NBCC at the Center for Fiction: Book Reviews, Revamped

By Jane Ciabattari

National Book Critics Circle at the Center for Fiction 

Book Reviews, Revamped

When: January 19, 2011 7 pm.

Barbara Hoffert Library Journal


Where: The Center for Fiction, 7 East 47th STreet, New York, NY.

Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Book Review, all have reinvented their book review sections. Come hear the editors tell how and what's coming next.

Barbara Hoffert, Prepub Alert Editor, Library Journal

Jennifer B. McDonald, Staff Editor, The New York Times Book Review

Robert Messenger, Books Editor,The Wall Street Journal

Craig Morgan Teicher, Senior Web Editor, Publishers Weekly  

Jane Ciabattari, President, National Book Critics Circle, Moderator

Barbara Hoffert served as editor of Library Journal’s book review for nearly two decades. She has just been promoted to write an expanded version of her long-running Prepub Alert column and will continue her liaison with the book review, assigning literary fiction and poetry. She has been chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association and president of the National Book Critics Circle, for which she now serves as Awards Chair. In 2006, she won ALA-RUSA’s Louis Shores—Greenwood Publishing Group award for excellence in reviewing.

Jennifer B. McDonald is responsible for assigning both fiction and nonfiction reviews at The New York Times Book Review, where she has been an editor since 2007. She joined The New York Times as an editor on its National desk in 2005, and before that worked as an editor at both The Washington Post and CNET in San Francisco, one of the first online-only news organizations in the country. In addition to writing the occasional review and blog post (she’s been blogging, on and off, since 2001), she is a mentor with the New York-based nonprofit Girls Write Now. She lives in Brooklyn.

Robert Messenger became the Books editor of the Wall Street Journal this fall, when the new stand-alone book review section, which appears in the paper’s revamped weekend edition, now named WSJ Weekend, was launched. Messenger was one of the founding editors of The New York Sun, where he created and edited its Arts&Letters section and its sports pages. He was formerly an editor at The New Criterion and also worked at various academic publishers. His writings about books and culture have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and The New York Times Book Review.

Craig Morgan Teicher is Senior Web Editor and Poetry Editor for Publishers Weekly.  His reviews also appear in many other publications, including Bookforum, Boston Review and Time Out New York.  His first book of poetry, Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems, came out in 2008; Cradle Book, a prose collection was published in 2010.   His website is