The Jewish and Israeli nonprofit The Natan Fund has created a literary award designed to support the creation of nonfiction books on Jewish topics. The award, which will be formally announced at an event in New York City this evening celebrating Natan's tenth anniversary, will deliver up to $50,000 to an author, given out in two stages--during the writing process, and then during the marketing and publicity process.
The Natan Book Award committee will be overseen by journlists (and Natan members) Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Franklin Foer, of The New Republic. At the event this evening, David Brooks, of The New York Times, will be announcing the award and outlining the application process.
Agent Simon Lipskar, of Writers House, who is involved with the award, told PW that he decided to participate because the pirze represents an important "new model." The key difference, he pointed out, is to award money to an author during the creation process. "Instead of giving out an award to a book that has already been published, they are awarding books during the writing stage and then building a customized marketing and publicity plan that leverages their relationships with both traditional and nontraditional Jewish organizations and people."