Emerging Critics

Applications for 2021-2022 Emerging Critics Fellowship Now Open

By Heather Scott Partington

The National Book Critics Circle is seeking applications for the 2021-2022 Emerging Critics Fellowship. The fellowship seeks to identify, nurture, and support the development of the next generation of book critics.


Critics of all ages who seek to review and write about books for print and digital outlets are eligible for the fellowship. Applicants may or may not have previously published book reviews. The NBCC seeks a broad range of diverse applicants, especially those who have demonstrated a genuine interest and commitment to engaging in a critical conversation about books.


Over the course of the one-year fellowship, emerging critics will receive:

 —An opportunity to partake in the ongoing conversation about the craft of reviewing, and ethical questions and concerns emerging as the publishing landscape changes.

 —Active mentorship from members of the NBCC board. This includes Zoom sessions on topics including the craft of writing reviews, ethics and professionalism, the business of freelancing, and more. Board members are also individually available for advice on drafts as well as counsel regarding career development.

 —Access to NBCC blog Critical Mass, as contributors of both original work and previously published work in a weekly roundup.

—Dues-free membership to the NBCC, admission to NBCC events, professional development, and annual reception for one academic year.


Please submit a resume, three writing samples, a 300-500-word statement of purpose, and names/contact information for two references here.


Applications are due by Friday, May 21, 2021.


Fellows will be announced on Friday, July 2, 2021.The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a  national conversation about reading, criticism and literature, with nearly 1,000 member critics, literary bloggers and student members. The NBCC Awards are given annually in March to honor the best literature published in the United States. Learn more about the organization at