National Book Award

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The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards.[1][2] Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prior year. In 1988 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book Awards [3], was established. The mission of the National Book Foundation is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America."[3] The ceremony is held each year at The New School in Greenwich Village, New York City.

National Book Awards are given in each of four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. Awards have been given in various other categories since 1950, but they have since been retired or subsumed into the remaining categories. The National Book Foundation also presents two lifetime achievement awards each year: the "Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award."[3]

Only publishers can submit books for the National Book Award. Each category is overseen by an independent and expert five-member judging panel. Panels typically consider hundreds of books per category each year. A total of twenty Finalists (five per category) are announced in October. A chair from each panel announces the Winner during the "The National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner" held in November. Winners each receive a $10,000 cash prize and a bronze sculpture; Finalists each receive $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel jury.[4]


Winners of the National Book Awards

Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

The "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" (DCAL) is a lifetime achievement award. The medal comes with a cash prize of $10,000. The recipient is a person who "has enriched American literary heritage over a life of service, or a corpus of work."[5]

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