On Wednesday evening, November 16, the book publishing community donned its finery and gathered at Cipriani’s Wall Street in Manhattan’s financial district for the National Book Awards, the first in-person NBA event since 2019. Our photographer caught up with the finalists for the Young People’s Literature prize, along with their editors, and also captured the award announcement. Click here to see our coverage of winner Sabaa Tahir’s acceptance speech. All photos by Nancy Crampton, except where noted.

Finalist Kelly Barnhill (l.), nominated for The Ogress and the Orphans, with her editor, Elise Howard, who recently retired as publisher of Algonquin Young Readers.

(From l): Simon Boughton, publishing director of Norton Young Readers, with Dawud Anyabwile, Tommie Smith, and Derrick Barnes, finalists for Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice.

Alessandra Balzer (l.), v-p and co-publisher of Balzer + Bray at HarperCollins, with finalist Sonora Reyes, nominated for The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School. Photo: Nora Reyes.

Shana Corey (l.), editorial director of Random House Books for Young Readers, and Lisa Yee, nominated for Maizy Chen’s Last Chance.

Yee chatting with Art Spiegelman, author of the frequently banned graphic memoir Maus, who was awarded the 2022 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Rūta Rimas (l.), executive editor at Razorbill, with her NBA-winning author Sabaa Tahir, who received the award for her YA novel All My Rage.

Author Lilliam Rivera, one of the judges for the Young People’s Literature prize, presented the award to Tahir on behalf of jury chair Jewell Parker Rhodes, who had to miss the ceremony because of illness.

In accepting her award, Tahir thanked “every librarian and educator and bookseller who has put my work into the hands of a young person who needs it.” And to her readers, she said, “You make me feel less alone. I have been a misfit and an outcast and lonely and lost, but when I write for you I am none of those things. I thank you with all my heart for that gift.”

All of this year’s NBA winners: (from l.) Imani Perry, Tess Gunty, John Keene, Sabaa Tahir, Samanta Schweblin, and Megan McDowell.