Teen Press Conference

Where young readers meet and interview their literary heroes

One of the best school events I’ve ever attended.

—Robin Benway, National Book Award Winner

The National Book Awards Teen Press Conference brings the excitement of the most prestigious literary award in the country to New York City’s middle and high school students. Held during National Book Awards week, Teen Press Conference invites school groups to attend a free literary event that is curated just for them.

Tuesday November 14th, 2023
In-person: 10am-12:30pm EST
Livestream: 10:30am-11:30am EST

Location: Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
New York, NY 10025-6990

Hosted by Dhonielle Clayton.

The 2023 Teen Press Conference will be held in-person in New York City. Registration for the in-person event has reached capacity. You may fill out the registration form to register for the livestream and receive digital supplementary materials for use in the classroom or library.

Author photo of Dhonielle Clayton. (Photo credit: Jess Andree)
Dhonielle Clayton. (Photo credit: Jess Andree)


Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times bestselling author of The Conjureverse series, The Belles series, Shattered Midnight, co-author of Blackout, Whiteout, The Rumor Game, and of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, a Netflix original series. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. She is the President and founder of Cake Creative and Electric Postcard Entertainment, IP story companies creating diverse books for all ages. She’s an avid traveller, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief.



What does the event entail? The Teen Press Conference features short readings of each of the five 2023 National Book Award Finalists for Young People’s Literature by their respective authors. Participating public schools receive free copies (one per registered student) of one of the five nominated titles in advance of the event. After the readings, students will have the opportunity to ask authors questions in an audience Q&A, and have their books signed by the author.

Who can attend?  The in-person event is open to New York City middle and high schools. Each school can bring one class, with a maximum of 40 students (not including chaperones). Because seats are limited, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate more than one group per school.

Attendees are encouraged, though not required, to wear a mask while at the event. NBF will have extra medical masks available at the door on a limited basis. Attendees will not be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Any additional health and safety protocols will be communicated to registered groups in advance of the event.

Teachers and school-aged groups from around the country are welcomed to attend virtually.

How do I sign up? Complete the online registration form. After completion, you will receive a follow up email from National Book Foundation staff (within one week of submission) to confirm your group’s details and make sure you’re all set for the event. Your registration is not guaranteed until you receive this confirmation.

Please note: in order to attend, students must have completed photo release forms. Teachers should bring the signed forms with them to the event.

What books will be featured? Here’s what makes the National Book Awards so exciting: we really don’t know in advance! The Finalists are chosen by a closed panel of judges and announced on October 3, 2023 (you can see the Longlist here—this will be narrowed down to five Finalists). It’s highly recommended to reserve your group’s spot as soon as possible, and not wait for the announcement—we can guarantee they will all be great books!

What will I receive? Each participating public school will receive free copies (one per registered student) of one of the five nominated titles. (Estimated availability: end of October). Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate requests for specific titles.

Please note that due to limited supply, only NYCDOE public schools are eligible for a free class set of books. This includes publicly-funded charter schools. Private schools based in New York City are still welcome to attend and bring their own books for the honored authors to sign.

Book pick-up: Not having to ship books is what helps us keep this event free of cost to schools and students. We ask that participating teachers pick up their book allotment from the National Book Foundation offices, located at 90 Broad Street in Manhattan, during designated time slots. Bring your tote bags!

Approximately two weeks in advance of the event, teachers will receive an email confirming their book allotment is ready for pick up. This email will also include: venue arrival details; photo release forms (to be signed by the students’ parents/guardians in advance of the event); an information sheet on the book your school received and its author(s); and tips for the Q&A.

At the event, students will receive a special Reporter’s Notebook with additional information about each title and author, and space for note-taking.

A note about book content: National Book Awards Finalists are chosen by a closed panel of judges (entirely separate from National Book Foundation staff), made up of writers and booksellers with expertise in literature for young people. In sharing these books as part of the Teen Press Conference, National Book Foundation uses age recommendations provided by publishers to help match groups with age-appropriate titles, but please note that young adult books frequently deal with mature content matter (including drug use, sex & sexuality, and violence). The National Book Foundation expects teachers to preview content of the books featured at the Teen Press Conference, and be prepared to discuss content with students and their families, as necessary.

If you have any questions, please email NBF Education Manager Julianna Lee Marino at jleemarino@nationalbook.org.

2016 National Book Awards Young People’s Literature Finalists Jason Reynolds, Nicola Yoon, Grace Lin, and Winner Nate Powell sign books for students attending the Teen Press Conference. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

The Teen Press Conference brings the excitement and prestige of the National Book Awards to an audience of young people. Held the day before the National Book Awards ceremony, every year hundreds of middle and high school students from NYC schools attend free-of-charge, receive free copies of the nominated titles, and have the unique opportunity to connect and interact with high-profile authors in what is often their first exposure to a literary arts event.

The Teen Press Conference is also presented annually at the Miami Book Fair.

For questions about the Teen Press Conference, please email Education Programs Manager, Julianna Lee Marino at jleemarino@nationalbook.org.

Watch the 2022 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Rita Williams-Garcia:

Watch the 2021 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Kwame Alexander:

Watch the 2020 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Jason Reynolds:

Watch the 2019 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Angie Thomas:

Watch the 2018 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Jenny Han:

Watch the 2017 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Alvin Irby:

Watch the 2016 Teen Press Conference, hosted by Brendan Kiely:

Watch the 2015 Teen Press Conference,
hosted by Jacqueline Woodson with special guest LeVar Burton:

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