and Endangered. His latest, Overturned, was a Kirkus Reviews Best YA Novel for 2017. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, and a faculty member in the Spalding University MFA program. He resides in Virginia with his wife. Grace Worcester Greene has worked with literature for youth all her professional life, first as a children's librarian in Massachusetts, and then for twenty-seven years as the Youth Services Consultant at the Vermont Department of Libraries. In Vermont she oversaw the management of the state's three children's choice book awards. In addition, she has served on numerous book award committees, including the Caldecott, the Newbery, the Boston Globe-Horn Book and the Vermont Book Award. Valerie Koehler opened Blue Willow Bookshop in west Houston in October 1996. She was named a Champion of Literacy from Literacy Advance of Houston, and MPIBA Bookseller of the Year in 2011. She has served on the boards of MidSouthIBA, MPIBA, ABC, and ABFFE. She is currently serving on the board of the American Booksellers Association. Valerie has a very patient husband and two sons successfully launched into the world. Mitali Perkins has written several novels, including You Bring the Distant NearRickshaw GirlBamboo People, and Tiger Boy. She was honored as a "Most Engaging Author" by booksellers and a "Literary Light for Children" by the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in India before immigrating to the United States. She also lived in Bangladesh, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and Berkeley, and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. ### The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. In addition to the National Book Awards, for which it is best known, the Foundation's programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners; Teen Press Conference, an opportunity for New York City students to interview the current National Book Award Finalists in Young People's Literature; NBA on Campus, a partnership that brings National Book Award authors to colleges across the country; the Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading; Book Rich Environments, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Education, the Urban Libraries Council, and the National Center for Families Learning, which last year provided 270,000 books to children and families in 36 different public housing authorities around the country; Why Reading Matters, which brings together dedicated literary minds (authors, journalists, librarians, passionate readers) to explore innovative ways to celebrate literature, expand its influence, and create and sustain a love of books for readers at all stages of life; and BookUp, a writer-led, after-school reading club for middle-school students. The National Book Award is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years.  Many previous Winners of the National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, including Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, Adrienne Rich, and Jesmyn Ward.
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Michael Rivers

Just a spelling note: On the School Library Journal homepage, the text reads: "Submissions are no open."

Posted : Mar 15, 2018 05:20


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