Dave Eggers, Valeria Luiselli and more will judge the 2017 National Book Awards


Dave Eggers, Valeria Luiselli, Jacqueline Woodson and Nick Flynn are among those who will be judging the 2017 National Book Awards.

The National Book Foundation announced the new roster of 20 judges Monday. They include authors, some whom are previous National Book Award winners and finalists, and booksellers and critics.

The National Book Awards are among the most prominent literary prizes in the U.S. Established in 1950, they are awarded each year in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature.


National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas praised “the enormous scope of talent” the judges bring to the awards.

“We are all looking forward to celebrating the next set of longlist, finalist, and winning titles selected by our esteemed judges,” Lucas said in a news release.

The foundation also announced that publishers could begin nominating books on Monday. In the past, the first date for submissions was in early April.

David Steinberger, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said the date was changed to give judges more time to deliberate over nominees.

“Judging is hard and important work, and with an increasing number of books submitted by publishers, we are happy to provide as much assistance as possible to the judges,” he said.

The deadline for submissions, May 17, remains similar to the one in past years.

The judges for next year’s fiction award include Eggers; Woodson; authors Karolina Waclawiak and Alexander Chee, an L.A. Times critic at large; and bookstore owner Annie Philbrick.


The nonfiction panel includes Luiselli, a two-time L.A. Times Book Prize winner; writers Jeff Chang, Ruth Franklin and Paula J. Giddings; and Steve Bercu, who co-owns the independent bookstore Book People in Austin, Texas.

Judging the poetry award will be Flynn and fellow poets Jane Mead, Gregory Pardlo, Richard Siken and Monica Youn.

The young people’s literature category will be judged by authors Brendan Kiely, Kekla Magoon, Meg Medina and Alex Sanchez, in addition to bookstore owner Suzanna Hermans.

The longlists for the National Book Awards, 10 books in each category, will be announced the week of Sept. 12, with the shortlists revealed Oct. 4. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 15.