The National Book Award has changed the way they announce their longlists. Everyday this week they’ll announce a different category, starting with Young People’s Literature on Monday, followed by Poetry and Nonfiction, and ending with Fiction on Thursday. Some say this is to create more buzz around the award, which has garnered some criticism in the past for nominating only obscure titles. This year, in order to generate more reader-friendly buzz, they’ve added librarians, booksellers, and critics to the judging panel. The shortlists, which announce in mid-October will be more telling, but for now their four-day roll out of nominees is keeping interest. Check out the longlists this week. Winners announce in November.
In other National Book Foundation news the best 5 under 35 were announced on Friday. This year the big buzz surrounding honorees is that all five writers are women. With gender debates regarding how few women are published in literary circles compared to men — a campaign loudly spearheaded by organization VIDA and women writers like Jennifer Weiner — this was a welcome list of talented authors. While the writers on this list were certainly recognized on work alone, the gender distribution of honorees did garner some interesting press.
Update (9/23/13): check out the full list of nominees!