Judges Announced for 2018 National Book Awards

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    National Book Award winner medalFour independent booksellers from across the country are among 25 judges who will be responsible for reviewing the titles submitted for the 2018 National Book Awards.

    The submissions process for the awards opened on Wednesday, March 14. Titles will be recognized in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the newly added Translated Literature category.

    “While the judges comprise a wide array of vocational and geographical backgrounds, all have displayed a powerful dedication to the written word and the literary world at large,” said David Steinberger, chairman of the board of directors of the National Book Foundation.

    In addition to indie booksellers, this year’s judges include writers, academics, editors, critics, and translators. The judges will select 50 longlist titles (10 per category), which will be announced in mid-September. The 25 finalists will be announced on October 10, and winners in all five categories will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 14.

    “The judging process for the National Book Awards is a serious undertaking,” said Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “We have full confidence that this year’s panelists will pull from their deep wells of expertise to make their decisions with enthusiastic and skilled discernment.”

    The judges for the 2018 National Book Awards are:

    Fiction panel: Laila Lalami (Chair), Chris Bachelder, Min Jin Lee, Laurie Muchnick, Chinelo Okparanta

    Nonfiction panel: Rachel Cass (head buyer at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts), Annette Gordon-Reed (Chair), John Freeman, Sarah Manguso, Andrés Reséndez

    Poetry panel: Stephen Sparks (co-owner of Point Reyes Books in Point Reyes Station, California), Mary Jo Bang (Chair), Ken Chen, Elise Paschen, Danez Smith

    Translated Literature panel: Karen Maeda Allman (author events co-coordinator at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle), Harold Augenbraum (Chair), Sinan Antoon, Susan Bernofsky, Álvaro Enrigue 

    Young People’s Literature panel: Valerie Koehler (owner of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas), Robin Benway (Chair), Lamar Giles, Grace Worcester Greene, Mitali Perkins