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This year’s National Book Awards ceremony will be online-only after all.


September 24, 2021, 10:33am

In July, the National Book Foundation announced that the 2021  National Book Awards Ceremony would be held in person, with proof of vaccination required for guests. Now, due to ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus, the ceremony has been moved back online.

“Although we were cautiously optimistic about the opportunity to gather, the National Book Foundation Board and staff have carefully considered the options for this year’s National Book Awards and closely monitored best health and safety practices associated with COVID-19,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors, in a statement. “The National Book Awards have always been a unique—and sizable—event, with authors, publishers, and guests traveling from all over the country to attend. Given the current reality of the ongoing global pandemic, this year’s National Book Awards Ceremony will be a fully virtual event to best protect the health and safety of the book community. Regardless of this shift in event plans, there is so much to celebrate.”

The National Book Awards Finalist Reading will take place virtually on Tuesday, November 9; the Teen Press Conference will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 10. The 5 Under 35 Ceremony will now be held in the spring, beginning spring 2022, where it will honor two years of emerging fiction writers at a combined in-person ceremony (fingers crossed).

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