Five independent booksellers are among the 25 judges who will be responsible for reviewing the titles submitted for the 2019 National Book Awards, a higher number of booksellers than in previous years.
The submissions process for the awards, which are presented by the National Book Foundation, opened on Wednesday, March 13. Titles will be recognized in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. Books are eligible for submission if they are published by U.S. publishers located in the United States between December 1, 2018 and November 30, 2019.
In addition to indie booksellers, this year’s judges include writers, academics, editors, critics, and translators. The 25 judges will select 50 longlist titles (10 per category), which will be announced in mid-September. The 25 finalists (five in each category) will be announced on October 8, and winners in all five categories will be announced at the 70th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20.
The judges for the 2019 National Book Awards are:
Fiction: Dorothy Allison, Ruth Dickey, Javier Ramirez (manager of The Book Table in Oak Park, Illinois), Danzy Senna (Chair), Jeff VanderMeer
Nonfiction: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Carolyn Kellogg, Mark Laframboise (head book buyer at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.), Kiese Laymon, Jeff Sharlet (Chair)
Poetry: Jos Charles, John Evans (co-owner of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Los Angeles), Vievee Francis, Cathy Park Hong, Mark Wunderlich (Chair)
Translated Literature: Keith Gessen, Elisabeth Jaquette, Katie Kitamura, Idra Novey (Chair), Shuchi Saraswat (buyer and events coordinator at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts)
Young People’s Literature: Elana K. Arnold, Kristen Gilligan (co-owner of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado), Varian Johnson, An Na (Chair), Deborah Taylor