Next Steps for #NBCCLeonard Award Judging

By Gregg Barrios

Leonard Prize Judges: The NBCC 2018 John Leonard Prize finalists have been chosen. Here is this year’s excellent list. 

FRIDAY BLACK by Nana Kwami Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner)

A LUCKY MAN by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)

THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead)

ASYMMETRY: A NOVEL by Lisa Halliday (Simon and Schuster) 

THE INCENDIARIES by R.O. Kwon (Riverhead)                                                                                      

THERE THERE by Tommy Orange (Knopf) 

EDUCATED: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House)

Your work as a Leonard Prize reader/judge begins. We ask that you give each of the finalists a fair and honest reading.  To accomplish this in a month’s reading, we have secured e-galleys and PDFs of these finalists through the cooperation of their publishers. These can be read on your Kindle or other e-book device or computer. Attached to the email packet sent today, you will find a widget or a PDF for each finalist. To access the widgets, you must sign in or create a free account at Then click on the widget. Netgalley will ask for your account name and password. You then have access to that book. 

For the finalists that are PDFs, you don’t have to use Netgalley. Instead load the PDF into your Kindle or other e-book device. If you are using a computer, click on the PDF to read. We ask that you use your discretion with this copyrighted material and not share or forward any of these widgets or PDFs. 

You have until January 14, 2019 to select one book as the best. Prior to this deadline, we will send you a survey / ballot on January 9, 2019 to cast your vote for one book. All ballots must be received by 6 pm EST on January 14, 2019. 

Enjoy these amazing debut books. Your volunteering for this undertaking is much appreciated. It also provides the membership in having a vote in selecting the winner of the 2018 John Leonard Prize that will be announced on January 21, 2019 as will the finalists in our other award categories. The John Leonard Prize will be presented at the NBCC Awards Ceremony at The New School in New York City on March 14, 2019.

Without further ado, Let the reading begin!                                                                                                                               

PS If you encounter any problems in accessing any of the books, please send me a brief note and I will forward it to our tech person to provide you with a prompt reply.