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Northern California Book Awards



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BOOK REVIEWERS (NCBR), a volunteer group of book reviewers, book review editors, children’s book librarians, and book media hosts who read passionately and write about reading, have met regularly since 1981 to recommend and celebrate books by presenting the Northern California Book Awards. (See the NCBA 2020 page for a complete list of finalists and winners.)

If large in-person events can safely be held, the 40th Annual Northern California Book Awards will take place San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, date to be determined. Otherwise, the NCBAs will be presented by Webinar, with free registration, open to the public, featuring links for online book sales. The NCBAs honor the work of northern California authors and translators, and recognize exceptional service to the community by northern California writers and literary leaders through the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award and NCBR Recognition Award. The Fred Cody Award-winner receives a $1,000 honorarium.

All of the nominated books, the NCBR Recommended Reading List of Books, will be acknowledged and celebrated at the ceremony. Eligible books are considered in Fiction, General Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation (Poetry and Fiction), and Children's Literature (Younger Readers, Middle Grade, Older Readers/Young Adult).

The Northern California Book Awards are co-sponsored by the Northern California Book Reviewers, Poetry Flash (Poetryflash.org), San Francisco Public Library (sfpl.org), and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library(www.friendssfpl.org), with Mechanics' Institute Library (www.milibrary.org), Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter (wnba-sfchapter.org), and Pen West.

Poetry Flash is the organizational home, awards producer, and fiscal sponsor for the Northern California Book Awards and NCBR. Poetry Flash, literary review and calendar, and literary event presenter, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Poetry Flash builds community through literary publishing and presenting.

Thanks to all of the members of the Northern California Book Reviewers, a volunteer association.

Submission Guidelines for Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Translation, and Children's Literature
Books written by authors based in northern California and published for the first time in 2020 are eligible for nomination. In the case of translations, the translator must live in northern California. In the case of children's picture books, the author of the text must live or be based in northern California. Authors may divide their time between two locales, e.g.: "She divides her time between San Francisco and Paris."

For this purpose, northern California includes Fresno and Big Sur. There are no fees or forms. Either the publisher or the author may send books for consideration.

Send three copies of each title to be considered by January 10, 2021. Earlier submissions are encouraged. Mail to: Northern California Book Awards, 1450 Fourth Street #4, Berkeley, CA 94710.

Join the Northern California Book Reviewers
Nominating committees in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction (General and Creative), Children's Literature (Younger Readers, Middle Grade, Older Readers/Young Adult), and Translation (Poetry and Fiction) read books by northern California authors. Eligible reviewers are always welcome. Active reviewers based anywhere in northern California are encouraged to join us. Prospective members must have published three reviews in an established online or print publication. Editors at newspapers and other periodicals that publish book reviews are encouraged to join. Children’s librarians, book media hosts, and other book professionals who recommend and write about books are also eligible for membership.

Annual NCBR member dues are $25. The reading takes place over the winter and spring; you need not attend meetings to participate. Please contact Joyce Jenkins, editor@poetryflash.org, (510) 612-3958 or (510) 525-5476.

Become a Sponsor or Friend
To support this work with a tax-deductible donation, send a check to Poetry Flash, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, earmarked for the NCBA, to Poetry Flash/NCBR, 1450 Fourth Street, #4, Berkeley, CA 94710. Or donate at poetryflash.org/give, noting that your gift be directed to the book awards. For more information, email NCBR@poetryflash.org.

If you represent a literary arts organization, media, or business, consider becoming a sponsor of the Northern California Book Awards. Your organization can be included in our list of sponsors. For a $500 contribution to the awards process, ceremony, and reception, your organization's name will appear on NCBA posters, postcards, flyers, and the event program. [The NCBA event program features a précis statement on each nominated title.] You will be asked to spread the word about the NCBA to your members, and to send invitations and notice of the awards and nominated books and authors to your organizational lists. Please contact NCBR@poetryflash.org for $250 sponsorship opportunities. The NCBR membership reserves the right to approve sponsorship requests.

The Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award is an annual $1,000 award honoring iconic northern California literary figures who continue the community building legacy of NCBR co-founder and legendary bookseller Fred Cody. To contribute to the Fred Cody Award Fund, please contact Joyce Jenkins, NCBR@poetryflash.org or editor@poetryflash.org, (510) 612-3958, or Frances Phillips, frances@haassr.org.

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