President’s Message to Membership: Fantastic Start to 2016

by Tom Beer | Apr-12-2016

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 in New York, showcased an outstanding roster of books and writers, and our choices were widely recognized in the media.
On March 18, we welcomed five new people to the board who've never served before, and one returning member. The reading and deliberation for next year's awards have already begun. As in past years, we invite your input on the John Leonard Prize for Best First Book - more details to come on that prize and how you can get more involved.
Thanks to the work of Jane Ciabattari and several other members, we had a strong presence at AWP in Los Angeles (March 30-April 2). We had a booth, hosted an NBCC reading (Phil Klay, Amy Wilentz, Hector Tobar) and co-sponsored a party with LitHub and PEN USA.
Next month we continue "Making the Case: Critics on Literature," our series of talks at the Poetry & Literature Center of the Library of Congress, when board member Elizabeth Taylor speaks on "The Ecosystem of Fiction." Liz is a past NBCC president, co-editor of The National Book Review, and literary editor at large for the Chicago Tribune. The talk will take place Monday, May 2, at 12 noon in the Whittall Pavilion of the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington D.C. For more information, call 202-707-5394.
Finally, the NBCC general membership meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. In recent years the meeting has coincided with BEA in New York, and this year we've decided to follow the expo to Chicago and hold our annual meeting there. If you'll be in Chicago, I encourage you to join us for a discussion about the work and the future of the NBCC. RSVP to and put "NBCC Meeting" in the subject line; I'll reply with meeting details. I look forward to seeing you.
Best wishes,
Tom Beer

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