We Need Your Help

by Tess Taylor | Aug-20-2018

Thanks for your interest in supporting the NBCC! Our Summer 2018 fundraising drive has ended.

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) needs your help!  After 47 years as a dues-funded organization, we have reached a critical crossroads. We have survived as a volunteer organization running on dues alone for nearly a half century. As we move into the future, we need a greater and more stable endowment to fund the upkeep of our website, to support our emerging writers initiative, and to allow our board to conduct its business.  For the first time in 47 years we are making an open appeal for help!  

We are in the midst of a campaign to improve the organization’s website, bookcritics.org, to make it easier to champion the craft of book criticism and to communicate more effectively with our hundreds of members. We are also broadening our footprint with our emerging critics initiatives, meant to help foster the next generation of literary conversation.   Your support will have an immediate effect on helping us with both these goals. 

Since 1974, when it was founded at the legendary Algonquin Hotel, the NBCC has been spotlighting the world’s most revered writers. The NBCC awards are given each March and honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. As an organization we champion authors at critical moments of their careers. Each year, the NBCC  honors one of its 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 Toni Morrison and John McPhee. We award the John Leonard prize for a first book. We support emerging critics with our new Alan Cheuse Emerging Critics fellowships, to help shape the conversation about the future of criticism.  The National Book Critics Circle also is the only national literary awards whose awardees are handpicked by critics themselves. Indeed, the National Book Critics Circle is a vital part of the national literary conversation. We are this country’s foremost advocate for the importance and pleasures of book criticism. We champion the role critics play in making our world a more intriguing, nuanced place.

We’re asking all those who honor outstanding writing to support the NBCC’s programs.  The NBCC is proudly free from publisher or individual influence on our awards process and we choose not to appeal to publishers for donations. We are turning to people like you who we know care deeply about the role the NBCC plays in the literary ecosystem, and asking for your help to flourish and grow.  Help us shape the future of literary conversation together. 

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

Tess Taylor, Committee Chair, NBCC Fundraising

About the Critical Mass Blog

Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).


Categories & Archives

Tickets for Benefit Reception

Following the Awards Ceremony, March 14, 2019
Become a Member of the NBCC

NBCC Awards

Finalists for 2018

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions

Upcoming Events

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 13th, 2019

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 14th, 2019

NBCC at AWP19 with Paul Beatty and Joan Silber: March 28th, 2019

NBCC at AWP19 The Future of Criticism: A Conversation with Established and Emerging Critics: March 30th, 2019

Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2017 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2017 Finalists Reading

All videos and podcasts.