About NBCC Membership

Criticism has never been a more vital and necessary force than it is today. And since its founding in April of 1974, the National Book Critics Circle has worked to uplift, support, and celebrate the voices of book critics. Please join us!

NBCC Book Awards

• In March, we hold our NBCC finalists’ reading and awards ceremony in NYC where we celebrate the previous year’s outstanding books and authors. Both events are free and open to the public. After the awards ceremony, we hold a reception for the finalists (our only fundraiser) where members get discounted tickets. Check out this year’s finalists and winners here!  

• The NBCC awards the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing each year to recognize the outstanding work by a member of the NBCC. Members may nominate themselves in December for this award, which carries a $1,000 cash prize.

• Any regular voting NBCC member can nominate titles for the John Leonard Award, given to an author for an outstanding first book in any genre. Members may serve on the John Leonard committee to read the finalists and vote on a winner.

• Regular voting members may also nominate writers for the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the first president of the NBCC, the award is given annually to a person or institution—a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others—who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture.

NBCC in the Community

• In the spring, we serve as a literary partner at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference, where we feature a reading by award winners or finalists and others, followed by a conversation about the evolving art of writing moderated by an NBCC board member. Recently, we’ve presented Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorrie Moore, Marilynne Robinson, Dana Spiotta, Amy Tan, and Colson Whitehead. We also host a table at the book fair.

• Our annual membership meeting takes place in May at Book Expo, where we convene a panel discussion about pertinent issues affecting the book review industry.

Fellowship Opportunities

• In March, we accept applications for our new Emerging Critics Fellowship, which seeks to identify, nurture, and support the development of the next generation of book critics. Critics of all ages who seek to review and write about books for print and digital outlets are eligible. Over the one-year fellowship period, emerging critics will receive active mentorship from members of the NBCC board, membership to the NBCC, admission to NBCC events, and the annual reception.

NBCC Publications

Critical Notes, the weekly roundup published on our website, is chock full of industry news, as well as our members’ latest book reviews, author interviews, and other accomplishments. Our members’ work is publicized on Twitter and Facebook. Members also can contribute to NBCC Reads and other literary series published on the website, and volunteer to help with social media for the Online Committee.

• Our NBCC Newswire, which comes out quarterly, provides our members with the minutes to NBCC board meetings and ballots for voting for full voting members.

Memberships Categories

• We offer several different types of memberships. Regular Voting Membership is open to professional book review editors and book reviewers ($50 for freelance critics, $85 for reviewers with staff positions at institutions that support their membership, and $70 for those at institutions that pay for multiple memberships). Literary agents, editors, and publishers are not eligible for this type of membership.

Friend of the NBCC ($30 a year) is available to literary agents, editors, publicists and publishers, and others who wish to support our work. 

Non-Voting Student Memberships are available for $15. Students who qualify may apply for regular voting membership at $50.

• We welcome you to support our work by becoming a Lifetime NBCC Voting Member for the one-time fee of $500. This tax-deductible contribution is not just a bargain in the long-term, but works right now to support the many critical projects and initiatives underway.

Discounts for Members

Discounts for subscriptions to many prestigious publications are available to members (see our growing list on the right). 

Questions? Concerns?

• Please do not hesitate to contact our Vice President of Membership, Anjali Enjeti at membership@bookcritics.org.

Apply for Membership

Apply for Membership or Renew

Apply Online Renew

Regular Voting Membership: $50*

Friends of the NBCC: $30

Student Membership: $15

Lifetime Voting Membership: $500

*$85 for members with staff positions at institutions that support their membership and $70 for those at institutions that pay for multiple memberships.

Apply By Mail

If you would like to apply and pay offline, download and print this page. Please make sure to include your email address on the form, even if you are renewing.

Current Membership Benefits

Members click here for instructions.

Agni: $20 for a 1-year subscription (regular price $23); $38 for a 2-year subscription (regular price $43); $53 for a 3-year subscription (regular price $59)

Bookforum: 1 year/5 issues for $15.00 in the US (regular price $18).

The Common: 15% discount on any subscription.

Harper's: 12 issues for $10.50.  Subscribe now and save 87% off the cover price.  Plus, you'll get access to the harpers.org archive of every issue since 1850.  Special offer valid only for members of the National Book Critics Circle.

New England Review: One-year subscription for $29, and a two-year subscription for $55.

Poets & Writers: 6 issues for $12 (down from $14.95).

A Public Space: 20% off anything, including subscriptions.

Virginia Quarterly Review: 20% off anything in their store, including subscriptions.

Tin House: 20% off books and magazine subscription.