What is the National Book Award? Oh, I am so glad you asked! Let me tell you! I love their mission statement right away when you click on their website,
“The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature published in the United States, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in our culture.”
Celebrate literature published within the U.S.
Expand its audience
Ensure that these books have a prominent place in our culture
The winners and finalists receive a medal to be placed on the cover of their book.
Photo from nationalbook.org
There are multiple categories for receiving a National Book Award including, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. The 2023 National Book Award will be announced next month! The 2022 National Book Award Fictional Writing Award was given to Tess Gunty for her book The Rabbit Hutch.
The Pulitzer Prize, what is it? There are multiple categories and mediums that one can win a Pulitzer Prize, but in writing specifically, there are prizes for writing pieces of biography, drama, fiction, non-fiction, history, memoir or autobiography, and poetry.
The Pulitzer Prize started because Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, left money to Columbia University in his will to accomplish two goals, create a journalism school, and establish the Pulitzer Prize. In each category, the award focuses on American writers and books about America. For example, a book that wins in the history category for a Pulitzer Prize must be a historically accurate book of the history of the United States. The biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs that win Pulitzer Prizes must be written by American authors.
So when you pick up a book off the bookshelf and see a Pulitzer Prize medal on the front, what does that mean?
It means that you are reading a book by an American writer that is exceptional work, above all of the other applicants who sent in their work.