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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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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Innovations in Reading Prize

From 2009 to 2020, the National Book Foundation annually awarded the Innovations in Reading Prize to an individual or organization that inspires readers and engages new audiences with literature.

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