Teen Press Conference
Where young readers meet and interview their literary heroes
For the first time ever—the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference was entirely virtual! Co-presented with the Miami Book Fair and in partnership with the 92nd Street Y, this year’s event continued a decades-long tradition, bringing the excitement of the most prestigious literary award in the country to New York City’s middle and high school students.
School groups were invited to participate in the free, virtual literary event that was curated just for them, with access to exclusive videos, digital materials, a live Q&A with authors, and more.
The live online event was held on Monday November 16th at
Hosted by: Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Jason’s many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Correta Scott King Honor, and Look Both Ways, which was a National Book Award Finalist. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, is a collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi. Recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jason has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
What books were be featured?
How does a class participate? There is no cost to participate. (You can watch the livestream of the event on the Miami Book Fair website. You will need to create an account in order to access the event.)
Teachers should plan to incorporate Teen Press Conference preparation and participation into their classroom activities; this year’s event is structured to be flexible, so that a class can participate as part of in-person learning, or as a remote learning assignment. Teachers who register will receive digital materials to help students prepare for the live event, as well as access to optional, supplemental activities (details below).
While the live event is a unique opportunity for students to interact directly with authors, we understand that synchronous learning activities are not the best fit for many classrooms. Registered classes will have the option to submit questions in advance, and a recording of the live event will be available after the broadcast.
What do I receive? In late October (following the announcement of the 2020 National Book Awards Finalists in Young People’s Literature) all registered teachers will receive a set of digital materials, designed to help students prepare for the live event on November 16.
Everyone who registers will receive the following:
As part of registration, you will also be invited to opt into the following supplemental activities:
Note: both Online Book Clubs and the Student Writing Showcase are recommended for teachers whose classes are integrating a title or titles from this year’s National Book Award honorees into their curriculum, beyond participation in the live event.
What will the live event entail? The live event portion of this year’s Teen Press Conference will center around the opportunity for students to interact with authors through an hour-long Q&A, moderated by host Jason Reynolds. Note: the short readings typically included in an in-person Teen Press Conference event will be pre-recorded videos, shared with registered teachers in advance.
Who can attend? The event is open to New York City middle and high schools. Students from Miami-Dade County schools will also be participating, through National Book Foundation’s partnership with the Miami Book Fair.
Questions? Email [email protected]
The Teen Press Conference brings the excitement and prestige of the National Book Awards to an audience of young people. Held at the 92nd Street Y in New York the day before the National Book Awards ceremony, every year 600 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 Deputy Director, Jordan Smith.