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

Category: Awards

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 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. 

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 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.

» Go to Awards Page

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Upcoming Events

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 16th, 2016

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 17th, 2016

NBCC Awards

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

Ben Fountain and Amy Tan at AWP with Jane Ciabattari

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

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Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

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

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