2023 National Book Awards Judges


2023 National Book Awards Judges

FictionNonfictionPoetryTranslated LiteratureYoung People’s Literature



Wednesday, March 15 —
National Book Awards opened. All titles must have been submitted via the entry form between March 15 – May 17, 2023 to be considered for this year’s Awards cycle.

Wednesday, May 17 (5:00pm PT)
Entry form closes. No titles may be submitted for consideration after this date.

Deadlines for providing digital & hard copies of submitted titles can be found in the Submission Process section on the guidelines page.


September 13  –  15 — Longlists announced

Tuesday, October 3 — Finalists announced

Tuesday, November 14 — Medal Ceremony & Finalist Reading

Wednesday, November 15 — Winners announced at 74th National Book Awards Ceremony & Benefit Dinner

Steph Cha. (Photo credit: Maria Kanevskaya) author photo

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She is a critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor, and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology.  (Photo credit: Maria Kanevskaya)


Calvin Crosby. (Photo credit: Ann Seaton) author photo

Calvin Crosby is a lifelong reader and co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop, the safe space that inspired his bookselling career. Crosby spent decades as a leader in the Northern California Independent Bookselling community, serving as Executive Director of their trade organization for six years. He also runs Brain Food Books, a nonprofit that puts new books into the hands of those without regular access. (Photo credit: Ann Seaton)


Silas House. (Photo credit: C Williams) author photo

Silas House is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels including Lark Ascending, recipient of the 2023 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. In 2022, House was a recipient of the Duggins Prize. House’s work has been published in TIME Magazine, The AtlanticThe Washington Post, and others. House serves as the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at Berea College and on the fiction faculty at the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing. (Photo credit: C Williams)


Mat Johnson. (Photo credit: Andrea Walls) author photo

Mat Johnson (Chair) is a Philip H. Knight Chair of Humanities at the University of Oregon. His publications included the novels Invisible Things and Pym, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the graphic novel Incognegro. Johnson is the recipient of the 2007 United States Artists James Baldwin Fellowship, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and the American Book Award. (Photo credit: Andrea Walls)


Helena Maria Viramontes. (Photo credit: Lindsay France, Cornell University) author photo

Helena María Viramontes is the author of The Moths and Other Stories, and novels Under the Feet of Jesus and Their Dogs Came with Them. She is currently working on a novel in triptych form entitled The Cemetery Boys. Viramontes is Distinguished Professor of Arts & Sciences in English at Cornell University and former director of Cornell’s Creative Writing Program. (Photo credit: Lindsay France, Cornell University)


Hanif Abdurraqib. (Photo credit: Maddie McGarvey) author photo

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from the east side of Columbus, Ohio. A New York Times bestseller, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest was Longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. His second poetry collection, A Fortune For Your Disaster, won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and his most recent work, A Little Devil In America, was a 2021 National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. (Photo credit: Maddie McGarvey)

Ada Ferrer. (Photo credit: Cundill History Prize, Owen Egan) photo

Ada Ferrer (Chair) is the author most recently of Cuba: An American History, which won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History. She has held fellowships from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others. Ferrer is Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. (Photo credit: Cundill History Prize, Owen Egan)

James Fugate. (Photo credit: Vanessa Cain) author photo

James Fugate is a retired book seller of nearly 42 years. Born and raised in Detroit, Fugate started at a small general bookstore, later moving into managing college bookstores. He helped start EsoWon Books, a well-known African American bookstore in Los Angeles. EsoWon was known for its great service, great selection, and great book events, having hosted Walter Mosley, Terry McMillan, President Bill Clinton, future President Barack Obama, Nikki Giovanni, and many others. (Photo credit: Vanessa Cain)

Sarah Schulman. (Photo credit: Drew Stephens) author photo

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and AIDS historian. Her 20 books include the novel The Cosmopolitans and Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York 1987-1993, a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and winner of the 2022 Lambda Literary LGBTQ Nonfiction Award, the Publishing Triangle Special Award for Nonfiction, and the 2022 NLGJA Excellence in Book Writing Award. Schulman is the Endowed Chair in Nonfiction at Northwestern University and serves on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. (Photo credit: Drew Stephens)

Sonia Shah. (Photo credit: Glenford Nuñez) author photo

Sonia Shah is a journalist and author of five books, including The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move, a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond, a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and elsewhere. (Photo credit: Glenford Nuñez)


Rick Barot. (Photo credit: Rachel McCauley) author photo

Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Barot’s fourth book of poems, The Galleons, was Longlisted for the National Book Award, his collection Chord received the PEN Open Book Award, and his 2008 work Want was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. A former Guggenheim and Stegner Fellow, Barot currently lives in Tacoma, WA where he directs The Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. (Photo credit: Rachel McCauley)

Heid Erdrich. (Photo credit: Angela Erdrich) photo

Heid E. Erdrich (Chair) is the author of seven poetry collections, including Little Big Bully, a National Poetry Series winner. Erdrich edited the anthology New Poets of Native Nations and has received many honors, including the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and a National Artists Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Erdrich is a 2020-2024 guest curator for the Mead Art Museum of Amherst College. She lives in Minnesota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. (Photo credit: Angela Erdrich)

