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The National Book Critics Circle supports book reviewers, nurtures fledgling critics, honors writers and conducts cultural and literary conversations across the country.

Since 1974, when it was founded at the legendary Algonquin Hotel, the NBCC has spotlighted the world’s most revered writers. The NBCC awards are given each March and honor the best books published in the United States in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Each year, we also honor one of our member critics with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which comes with a $1,000 honorarium. We confer the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award on a distinguished author, editor, publisher, or literary institution— recent winners have included Arte Publico Press, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and John McPhee. We award the John Leonard prize for a first book.

The NBCC is proudly free from publisher or individual influence on our awards process; we do not collect submission fees so there is no barrier for smaller presses.

As a group, book critics play a crucial role in the literary ecosystem, and the NBCC is the only organization that serves the profession, helping critics at every phase of their careers flourish and grow. Please support us as we shape the future of literary conversation together. Your contribution will go directly to our most critical projects: updating our website, supporting our emerging critics initiative, expanding our awards activities, and funding our operating expenses. We also plan to create an endowment to give us security and flexibility as we face the future. 

Thank you for considering a donation to the NBCC! We're a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and will provide a letter acknowledging your contribution. 

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NBCC 2018 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2017 Awards Ceremony

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From the Critical Mass blog

New reviews and more from the National Book Critics Circle

Margaret Atwood's new novel The Testaments continues to sweep across the literary landscape. Megan Labrise interviewed Atwood about The

Critical Notes: September 9, 2019

Former board member Barbara Probst Solomon has died. She was 90. Solomon was known for her criticism, her memoir Arriving Where We Started, and her

Labor Day literary links from the NBCC

Welcome to the latest news from the Nationa Book Critics Circle! We've got reviews and more for your holiday weekend. Elaine Szewczyk talked to

Scads of book reviews and more from our members this week

NBCC board president Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for books at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, wrote her weekly column about writers'