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The National Book Awards are given out each year to the best American books published in each of four genres — Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.
The Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation has spent a year in discussions, and following a study by an independent consulting firm which solicited input from hundreds of members of the book community, they now announce changes to their NBA selection process.
The National Book Foundation perceives its mission to be to increase the impact of great writing on American culture; they feel these changes offer concrete steps to further the mission. (The full mission is “to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.”)
One change will increase the number of honored books by selecting a “Long List” of ten titles in each of the four genres, to be announced five weeks before the Finalists Announcement . In 2013, the Long List will be announced on September 12th (forty titles), the Finalists on October 15th (twenty titles) and the National Book Award Winners on November 20th (four titles).
Morgan Entrekin, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and publisher of Grove Atlantic, says “Every year many worthy titles don’t make it all the way to becoming Finalists. The Long List will allow us to recognize more good books and broaden the conversation.”
In addition, the judging pool will be expanded, adding critics, librarians and booksellers to their current list of writers. By enlarging the judging pool, they feel, new and exciting voices will “deepen and enrich the process.”
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