Jonathan Farmer. (Photo credit: Caroline Luther) author photo

Jonathan Farmer is the author of That Peculiar Affirmative: On the Social Life of Poems and the founder of At Length. He teaches middle and high school English, and he lives in Durham, NC. (Photo credit: Caroline Luther)

Raina J. Leon, PhD. (Photo credit: Matteo Monchiero) author photo

Raina J. León, PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia (Lenni Lenape ancestral lands). She is a mother, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre, partner, poet, writer, artist, digital archivist, podcaster, and teacher educator. She is the author of black god mother this body, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra : (dis)locate, and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online international journal devoted to the promotion of Latinx arts, which has published nearly 1,000 Latinx/Latine voices. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and co-hosts the podcast, Generational Archives. (Photo credit: Matteo Monchiero)

Solmaz Sharif. (Photo credit: Cassidy Araiza for The New Yorker)

Solmaz Sharif is the author of Customs and Look, a Finalist for the National Book Award. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, the New York Times, and others. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan Foundation, and Stanford University. She is currently the Shirley Shenker Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. (Photo credit: Cassidy Araiza for The New Yorker)


Geoffrey Brock. (Photo credit: Martin Miller) author photo

Geoffrey Brock is author of three collections of poetry, editor of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, and translator of numerous books of poetry, prose, and comics, most recently Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria, which received the National Translation Award in Poetry. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Cullman Center. He teaches at the University of Arkansas, where he is the founding editor of The Arkansas International. (Photo credit: Martin Miller)

Arthur Dixon. (Photo credit: Sydne Gray) author photo

Arthur Malcolm Dixon is co-founder, Lead Translator, and Managing Editor of Latin American Literature Today. His translation practice focuses on poetry, nonfiction, and texts written in Indigenous languages. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in AsymptoteBoston ReviewInternational Poetry ReviewKenyon ReviewLiterary HubPilgrimage MagazinePoesíaTrafika EuropeWords Without Borders, and World Literature Today. He also works as a community interpreter in Tulsa, OK and is a Tulsa Artist Fellow. (Photo credit: Sydne Gray)

Cristina Rodriguez. (Photo credit: Miranda Zermeno) author photo

Cristina Rodriguez is a former bookseller, a Publishers Weekly Star Watch 2020 Honoree, and a Books Across Borders Fellow. She has been a judge for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award and serves on the board for the Mountains & Plains Independent Bookseller Association. Rodriguez currently works at Ingram Publisher Services as a Field Sales Representative. (Photo credit: Miranda Zermeno)

Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting. (Photo credit: Vanderbilt University) photo

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting  is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University where she is also Vice Provost for Arts and Libraries. A comparative Europeanist and scholar of women, gender, and African Diaspora Studies, she is author and editor of 15 books and three novels, the latest of which includes La Vénus hottentote: écrits, 1810 à 1814, suivi des textes inédits and Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women in Paris between the Two World Wars. (Photo credit: Vanderbilt University)

Jeremy Tiang. (Photo credit: Jeremy Tiang) author photo

Jeremy Tiang (Chair) is the translator of over 20 books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Lo Yi-Chin, and Chan Ho-Kei. He is the author of a short story collection, It Never Rains on National Day, and a novel, State of Emergency, which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City. (Photo credit: Jeremy Tiang)


Sarah Park Dahlen. (Photo credit: Sarah Park Dah) author photo

Sarah Park Dahlen is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She researches Asian American youth literature and transracial Korean adoption. Dahlen co-edits Research on Diversity in Youth Literature; co-edited Harry Potter and the Other: Race, Justice, and Difference in the Wizarding World; co-created the Diversity in Children’s Books infographics; and co-wrote the APALA Rubric to Evaluate Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Literature. (Photo credit: Sarah Park Dahlen)

Kyle Lukoff. (Photo credit: Mike Funk) author photo

Kyle Lukoff is a former school librarian and the author of many books for young readers. His novel Too Bright to See received a Newbery honor, a Stonewall Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist. His picture book When Aidan Became a Brother also won a Stonewall, and his book Call Me Max has been banned in schools across the country. (Photo credit: Mike Funk)

Claudette McLinn. (Photo credit: CSMCL) photo

Claudette S. McLinn (Chair) is the executive director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. Dr. McLinn has served on numerous book award committees and juries, and chaired the American Library Association’s 2022 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee and 2009 Pura Belpré Award Committee. She is the recipient of the 2023 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. (Photo credit: CSMCL)

justin a. reynolds author photo (No photo credit available)

justin a. reynolds has always wanted to be a writer. Opposite of Always, his debut YA novel, was an Indies Introduce Top Ten Debut, a School Library Journal Best Book, translated in 19 languages, and is being developed for film by Paramount Players. His Marvel graphic novel debut featuring Brooklyn’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales: Shock Waves, was an ABA Indie Bestseller. justin is also the co-founder of the CLE Reads Book Festival, a Cleveland Book Festival for middle-grade and young adult readers and writers. (Photo credit: Daniel Lozada)

author photo of Sabaa Tahir. (Photo credit: Ayesha Ahmad)

Sabaa Tahir is a former newspaper editor who grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. Her #1 New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes series has been translated into more than 35 languages, and the first book in the series was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. Tahir’s most recent novel, All My Rage, won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Printz Medal, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry, and received eight starred reviews. Her nonfiction work has appeared in The Washington Post, the New York Times, and Vox. (Photo credit: Ayesha Ahmad)