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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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Emerging Critics

NBCC Awards

Finalists for 2018

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Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2018 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2017 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2017 Finalists Reading

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From the Critical Mass blog

Colson Whitehead’s stellar return and more books coverage

At the Washington Post, Ron Charles reviews Colson Whitehead's new novel The Nickel Boys, writing that "it shreds our easy confidence in the triumph

Marie Ponsot remembered and a stack of new book reviews

Poet Marie Ponsot, whose 1998 collection The Bird Catcher won the NBCC award in poetry, died Friday July 5 at age 98. NBCC Board member Tess Taylor

Critical Notes: A quiet week, but lots to read

Alexis Burling reviewed three nonfiction books for the San Francisco Chronicle, in honor of Pride week: Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True

Critical Notes: Aleksandar Hemon, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, and Plenty of Summer Reading

New member Constance Grady of Vox has been busy, covering Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel City of Girls, Jim DeRogatis’ investigative book on R. Kelly, the