The National Book Foundation extends its recognition of great literature beyond the National Book Awards to embrace emerging writers at the outset of their careers, literary icons who have spent a lifetime building a body of exceptional work, and those champions who have profoundly affected the literary landscape in their personal lives or careers.

Lifetime Achievement

The National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (DCAL) and Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community are honors that recognize a lifetime of achievement in writing and serving readers, respectively.

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Literary Arts Emergency Fund

The Literary Arts Emergency Fund, launched and administered by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine & Presses (CLMP), and the National Book Foundation in Summer/Fall 2020, distributed $3,530,000 in emergency funding to 282 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers nationwide that experienced severe financial losses due to COVID-19.

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5 Under 35

The 5 Under 35 honorees are a selection of debut fiction writers under the age of 35 whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.

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Science + Literature

The Science + Literature program identifies three books annually, steered by a committee of scientific and literary experts, to deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology with a focus on work that highlights the diversity of voices in scientific writing.

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Capacity-Building Grant Program

Through the National Book Foundation Capacity-Building Grant Program, nonprofit literary arts organizations may apply for grants to support projects that aim to create a sustainable and effective organization related to fundraising, finance, or marketing; skill-building opportunities for staff and/or Board members; strategic planning consultants; diversity and equity initiatives; leadership development and management training; sabbaticals for long-term staff members and leaders; and succession planning.

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