Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The NBCC awards the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing each year to recognize outstanding work by a member of the NBCC. The citation is awarded in honor of Nona Balakian, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle, where she served as the board’s first secretary. The eminent critic and longtime editor at the New York Times Book Review also served on the Pulitzer Prize committee, the Board of Directors of PEN, and the Authors Guild board, was the author of Critical Encounters: Essays (1978), and co-author (with Charles Simmons) of The Creative Present (1969).

Since 2012, the Balakian Citation carries with it a $1,000 cash prize, thanks to a generous donation by NBCC board member Gregg Barrios.

A complete list of past Balakian winners follows the list of committee members.

2013 Submission Guidelines

You must be a member of the NBCC to be considered. If you are not a member, you can join online anytime before December 31, 2013, in order to be eligible for the award. All submitted reviews must have been published in 2013.

2013 Submission Procedures

Submissions may be made by email. Emails must be time stamped no later than midnight Sunday, December 15, 2013. Submissions may also, as in the past, be submitted in hardcopy by mail.

What to submit via email: 
Send up to five book reviews (all published in 2013) of no more than 5,000 words collectively. The total word count for the submissions must not exceed 5,000, on pain of the entire submission being disqualified from consideration for the award. 
In your email, include a note listing the venue; title and word count of each piece submitted. 
Send links to your reviews as published online. 


Due to the capricious nature of the online world, links may expire. If you can, attach PDFs or screenshots of your book reviews as they appeared online or in print. 
Please make a print backup of your submission. In other words, make sure you have one print copy of each book review, preferably the published version. If there is a problem with your electronic online submission, you may be asked to submit a print version.

What to submit via mail: 
Submissions must be postmarked no later than Sunday, December 15, 2013. Send up to five book reviews (all published in 2013) of no more than 5,000 words collectively, with a brief cover letter listing the title and word count of each piece submitted. The total word count for the submissions must not exceed 5,000, on pain of the entire submission being disqualified from consideration for the award.

For questions about the award and submission process, e-mail the Balakian Committee chair, Gregg Barrios. Email: [email protected]

Please put Balakian Award in the subject line of your email.

Please submit all materials for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing to each individual member of the 2013 Balakian committee:

Mark Athitakis
6317 Jason St.
Cheverly, MD 20785
[email protected]

Eric Banks
57 Grand Street
Apt. 4
Brooklyn, NY 11249
[email protected]

Gregg Barrios
304 E Courtland Pl
San Antonio, TX 78212
[email protected]

Jane Ciabattari
730 Lisbon Court
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
[email protected]

Steven G. Kellman
302 Fawn Drive
San Antonio, TX 78231
[email protected]

Carolyn Kellogg
730 1/2 East Edgeware Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
[email protected]

Elizabeth Taylor
2821 N. Pine Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
[email protected]

Anne Trubek
3276 Daleford Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44120
[email protected]

David L. Ulin
1089 South Genesee Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
[email protected]

Marcela Valdes
922 Jackson Street
Annapolis MD 21403
[email protected]

Past Recipients of the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

2012

William Deresiewicz (William Deresiewicz Interview)

2011

Kathryn Schulz (Critical Mass interview)

2010

Parul Sehgal (Critical Mass interview | acceptance speech)

2009

Joan Acocella

2008

Ron Charles

2007

Sam Anderson

2006

Steven G. Kellman

2005

Wyatt Mason

2004

David Orr

2003

Scott McLemee

2002

Maureen N. McLane

2001

Michael Gorra

2000

Daniel Mendelsohn

1999

Benjamin Schwarz

1998

Albert Mobilio

1997

Thomas Mallon

1996

Dennis Drabelle

1995

Laurie Stone

1994

JoAnn Gutin

1993

Brigitte Frase

1992

Elizabeth Ward

1991

George Scialabba

1988

William Logan

1987

Josh Rubins

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Awards Information

Videos and Podcasts

Ben Fountain and Amy Tan at AWP with Jane Ciabattari

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC Finalists Interviewed at The New School

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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