Critical Notes

#NBCCAwards Season Begins

By Jane Ciabattari

Here's a toast to the NBCC Sandrof award winner John McPhee, Balakian winner Charles Finch, and John Leonard award winner Carmen Maria Machado, and all the NBCC awards finalists, selected at an eight-hour board meeting on Saturday (with one autobiography finalist, Roxane Gay's Hunger, already chosen by NBCC Members' in annual voting).

Our celebration kicked off Monday morning when Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones of Buzzfeed Books AM2DM announced the fiction finalists. (Saeed was a poetry finalist one year for his Prelude to Bruise.) Soon #NBCCAwards was trending on Twitter. Buzzfeed also posted on their website, plus a Buzzfeed Social thread.

Other press coverage:

Entertainment Weekly.

Tampa Bay Times.

AP's Hillel Italie in the Seattle Times. AP in the New York Times.

Publishers Weekly

LitHub. And another


Chicago Tribune.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune.


The Rumpus.

The Sewanee Review.

Medicine at Michigan.


The Millions.

Hindustan Times.

The Paris Review on Facebook: Congratulations to all the National Book Critics Circle Award finalists, including Kapka Kassabova, whose ‘Border’ is up for the nonfiction prize. Read an interview with her here.

Not to mention tweets from Carmen Maria Machado, the John Leonard award winner: 

*chokes on coffee*

And Charles Finch, the Balakian winner:

My face feels funny and I am so shocked and excited to have won an @bookcritics award. Gah. Thank any of you who ever read my criticism.

And @IowaCityofLit:

#IowaCity native Camille Dungy, Paul Engle Prize winner @rgay (back for @missioncreekIC in April), #BookFest reader Ken Whyte ALL NOMINATED for #NBCCAwards! AND @IowaWritersWksp grad @carmenmmachado wins the John Leonard Prize!  #AwardsTown #CityofLit

The celebration continues: The NBCC Awards finalists will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 6 pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York City, and the awards ceremony will be at the same location on  Thursday, March 15, at 6 pm. Both are free and open to the public. Tickets to the benefit after-party are $75, and may be purchased here. (NBCC members may purchase tickets in advance for $50.)