annual National Book Award
The National Book Award for Nonfiction is one of five annual National Book Awards, which are given by the National Book Foundation to recognize outstanding literary work by U.S. citizens. They are awards "by writers to writers". The panelists are five "writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field".The original National Book Awards recognized the "Most Distinguished" biography and nonfiction books (two) of 1935 and 1936, and the "Favorite" nonfiction books of 1937 to 1940. The "Bookseller Discovery" and the "Most Original Book" sometimes recognized nonfiction. (See below.)
The general "Nonfiction" award was one of three when the National Book Awards were re-established in 1950 for 1949 publications, which the National Book Foundation considers the origin of its current Awards series.
From 1964 to 1983, under different administrators, there were multiple nonfiction categories.The current Nonfiction award recognizes one book written by a US citizen and published in the US from December 1 to November 30. The National Book Foundation accepts nominations from publishers until June 15, requires mailing nominated books to the panelists by August 1, and announces five finalists in October. The winner is announced on the day of the final ceremony in November. The award is $10,000 and a bronze sculpture; other finalists get $1000, a medal, and a citation written by the panel.
The sculpture by Louise Nevelson dates from the 1980 awards. The $10,000 and $1000 cash prizes and autumn recognition for current-year publications date from 1984.About 200 books were nominated for the 1984 award, when the single award for general nonfiction was restored.
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