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.

REGISTER NOW / WAIT LIST ONLY: The 2019 Teen Press Conference is sold out, we are currently only accepting groups onto our Wait List. You will be notified via email if space becomes available.

To add your group to the Wait List, please complete the online registration form

Tuesday November 19th, 10am-12pm
12pm-12:30pm (optional book signing)

92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128

Registration is required and done on a first come, first served basis.

Elaine Welteroth

HOSTED BY: Elaine Welteroth, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. Throughout her magazine career Welteroth broke new ground as the youngest person and the second African-American to hold this title in Condé Nast’s 107-year history. Under her leadership, Teen Vogue notably increased coverage of news and politics, encouraging readers to become civically engaged, specifically during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. She’s now a leading expert, advocate and voice for the next generation of change-makers. She has written for the hit show Grown-ish and has appeared on-camera for a range of media outlets including ABC News and Netflix. She can currently be seen as a judge on Bravo’s Project Runway alongside Brandon Maxwell, Nina Garcia, Christian Siriano and Karlie Kloss. Welteroth just released her first book this summer, More Than Enough, published by Viking Press.


What does the event entail?
The Teen Press Conference centers around short readings by each of the year’s five National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature. Participating schools receive free copies (one per registered student) of one of the five nominated titles in advance of the event, and then interact with authors during a Q&A and an optional book signing.

Who can attend? The event is open to New York City middle and high schools. Each school can bring a maximum of 60 students (not including chaperones).

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 business week) to confirm your group’s details and make sure you’re all set for the event.

Please note: in order to attend, students must have completed photo release forms.

What books will be featured? Here’s what makes the National Book Awards so exciting: we really don’t know in advance! The five Finalists are chosen by a closed panel of judges and announced on October 8th (you can see the longlist here—this will be narrowed down to five). 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 school will receive free copies (one per registered student) of one of the five nominated titles. (Estimated availability: end of October). Typically, your entire group will receive the same title, but based on available quantity some groups may receive multiple titles. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate requests for specific titles.

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. 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 (if required); information sheet on the author and book your school received; and tips for the Q&A.

At the event, students will receive a special Reporter’s Notebook.

A note about book content: National Book Awards Finalists are chosen by a closed panel of judges (entirely separately 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). National Book Foundation expects teachers to preview content of the books provided as part of Teen Press Conference, and be prepared to discuss content with students and their families, as necessary. If for whatever reason you don’t feel that the book provided is appropriate to distribute to students in your school community, you are still welcome to attend the Teen Press Conference event and enjoy the reading and Q&A. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Please visit the Miami Book Fair’s website for more information on the Teen Press Conference in Miami.

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 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.

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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