About NBCC Membership

Founded in April, 1974, the National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature. Regular voting membership ($50 for freelance critics, $85 for members with staff positions at institutions that support their membership and $70 for those at institutions that pay for multiple memberships) is open to professional book review editors and book reviewers. Friends of the NBCC membership ($30 a year) is available to others in the publishing field and to those who wish to support our work. In addition, students are welcome to obtain non-voting membership for $15 (Students who qualify are of course welcome to apply for regular voting membership at $50.)  The NBCC also now offers a lifetime voting membership for $500.

New members of the NBCC receive a welcome email letter with a link to the "Tips for Successful Reviewing" prepared by former board member Rebecca Skloot and to the NBCC guide to freelance reviewing markets, with contact information for dozens of review editors, that is regularly updated by former board member Steve Weinberg. (Available as a pdf or online members-only Wiki.) All members also receive the NBCC's Newswire, which is published regularly and distributed via email. In addition, the NBCC makes available to its members discounts to selected publications, institutions, and events.

Recent meetings have featured presentations on social networking from Sree Sreenivisan of the Columbia University School of Journalism and conversations about the future of books and readings. (See Critical Mass for videos.)  Members of the NBCC participate throughout the year and throughout the country in panel discussions and other public events.  Their commentary is also posted on Critical Mass, the weblog of the NBCC.  Voting members of the organization help select the annual book awards and the Ivan Sandrof lifetime achievement award.  They are also eligible to vote for the NBCC board of directors and to be candidates for the board themselves.  Only voting members are eligible to be considered for the annual Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

The NBCC board meets three times a year. Members' suggestions are solicited and welcome.  Participation by a large and diverse membership is essential to our goal of advancing the cause of literature. The NBCC has attracted tens of thousands to  free public events nationwide, often with partners (AWP, PEN American Center, WNYC/Greene Performance Space,  the New School, the Center for Fiction, Housing Works,  Gemini Ink in San Antonio, Texas, the Minneapolis Public Library, City Lights Books in San Francisco, Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Wordstock in Portland, Oregon, Fall for the Book in Fairfax, Va., the Brooklyn Book Festival, and dozens of others.) 

To join the National Book Critics Circle, please visit our online membership registration and renewal page. For any questions about membership, please contact the NBCC VP/Membership, Yahdon Israel (membership@bookcritics.org).

Browse the NBCC Newsletter Archive, with complete membership newsletters from 1975 to the 2004, along with NewsWires from 2004 to the present, plus recent special email announcements. 

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If you would like to apply and pay offline, download and print this page. After filling out the form mail it, along with your three sample reviews and a check for the correct amount, to Marion Winik, 4600 Keswick Rd., Baltimore MD 21210. Please make sure to include your email address on the form, even if you are renewing. [Application form to pay by mail]

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Current Membership Benefits

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Harper's: 12 issues for $10.50.  Subscribe now and save 87% off the cover price.  Plus, you'll get access to the harpers.org archive of every issue since 1850.  Special offer valid only for members of the National Book Critics Circle.

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Virginia Quarterly Review: 20% off anything in their store, including subscriptions.

Tin House: 20% off books and magazine subscription.