As announced in January, this year, for the first time since the 1970s, National Book Award judging panels will include not only writers but other literary experts. The 2013 panels will include past winners and finalists for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards as well as literary critics, a librarian, booksellers, and the vice president of a philanthropic foundation. “The expansion of the judging pool has given us an extraordinary diversity of voices on our panels,” said Harold Augenbraum, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We expect spirited discussions throughout the process.”

The 2013 National Book Awards judges are:


Charles Baxter was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction in 2000 for The Feast of Love. He has published five novels, six collections of short stories, three books of poetry, and nonfiction.

Gish Jen is the author of four novels and a collection of stories. She has received a Lannan Award in Fiction as well as a Harold and Mildred Strauss Living from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; she is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Charles McGrath is former editor of The New York Times Book Review and before that deputy editor at The New Yorker. He will chair the fiction panel.

Rick Simonson has been a bookseller at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington for over 35 years, and is presently senior buyer and co-director of the store's literary program.

René Steinke was a 2005 National Book Award Finalist in Fiction for her novel Holy Skirts. She is director of the MFA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey and former editor-in-chief of TLR.


Jabari Asim is the author of The N Word and What Obama Means. For many years, he was a book reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post. He is an associate professor of writing, literature, and publishing at Emerson College.

Andre Bernard is vice president and secretary of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Before taking up his current position, he was publisher at Harcourt.

M.G. Lord writes on popular culture, society, and technology. She is the author of The Accidental Feminist, Forever Barbie, and Astro Turf, a family memoir of Cold War aerospace culture, for which she received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant. She teaches writing at the University of Southern California.

Lauren Redniss was a Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Nonfiction for her book Radioactive.

Eric Sundquist is the author of To Wake the Nations, winner of the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association for best book published during the year, the Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for the best book in the humanities, and the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.


Nikky Finney won the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry for her book Head Off & Split. She has published three other books of poetry. She will chair the poetry panel.

Ada Limon’s first collection of poetry, Lucky Wreck, was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She is also the author of This Big Fake World, winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize, and Sharks in the Rivers.

D.A. Powell won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for his collection Useless Landscape: A Guide for Boys. His second collection, Lunch, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and his third book, Cocktails, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.

Jahan Ramazani is Edgar F. Shannon Professor at the University of Virginia. He co-edited The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

Craig Morgan Teicher is the author of Brenda Is In The Room And Other Poems, which was chosen for the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry. His collection of short stories and fables, called Cradle Book, was published in 2010 and his most recent book, To Keep Love Blurry: Poems, was published in 2013. He is Poetry Reviews Editor of Publishers Weekly.

Young People’s Literature

Deb Caletti was a National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature in 2004 for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, as well as the recipient of other numerous awards and honors, including a PEN USA finalist, the Washington State Book Award, and the SLJ Best Book award.

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults, including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, The Year of the Beasts, and Odd Duck. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, and a two-time MacDowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

Peter Glassman has been a bookseller for 38 years and is the founder and owner of Books of Wonder, one of the foremost bookstores in the country for young people's literature. He is also the author of three picture books and the editor of the Books of Wonder Classics, published by HarperCollins.

E. Lockhart was a Finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which was also a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and received the Cybils Award for best young adult novel.

Lisa Von Drasek is the curator of the Children's Literature Research Collections of the University of Minnesota. Prior to accepting this appointment, she was the Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Children's Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education in New York City.

The Foundation also noted that it has moved from its traditional paper entry form to a new online entry form for publishers to enter and pay for books to be submitted for the 2013 National Book Awards. The digital, on-line form will be open from April 1 to June 3.