Submissions Open for the 2019 National Book Awards

March 2019

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Twenty-five judges in five categories will review submitted titles and choose the five Winners of the 70th National Book Awards

On March 13, the National Book Foundation announced the opening of submissions for the 70th 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 Translated Literature, a category added in 2018, to be awarded for the second time in 2019.

“Serving on the judging panels for the National Book Awards is no small undertaking, and one that must be approached with the utmost care and enthusiasm,” said David Steinberger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation. “We have full confidence that these 25 exceptional readers all bring the necessary expertise and acuity to a tradition of excellence as the National Book Awards enters its 70th year.”

This year’s judges include writers, booksellers, academics, editors, critics, and translators from across the country. Panelists include National Book Awards Finalists and Longlisted authors; a winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence; recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, a Windham-Campbell Prize, a Whiting Award, a Michael A. Printz Award, and a National Magazine Award; directors of literary organizations; professors, bookstore owners, and librarians.

“Each year, we strive to assemble judging panels that reflect the expansive lives of readers everywhere,” said Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “This year is no different, and we could not be prouder to present a carefully selected body of judges that is as passionate, well-read, and inquisitive as this nation of readers.”

The judges for the 2019 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 8. Winners in all five categories will be announced at the 70th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20.

You can find the judges’ full bios here.

Fiction panel: Dorothy Allison, Ruth Dickey, Javier Ramirez, Danzy Senna (Chair), Jeff VanderMeer

Nonfiction panel: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Carolyn Kellogg, Mark Laframboise, Kiese Laymon, Jeff Sharlet (Chair)

Poetry panel: Jos Charles, John Evans, Vievee Francis, Cathy Park Hong, Mark Wunderlich (Chair)

Translated Literature panel: Keith Gessen, Elisabeth Jaquette, Katie Kitamura, Idra Novey (Chair), Shuchi Saraswat

Young People’s Literature panel: Elana K. Arnold, Kristen Gilligan, Varian Johnson, An Na (Chair), Deborah Taylor

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