Join the NBCC

We offer several different types of memberships.

  • Voting Membershipis open to book review editors and book reviewers ($50 for freelance critics; $85 for staffers at institutions that support their membership, $70 if there are multiple memberships.)
  • Lifetime Voting Membershipis available for the one-time fee of $500.
  • Sustainer of the NBCCcan be either Voting (for reviewers and book review editors) or Nonvoting (all others) at $250/year.
  • Friend Membershipis open to literary agents, editors, publishers and others for $30/year.
  • Nonvoting Student Membershipsare available for $15.

    Select a membership level:

  • Voting Membership (Freelance Critic):$50
  • Voting Membership (members with staff positions at institutions that support their membership):$85
  • Voting Membership (members with staff positions at institutions that pay for multiple memberships):$70
  • Lifetime Voting Membership:$500
  • Voting Sustainer:$250
  • Sustainer of the NBCC:$250
  • Friend of the NBCC:$30
  • Student Membership:$15
  • Emerging CriticsInfo

If you would like to apply for membership and pay offline, download and print this page, fill it out completely, make out your check to the National Book Critics Circle, and send it to the address on the form. For renewals, follow the instructions above for your check payment. There is no need to fill out the form. Please make sure to include your email address on the form, even if you are renewing.

Current Membership Benefits

Membership Directory: Find and communicate with NBCC members

Review Publications Spreadsheet: Members have access to a crowd-sourced spreadsheet containing over 60 publications that publish reviews, with editor contact information, pay rates, and more.

NBCC Newsletter Archive Explore: NBCC history with scans of newsletters dating back to 1975, including awards deliberations and messages from past board members.

Unlock Subscription Discounts:

Agni: $20 for a 1-year subscription (regular price $23); $38 for a 2-year subscription (regular price $43); $53 for a 3-year subscription (regular price $59)

Bookforum: 1 year/5 issues for $15.00 in the US (regular price $18).

The Common: 15% discount on any subscription.

Harper’s: 12 issues for $10.50.  Subscribe now and save 87% off the cover price.  Plus, you’ll get access to the archive of every issue since 1850.  Special offer valid only for members of the National Book Critics Circle.

Kenyon Review: $10 off any subscription: $25 for a 1-year subscription (regular price $35); $50 for a 2-year subscription (regular price $60); $75 for a 3-year subscription (regular price $85).

New England Review: One-year subscription for $29, and a two-year subscription for $55.

Poetry: 50% off a one-year subscription to Poetry magazine.

Poets & Writers: 6 issues for $12 (down from $14.95).

A Public Space: 20% off anything, including subscriptions.

Virginia Quarterly Review: 20% off anything in their store, including subscriptions.

Tin House: 20% off books.

About NBCC Membership

Criticism has never been a more vital and necessary force than it is today. And since its founding in April of 1974, the National Book Critics Circle has worked to uplift, support, and celebrate the voices of book critics.

NBCC Book Awards

  • In March, we hold our NBCC finalists’ reading and awards ceremony in NYC where we celebrate the previous year’s outstanding books and authors. Both events are free and open to the public. After the awards ceremony, we hold a reception for the finalists (our only fundraiser) where members get discounted tickets. Check out this year’s finalists and winners here!
  • The NBCC awards the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing each year to recognize the outstanding work by a member of the NBCC. Members may nominate themselves in December for this award, which carries a $1,000 cash prize.
  • Any regular voting NBCC member can nominate titles for the John Leonard Award, given to an author for an outstanding first book in any genre. Members may serve on the John Leonard committee to read the finalists and vote on a winner.
  • Regular voting members may also nominate writers for the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the first president of the NBCC, the award is given annually to a person or institution—a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others—who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture.

NBCC in the Community

  • In the spring, we serve as a literary partner at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference, where we sponsor events and host a table.
  • Our annual membership meetingtakes place in March, where we convene a panel discussion about pertinent issues affecting the book review industry.
  • The NBCC sponsors events, panels and gatherings at regional conferences and book festivals around the country, everywhere NBCC members are found.

Fellowship Opportunities

  • In March, we accept applications for our Emerging Critics Fellowship, which 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. Over the one-year fellowship period, emerging critics will receive active mentorship from members of the NBCC board, membership to the NBCC, admission to NBCC events, and the annual reception.

NBCC Publications

  • Critical Notes, the weekly roundup published on our website, is chock full of industry news, as well as our members’ latest book reviews, author interviews, and other accomplishments. Our members’ work is publicized on Twitter and Facebook. Members also can contribute to NBCC Reads and other literary series published on the website, and volunteer to help with social media for the Online Committee.
  • Our NBCC Newswire, which comes out quarterly, provides our members with the minutes to NBCC board meetings and ballots for voting for full voting members.

Questions? Concerns?

Please do not hesitate to contact our Vice President of Membership, Anjali Enjeti at