The National Book Foundation
announced changes in how the National Book Awards are reviewed and selected. After getting input from the book community and hiring an outside consulting firm, the foundation decided that it will broaden the reach and impact of the awards. From here on out the Foundation will select a long list of ten titles in each of the four award categories. The long list book swill be announced five weeks before the finalists are announced.
For this year, the long lists consisting of 40 titles will be announced on September 12th, 2013. The 20 finalists will be announced on October 15th and the four National Book Award Winners on November 20th. The awards are given annually to the best American books published in each of four genres – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People's Literature.
David Steinberger, Chairman of The National Book Foundation Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of The Perseus Books Group said,
"Our mission is to increase the impact of great writing on American culture and these changes are concrete steps to further that mission."
"Every year many worthy titles don't make it all the way to becoming Finalists. The Long-List will allow us to recognize more good books and broaden the conversation," said Morgan Entrekin, Vice Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Directors and Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Grove Atlantic.
The judging panels are also changing. Judges will no longer have to be writers.
Judges may include other experts in the field including literary critics, librarians, and booksellers. There are five judges on each panel.