Supporting Book Criticism and Literary Culture Since 1974

Mission Statement: The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.

History. The National Book Critics Circle was founded in April 1974 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, with founding members John Leonard, Nona Balakian, and Ivan Sandrof intending to extend the Algonquin round table to a national conversation. The NBCC gained 501(c)(3) status in October 2006, and in 2010 received an NEA grant to support the website and its literary blog, Critical Mass. The NBCC’s  tax-exempt status means anything you care to give us as a gift is now a tax deduction. Please visit our Donate page to learn more.

Membership. The NBCC serves nearly 600 member critics, authors, literary bloggers, book publishing personnel, and student members. Membership in the NBCC is open to freelance and staff book reviewers at various stages in their careers, associate nonvoting members, and student members. Full members receive access to tips on book reviewing, an annually updated guide to publications that accept freelance pitches for reviews, the ability to nominate titles for our annual awards and elect board members, access to members-only discussion groups, plus a variety of discounts on literary magazines. Please visit our Membership page for details and to become a member.

NBCC Awards: The National Book Critics Circle awards are given each March and honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. These are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves. Each year the NBCC also honors one of its member critics with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and confers the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award on a distinguished author, editor, publisher, or literary institution. (Recent recipients include Joyce Carol Oates, Dalkey Archive Press, Milkweed Editions, and New York Review of Books editor Robert Silvers.) The NBCC awards finalists’ reading and NBCC awards ceremony, presented annually in March, bring together authors, reviewers, publishing people, and passionate readers for a celebration of the best of each year’s literary offerings.

Connecting Online. The NBCC does more than present its awards: Throughout the year it connects with members and readers in variety of ways. Our blog, Critical Mass, includes updates on work from members, reports from literary events around the country, guest posts from members, and spotlights on small presses and literary websites. Twice a year the NBCC hosts NBCC Reads, in which members are queried on literary and critical topics. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Serving the Literary Community. The NBCC reaches the reading public through our website and at free public events nationwide, often with partners including AWP, PEN American Center, WNYC/Greene Performance Space,  the New School University, the Center for Fiction, Housing Works, Gemini Ink in San Antonio, Minneapolis Public Library, City Lights Books in San Francisco, Prairie Lights in Iowa City, and dozens of others.

Committees

Board Members

Tom Beer, NBCC President
Newsday/NBCC
235 Pinelawn Rd.
Melville, NY 11747
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Jane Ciabattari, NBCC VP/Online
Books Columnist, BBC.com
730 Lisbon Court
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
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Michele Filgate, NBCC VP/Awards

38 Douglass St., Apt. 3
Brooklyn NY 11231
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Mary Ann Gwinn, NBCC VP/Secretary
Seattle Times
7814 39th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98136
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Michael Miller, NBCC VP/Treasurer
Bookforum
350 Seventh Avenue, 19th Fl
NY NY 10001
New York, NY 10001
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Walton Muyumba, NBCC VP/Membership
Indiana University, Bloomington
Ballantine Hall 442
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47407
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Bethanne Patrick, NBCC VP/Technology

1436 Layman St.
McLean, VA 22101-2128
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Kate Tuttle, NBCC VP/Newswire
755 Kirk Road
Decatur, GA 30030
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Daniel Akst

37 North Rd.
Tivoli, NY 12583
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Colette Bancroft
Tampa Bay Times
490 First Ave. S
St. Petersburg FL 33701
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Gregg Barrios
Freelance Writer/Critic
304 E Courtland Pl
San Antonio, TX 78212
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David Biespiel
Director, Attic Institute
4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, Oregon 97215
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Ron Charles
Washington Post
5208 Elsmere Ave.
Bethesda MD 20814
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Carmela Ciuraru
Freelance/NBCC
135 Eastern Parkway
Suite 6K
Brooklyn NY 11238
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Laurie Hertzel
Minneapolis Star Tribune/NBCC
650 3rd Avenue South
Suite 1300
Minneapolis, MN 55488
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Leigh Newman
Oprah.com/NBCC
300 W, 57th St.
New York NY 10019
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Katherine A. Powers

438 Windsor St.
Cambridge MA 02141

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Carlin Romano
ASC
3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Mark Rotella
Publishers Weekly/NBCC
71 W. 23rd Street, Suite 1608
New York NY 10010
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Michael Schaub

503A W. North Loop Blvd.
Austin TX 78751
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Clay Smith
Kirkus Reviews/NBCC
6411 Burleson Rd.
Austin TX 787444
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Tess Taylor

336 Ramona Ave.
El Cerrito CA 94530
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Elizabeth Taylor

2821 N. Pinegrove
Chicago IL 60657
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Marion Winik

4600 Keswick Rd.
Baltimore MD 21210
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Autobiography

Mark Rotella, chair
Tom Beer
Jane Ciabattari
Michele Filgate
Laurie Hertzel
Leigh Newman
Bethanne Patrick
Katherine A. Powers
Carlin Romano
Elizabeth Taylor
Kate Tuttle
Marion Winik

Biography

Elizabeth Taylor, chair
Colette Brancroft
Jane Ciabattari
Mary Ann Gwinn
Laurie Hertzel
Katherine A. Powers
Mark Rotella
Carlin Romano
Clay Smith
Elizabeth Taylor
Kate Tuttle

Criticism

Walton Muyumba, chair
Gregg Barrios
Jane Ciabattari
Carmela Ciuraru
Michele Filgate
Michael Miller
Leigh Newman
Bethanne Patrick
Carlin Romano
Elizabeth Taylor
Tess Taylor

Fiction

Colette Bancroft, chair
Daniel Akst
Gregg Barrios
Tom Beer
Ron Charles
Jane Ciabattari
Carmela Ciuraru
Michele Filagate
Michael Miller
Bethanne Patrick
Carlin Romano
Mark Rotella
Michael Schaub
Clay Smith
Elizabeth Taylor
Marion Winik

General Nonfiction

Kate Tuttle, chair
Colette Bancroft
David Biespiel
Mary Ann Gwinn
Walton Muyumba
Carlin Romano
Michael Schaub
Clay Smith
Elizabeth Taylor

Poetry

Tess Taylor, chair
Daniel Akst
Gregg Barrios
David Biespiel
Ron Charles
Michael Miller
Walton Muyumba
Leigh Newman
Carlin Romano
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NBCC Awards

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions

Awards news


Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2015 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.




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From the Critical Mass blog

NBCC General Membership Meeting May 12 in Chicago

                GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING The NBCC's 2016 membership meeting is scheduled during BookExpo America in Chicago next month,

Critical Notes: Rob Spillman, Edna O’Brien, Hope Jahren, and more

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including news about recent publications and honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. (Current members

NBCC Balakian winner Carlos Lozada on Winning the Balakian Award

Good evening, and thank you for that generous introduction. I’d like to thank the National Book Critics Circle for seeing fit to hand its reviewing

President’s Message to Membership: Fantastic Start to 2016

  Dear NBCC members:   We've had a fantastic start to the year here at the NBCC. Our reading and awards ceremony, held March 16-17 at The New School