In support of its effort to promote literature to diverse audiences, the National Book Foundation seeks applications from individuals and institutions that demonstrate a similar commitment. The most important criteria for selecting winners are creativity, risk-taking, and a visionary quality, as well as a novel way of presenting books and literature. The Prize is less focused on the promotion of basic literacy and the pedagogy of reading than on the promotion of literary reading.
Applications for the Innovations in Reading Prize are available for completion online.
To download the 2012 Innovations in Reading Prize application and to view all previous winners, visit
Questions should be directed to Katie McDonough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winners will be announced to the public on May 9, 2012 and featured in an article to be included in the Foundation's monthly eNewsletter, posted on Facebook, and tweeted to over 185,000 followers, as well as published on a special Innovations in Reading page on the National Book Foundation's website. Winners will also receive an all-expenses-
Over the course of three years, the Foundation has received over 400 applications from all across the country. Innovations in Reading Prize winners have included a teacher in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a Sunday School teacher who started a library for the community at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in rural Hopkins, South Carolina; ReadKiddoRead, an online resource created by best-selling author James Patterson and literary consultant Judy Freeman that helps parents, teachers, and librarians identify books for kids; Burton Freeman, a retired attorney, whose My Own Book program helps inner-city New York students build their own private libraries; the Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, which dropped the Dewey Decimal System and replaced it with a more user-friendly system; Electric Literature/Electric Publisher, an upstart publishing company and literary journal out of Brooklyn, New York that uses new media and innovative distribution methods to keep storytelling a vital force in popular culture; and the Young Adult Review Network (YARN), an online journal based in Weston, Massachusetts that showcases work by teen writers alongside that of established authors to elevate the YA genre.
Innovations in Reading is supported by a generous grant from Levenger.
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The Mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. In addition to the National Book Awards, the Foundation’s programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of young fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners; the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, an opportunity for students across the country to interview the current National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature; the Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading; and BookUp, an after-school reading club for middle- and high-school students, which is run in New York City and Bryan, Texas.
About the National Book Awards
One of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes, the National Book Award has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years. Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich. On November 16, 2011, the Winners of the 62nd National Book Awards were announced: Jesmyn Ward for Fiction; Stephen Greenblatt for Nonfiction; Nikky Finney for Poetry; and Thanhha Lai for Young People’s Literature.
The 63rd National Book Awards will take place on November 14, 2012.