How We’ll Pick This Year’s #NBCCLeonard Award

By Daniel Akst

This year we’ve changed how we’ll choose the winner of the John Leonard Prize,  and since NBCC members have been asking how the process will work, let me take a moment here to lay it out. 

As ever, the Leonard prize is for the best first book in any genre. As in years past, we’re using SurveyMonkey to enable any NBCC member to nominate eligible books. That survey just went out; nominations will close at 10 a.m. EST on Nov. 28, so please get going and make your picks!

Once the survey is closed, the half dozen or so books with the most nominations will be designated as finalists (the actual number of finalists may vary a bit based on ties etc). Here’s where the new part comes in: At this point NBCC members who’ve volunteered for our new Leonard voting committee will have four to six weeks to read those books and vote on a winner. Members of this panel have solemnly pledged to read all the books, and we look forward to their informed judgement. 

The panel is open to any full voting member of the NBCC who is willing to make the commitment. I’m pleased to report that nearly 50 members have signed up for this committee, which will remain open to new volunteers until 10 a.m. EST this Friday, Nov. 18.