Publishers to Honor National Book Critics Circle


More good news for the NBCC. This just in from the Association of American Publishers (AAP):

Washington, DC, December 5, 2007:  The U.S. publishing industry will pay formal tribute to the National Book Critics Circle for its unique role in the nation’s literary life, according to an announcement today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The NBCC has been named to receive the 2008 AAP Honors, an award given annually to individuals and institutions outside the publishing industry for significant achievements in promoting American books and authors. The AAP Honors will be presented to NBCC President John Freeman during the Association’s Annual Meeting in New York on March 5, 2008.

Founded in 1974, the NBCC comprises nearly 800 active book reviewers joined in common cause to promote quality writing and enrich the nation’s literary dialogue. In addition to its prestigious annual book awards program, each year the organization honors outstanding work done by an NBCC member with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.  Members of the NBCC Board of Directors speak out on the country’s premier literary blog, Critical Mass.  As newspapers across the country slashed book review space and fired experienced book editors in the name of belt-tightening, the NBCC decided to fight back and earlier this year launched the Campaign to Save Book Reviews, featuring blog posts by concerned writers, interviews with book editors “in the trenches,” Q&A with newspaper editors and owners, a boots-on-the-ground protest in Atlanta, and more than a dozen panel discussions around the country to raise awareness of the issue. Since then the NBCC has fought to foster a national literary culture, creating a Best Recommended List, made up of the votes of its members and former book prize finalists and winners, and kicked off several new essay series on Critical Mass.

In announcing the award, AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder said:  “Since its founding more than three decades ago, the NBCC has played a central role in this country’s literary dialogue, but never has its voice been stronger or more urgently needed.  We’re delighted to honor the NBCC for its passionate commitment to our favorite cause—spreading the word about great books.”

The AAP Honors were inaugurated in 1997 to acknowledge the contributions of individuals and organizations outside the book industry who have helped focus public attention on American books and their importance in our society. Previous winners have included C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, National Public Radio, country music legend Dolly Parton who created the “Imagination Library” literacy program, The Today Show, Oprah Winfrey, Latino television journalist Jorge Ramos, and USA Today.

The Association of American Publishers is the principal trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry with some 300 members comprising most of the major commercial book publishers in the United States, as well as small and medium-sized houses, non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. The promotion of reading and literacy is among AAP’s highest priorities.