Reminder: National Book Critics Circle BEA Events

By Jane Ciabattari

May 29, 1:30pm
Center for Fiction, 17 East 47th Street

The 2013 annual meeting of the National Book Critics Circle will take place the day before Book Expo begins in New York City. Our host will be the Center for Fiction at 17 East 47th Street,  New York, NY 10017.

We'll kick off at 1:30 p.m. with our membership meeting, then will hold two stellar panels and will finish up with time to mingle at a wine reception.

Annual Membership Meeting 
1:30pm: At this year's annual meeting, we'll be discussing the organization of our awards, including the possibility of creating a new prize that would be awarded by a direct vote of the membership. Please try to attend!

Panel: New Literary Journals
In recent years many traditional print book-review outlets have cut back on space — or, worse, disappeared entirely. But the same period has also been marked by the rise of upstart publications that have taken advantage of both the roominess of the web and the tactile pleasures of print to reinvent the literary journal for a new generation. How have these publications changed the way we think about who writes criticism, where it appears, and what shape it takes? Does social media alter what a critic says, and what qualifies as fair game for criticism? And do these new publications signal a growth in opportunities for reviewers after years of decline? We'll explore these questions with editors at four leading literary journals that are recent arrivals on the scene.

Mark Athitakis (moderator) is an NBCC board member whose reviews and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times Book Review, Washington City Paper, the New Republic, the Barnes & Noble Review, and numerous other publications. He has been a featured guest on book-related topics on Minnesota Public Radio and the Diane Rehm Show, and is founder of the literary blog American Fiction Notes. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

Uzoamaka Maduka is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of “The American Reader.” In 2013, she was named as one of Forbes' “30 Under 30” for media. She is the former online managing editor of Interview Magazine, and has also held positions with Verso, the London-based publishing house and affiliate of The New Left Review, and Slate.

Alex Shephard is a founding editor of Full Stop. He lives in Brooklyn.

Tom Lutz is the founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the author of Doing Nothing, Crying, Cosmopolitan Vistas, American Nervousness 1903, and other works. He has taught at several universities and now is in Creative Writing at UC Riverside.

Emily Cooke is an editor at the New Inquiry and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and n+1, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Panel: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing 
For the past three years, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts has been conducting a count of how many of the books reviewed by prominent publications were written by women and by men, and how many of the book reviews were assigned to female and male reviewers. The lopsided results have helped begin a conversation about gender bias in the literary world. How can we as book critics and editors address this issue?


Laurie Muchnick (moderator) is the book editor at Bloomberg News and president of the NBCC. She has previously been book editor at Newsday and an editor at the Voice Literary Supplement.

 Erin Belieu is the author of four poetry collections, all from Copper Canyon Press, including Slant Six, forthcoming in fall of 2014. Belieu's work has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Atlantic, Slate and Best American Poetry. Belieu is, with Cate Marvin, the co founder of VIDA: Women In Literary Arts. She teaches in the writing program at Florida State University and is Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers Conference.

Pamela Paul was named editor of The New York Times Book Review in April, having served as features editor and children's book editor. She is the author of three books, The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony, Pornified, and Parenting, Inc. She has written for the Atlantic, The Economist, Vogue, Time, The Washington Post and writes widely for other sections at the Times.

 Kathryn Schulz is the author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error and the book critic for New York Magazine. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME Magazine, the Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. In 2012, she won the National Book Critics Circle's Nona Balakian Prize for Excellence in Reviewing. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism, and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East. 

Rob Spillman is editor and co-founder of Tin House, a fifteen-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn and Portland) literary magazine. He is also the executive editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Literary Festival. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Worth, among other publications. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing.

Meg Wolitzer's novels include, most recently, The Interestings, as well as The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife, among others. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize.  Wolitzer has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Columbia University, Barnard College and SUNY Stony Brook Southampton. In the fall, along with singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, she will be a guest artist in the Princeton Atelier program at Princeton University. 



And also…

NBCC Presents: All’s Fair?: The Ethics of Book Reviewing*

Thursday, May 30 at 11:00 am
Book Expo America at the Javits Convention Center

Should book reviewers be required to follow a code of ethics, the way many other journalists do? The Society of Professional Journalists, for example, publishes a set of guidelines that are widely accepted in the newspaper industry, but book reviewers have no comparable code. Should there be one? If so, what should its rules be? How would it affect bloggers and moonlighting critics-novelists asked to write about fellow novelists, say, or experts asked to assess competitors in their field? Would such a code do anything to restrain the back-scratching and score-settling that can taint current reviews? The panelists will tackle these questions and others as part of an ongoing survey that the NBCC is conducting into ethics in 2013.
Panelists: Marcela Valdes (moderator), Maureen Corrigan (Fresh Air), Carlin Romano (Annenberg School for Communication), Parul Sehgal (New York Times Book Review), Eric Simonoff (William Morris Endeavor), and Lorin Stein (The Paris Review).
*This panel is not open to the public as it takes place within Book Expo, attendees must have a valid BEA badge to gain entry.