Invitation to Candidates for Election to the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors


The 2022 National Book Critics Circle Awards, New School Auditorium, New York, New York, March 23, 2023. Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan

The National Book Critics Circle will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024, and we intend to build on our rich history to chart our course for the century ahead. The NBCC is distinguished by its independent spirit. Books from around the world are judged by book critics across the nation. There are no submission fees.

Each year, the membership of the NBCC is empowered to elect the organization’s board of directors, who have the honor of assessing books for our awards and contributing in many other ways to the literary community. These positions start in March 2024, and last for three years. We encourage all member critics, including those who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, with disabilities, and from historically resilient communities, to consider candidacy to the board.

Board members are responsible for everything from reading for our annual awards to crucial administrative work like managing the NBCC’s funds, applying for grants, and putting together our Critical Notes newsletter every week, as well as organizing new initiatives. This page is a detailed overview of what being an NBCC board member entails.

For members to get to know you better, we ask that candidates respond to the following set of questions. Please limit your answers to 500 words per question (shorter answers are also welcome) and submit your response by December 17th at Midnight, Pacific Time Zone on this Google Form.

1. Explain how your experience, background, and personal qualities would aid the work of the NBCC, an all-volunteer, non-profit, literary organization. We’re especially interested in any practical experience you may have had with other institutions, organizations, and colleagues that would make you an effective Board member.

2. Choose a book that was a finalist for or winner of an NBCC award – for Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Non-Fiction or Poetry – that best exemplifies your literary and aesthetic ideals as a critic.* Imagine that you are on the Board and advocating for this book and one of your colleagues – like you, an accomplished book critic – not only preferred another book, but opposed the one for which you are advocating. What approaches might you employ  to convince this colleague to reconsider?

3. What have you done to advance a culture of inclusion in the literary world or in other parts of your life?

Shortly after December 10th, we’ll send an email ballot out to all voting members, and voting will open. It will end on January 7th, at Midnight Pacific.

If you’d like more guidance or information on being a board member, feel free to reach out to or any board member. Thank you for considering being a candidate for the NBCC Board.

*Past board members or current board members standing for re-election: When answering this question, please remember to respect that all previous prize deliberations are confidential.