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Awards

National Book Award Winners for 2014

nationalbookawardPhil Klay has won the Fiction award for his book Redeployment from The Penguin Press/Penguin Group (USA).

Evan Osnos has won the Nonfiction award for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Louise Gluck won the Poetry award for Faithful and Virtuous Night from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

The Young People’s Literature award went to Jacqueline Woodson for Brown Girl Dreaming from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

The National Book Award winners for 2014 were revealed tonight. If you want to read all the finalists, we’ve collected free samples of the finalists in all the categories below. Who was your favorite this year?

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Neil Gaiman & Ursula Le Guin at the National Book Awards

ursula_leguinAuthor Neil Gaiman presented the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Ursula Le K. Le Guin at the National Book Awards this evening.

Before tonight, the two had only met once in an elevator at a sci-fi writer’s conference more than two decades ago in the Midwest. They were on an elevator together and she asked him, ”Are there any room parties tonight that you know of?”  and he replied, “I don’t know.”

While Gaiman had never met LeGuin in person, her work played a huge role in influencing his writing. As a young writer, Gaiman couldn’t figure out how to copy her style as he did with other writers because her work was so “clean.” So he cheated and read her essays on writing to help inform his own writing when he was a young writer.

“She raised my consciousness,” he said explaining that she opened his eyes to women’s issues. “She made me a better writer and much more importantly, she made me a better person who wrote.” Read more

National Book Award Nominees Share Writing Advice

nbaGalleyCat is at the 65th annual National Book Awards tonight in New York. We have been speaking with the nominees about their advice for writers.

Maureen N. McLean, the nominee in the poetry category for This Blue said: “Have open ears and read dead writers because they are channeling sounds that are still alive and they might attune you to things in the air that aren’t necessarily on the web or on TV or on a video game. English is a huge big weird language and why not swim in it.”

Steve Sheinkin, Young People’s Literature nominee, for his book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights told us that the goal is: “to get to that point where you just show it to somebody. Everyone will always tell you, ‘you have to write every day,’ so you know that. But what really accelerates the improvement, is getting past that fear of showing it to somebody and really listening to what they say open-mindedly. It will be so much better after two or three smart and trusted readers have given you feedback and the whole rest of the world will never know that it was bad to begin with.” Read more

What Makes an Award Winning Book?

sharondraperWhat makes for an award winning book? Author/teacher Sharon M. Draper, the chair of committee of judges for the Young People’s Literature, says that it is all about “the language, the charters, the imagery, the history.”

We caught up with Draper at the National Book Awards ceremony where she let us in on how the committee went about selecting books for the category. Faced with 294 submissions, the team set out to find “books that were compelling, books that were lasting, books that young people would want to read over and over again,” Draper explains.

“It is almost indescribable what makes an excellent book, but you know it when you read it and you just say, ‘this one is something that is worthwhile,” concludes Draper. “I used to be a teacher, so I know what young people do, I write for young people so I kind of know what they are looking for and what they like and what they’ll reject.”

The National Book Awards is Tonight

nationalbookawardTonight is the National Book Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. GalleyCat will be covering the event live on our GalleyCat Twitter feed and on this blog. You can also watch a live webcast of the event at this link.

At the ceremony last year, this GalleyCat editor interviewed author E.L. Doctorow, as well as authors Gene Luen YangWendy Lower and Tom McNeal, and they all shared their advice for writers.

Below, we’ve linked to free samples of all the National Book Awards finalists. Read more

Thomas Piketty Wins the 2014 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

CapitalThomas Piketty won the 2014 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year for his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty earned a £30,000 (about $48,711) prize, and the other shortlisted authors received £10,000 (about $16,237).

According to the press release, “the book is an account of the historical evolution of inequality in advanced economies, presenting key economic and social patterns uncovered through an analysis of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century.” Follow this link to watch Piketty’s TED talk.

We’ve posted the entire short list below. Lionel Barber, an editor for the Financial Times, served as the chair for the judging panel. Other members of this group include Steve CollSteven Denning, Mohamed El-ErianHerminia IbarraRik Kirkland, and Shriti Vadera.

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Barack Obama to Honor 3 Writers With the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama (pictured, via) will present 19 individuals with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

According to the White House blog, this award is considered to be “our Nation’s highest civilian honor.” The people within this group work in a broad range of fields such as activism, art, politics, science, and of course writing.

The authors who have been recognized with this award include Isabel Allende, Tom Brokaw, and Marlo Thomas. A ceremony will be held at the White House on November 24, 2014.

Amazon Editors Choose Their Best Books of 2014

amazon130Amazon has revealed their picks for Best Books of 2014, a list led by Celeste Ng, Stephen King, and Liane MoriartyFollow this link to see the full list of 100 titles.

According to the press release, the editorial team chose the top 10 from a pool of 480 books. We’ve reprinted the top 10 books below.
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Opening Round Begins For The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards

goodreads 2014Bibliophiles can make their voices heard on some of their favorite books that were published this year. Opening round has begun for The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.

Goodreads users can submit their votes in 20 different categories: fiction, mystery & thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, humor, nonfiction, memoir & autobiography, history & biography, business books, food & cookbooks, comics & graphic novels, poetry, debut Goodreads author, young adult fiction, young adult fantasy, middle grade & children’s, and picture books. Each category contains 15 nominees. Readers also have the option to write-in votes. Click here to learn about the full details

This initial period will run from November 3rd to 8th. The second period, the semifinal round, will follow from November 10th to 15th. At the end, the final round will last from November 17th to November 24th. The winning titles will be unveiled on December 2nd. Past winners include The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (fiction), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (mystery & thriller), and Allegiant by Veronica Roth (young adult fantasy).

GalleyCat Exclusive: NY Times Unveils 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year List

unnamedThe New York Times Book Review has unveiled its annual list of the “10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books” of the year.

Shelf Awareness children’s editor Jennifer M. Brown, Caldecott Medal-winning artist Brian Floca, and Caldecott Medal recipient Jerry Pinkney sat on this year’s judging panel. See the complete list below.

Here’s more from the press release: “Since 1952, the Book Review has convened an independent panel of three judges from the world of children’s literature to select picture books on the basis of artistic merit. Each year, judges choose from among thousands of picture books for what is the only annual award of its kind. Lists of past winners of the Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award can be found on NYTimes.com/Books, along with a slide show of this year’s winners.”

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