NBF Expands National Book Awards Eligibility Criteria

Posted on February 16, 2024

The National Book Foundation (NBF) has announced a change in eligibility criteria for the National Book Awards. The National Book Awards were previously open only to authors with U.S. citizenship. Eligibility will now also include authors who maintain their primary, long-term home in the United States, US territories, or Tribal lands.

The change will go into effect on March 13, 2024, which is also when submissions open for the 75th National Book Awards.

Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, says in the announcement, "The Foundation is eager to take this key step towards ensuring that the National Book Awards are welcoming to all writers living and working in the United States. As we reflect on the rich 75-year history of the National Book Awards and look to the future, we believe that the National Book Awards must celebrate the widest possible array of voices and stories published in the United States in order to continue bringing essential works to readers and communities across the country."

This is the new updated eligibility criteria for the National Book Awards.

To be eligible for the National Book Awards, books must be published by US publishers located in the United States. The publication date must be within the eligibility period of December 1, 2023 and November 30, 2024.

For the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature Awards, authors must either hold US citizenship or maintain their primary, long-term home in the United States, US territories, or Tribal lands, regardless of immigration status, at the commencement of the eligibility period for the current Awards cycle. For the Translated Literature Award, there are no citizenship or residency requirements for either author or translator.

The Pulitzer Prize Board also made a similar amendment to its eligibility last September.



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