This year I have the honor of chairing the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre. This is not your typical literary prize—it's direct democracy in action. All members of the NBCC are encouraged to nominate and vote for their favorite first books published in 2015.
Please post nominations in the comments on the National Book Critics Circle Facebook page or Tweet them with the hashtag #NBCCLeonard. Members will also receive a SurveyMonkey form by email. #bythebooknerdsforthebooknerds
In 2013, the NBCC introduced the new John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre, named in honor of critic and NBCC founding member John Leonard. The first two recipients were Anthony Marra's “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” and Phil Klay's “Redeployment.” Unlike our other awards, the recipient of the Leonard Prize is chosen by a direct vote of all NBCC members.
To be eligible, a book must have been published in the United States in 2015, and it must be the author's first book. (A first novel by author who has already published a book of short stories or a memoir, for example, would NOT be eligible.)
In the coming days NBCC members will receive an e-mail with a link to a SurveyMonkey form on which you can nominate titles. The deadline for nominations is December 13.
The board will tabulate the results and compile a list of 10 titles, which will be sent to the membership to vote on for the prize. The winner will be announced in January and recognized at the awards ceremony on March 17.
Between now and the end of the year, we'll be sponsoring discussions on the NBCC's Facebook page and on Twitter (@bookcritics), with the hashtag #NBCCLeonard. Let the nominations begin!