March 19, 2018

Here are the judges for the 2018 National Book Awards


The National Book Foundation announced this week that they’ve opened the submission process for the 2018 National Book Awards, and released the list of twenty-five judges who will be deciding the nominees across five categories.

The judges consist of a group of book people (Sidenote: What’s the collective noun for that? “A dog-ear of book people,” maybe?) that includes writers, editors, booksellers, academics, critics, and translators. In short, the judges are from a wide array of professional backgrounds, and each will each bring their own expertise to the process.

Sydney Jarrard of the American Booksellers Association explains how the nomination process works: “The judges will select 50 longlist titles (10 per category),which will be announced in mid-September. The 25 finalists will be announced on October 10, and winners in all five categories will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 14.”  The five categories consist of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the newly-created category of Translated Literature.

Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, expressed her faith in the judges selected for this year: “The judging process for the National Book Awards is a serious undertaking. We have full confidence that this year’s panelists will pull from their deep wells of expertise to make their decision with enthusiastic and skilled discernment.”

And without further ado, here are your judges for the 2018 NBA Awards are:

Fiction: Laila Lalami, Chris Bachelder, Min Jin Lee, Laurie Muchnick, Chinelo Okparanta

Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-Reed, Rachel Cass, John Freeman, Sarah Manguso, Andrés Resendéz

Poetry: Mary Jo Bang, Stephen Sparks, Ken Chen, Elise Paschen, Danez Smith

Translated Literature: Harold Augenbraum, Karen Maeda Allman, Sinan Antoon, Susan Bernofsky, Álvaro Enrigue

Young People’s Literature: Robin Benway, Valerie Koehler, Lamar Giles, Grace Worcester Greene, Mitali Perkins



Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.