Frequently Asked Questions


We have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions--if you have further questions after reviewing the list below, please contact the NBCC at membership@bookcritics.org

How does the NBCC decide which books win the awards?

Please see the former NBCC president Rebecca Miller's detailed description of how the board selects titles for the awards.

How do I break into book reviewing?

Joining the National Book Critics Circle provides members with access to several hundred professional reviewers and review editors through our yearly meeting in NYC, and through panels and conferences involving NBCC members around the country throughout the year. Members also receive our freelancing guidelines for pitching publications around the country via pdf or our online Wiki. We are compiling an online membership directory, which will be available to members soon. Also available to members is former Board Member Rebecca Skloot’s helpful beginner tutorial, “Tips for Successful Reviewing.”

Is NBCC membership restricted to US citizens or residents?

There are no restrictions based on citizenship or country of residency. The only requirement is that you are an active book critic for a publication in the United States. If you review for publications here, you're welcome to join.

How do I become a member of the NBCC or renew my current membership?

Please see our online membership registration and renewal page.

How do I get my book reviewed?

The NBCC is an organization for book reviewers, not book reviews. We do not put publicists or authors in contact with reviewers—instead, we recommend that authors seeking reviews refer to Literary Marketplace for guidance, and speak with a publicist. 

How can I nominate or submit a book for the award and where do I find the application?

There is no application for the NBCC award. The board of directors nominates and votes on books, and NBCC members are polled for candidates, as well. Publishers and authors can submit titles by following our submission guidelines.

What books are eligible for the award?

We grant awards in six categories: Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. The nonfiction category is perhaps the most complicated: We do not give awards for titles that have been previously published in English (re-issues, paperback editions, etc.), and we generally do not consider cookbooks, self help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books or children’s books. But we do consider translations, short story and essay collections, self published books, and any titles that fall under the general categories above. 

Can I have a list of NBCC members and their contact information in order to send press releases?

 

The NBCC does not share any information about its members. A directory of members to be completed soon will be available to members only. 

Where can I find a list of all past NBCC award winners and finalists?

The NBCC has created an online archive that will include all past winners and finalists. Please see the Awards page of our website.

Do you only give awards to books by US authors?

We consider titles by authors from any country; the only requirement is that they're published in the US.

What is the publication date range for the yearly awards?

Any books with publication dates between January 1st and December 31st of the year in question are eligible. Copyright date does not apply.

When will the NBCC winners be announced?

 

Winners of the awards are announced each year at the NBCC awards ceremony in conjunction with the yearly membership meeting, which takes place in March.  For more information, including specific dates once announced, see the NBCC calendar. All winners are posted on the NBCC’s website after they’re announced. 

How do you nominate a candidate for the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award?

Anyone is welcome to bring a candidate for the Sandrof Award to the board's attention by emailing the chair of the Sandrof Committee. Please see our Sandrof nomination guidelines for more information.

How do I get a job with the NBCC?

The NBCC is an entirely volunteer-run organization. There are no jobs with the NBCC.

How do you submit reviews for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing?

Please see our Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing submission guidelines for more details.

How do I become a member of the NBCC board of directors?

The 24 member board of directors rotates every three years, which means each year, 8 seats on the board become available. These seats are filled annually through an election process that begins with submission of a candidacy statement outlining your goals for your time on the board, and ending with an election where the NBCC membership votes for the board members. The election takes place each year in winter, and a call for candidates will be posted on the calendar page of the NBCC’s website and in the NBCC NewsWire. All NBCC members are encouraged to run for a seat on the board of directors. 

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