Back to Blog

Three NCWN Members Long-Listed for National Book Awards

Three members of the North Carolina Writers’ Network have been long-listed for the 2021 National Book Awards.

Threa Almontaser has been nominated in Poetry for her collection, The Wild Fox of Yemen (Graywolf Press).

Jason Mott has been nominated in Fiction for his new novel, Hell of a Book (Dutton).

NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Carole Boston Weatherford has been nominated in Young People’s Literature for Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (Carolrhoda/Lerner), illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

The National Book Foundation will name five finalists in each of the five categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature—on October 5. The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony on November 17, which will once again be held in-person at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

For the complete long-list, click here.

Threa Almontaser is a N.C.-based Yemeni American writer from New York. She holds a M.F.A. in English Creative Writing and a TESOL Certification from N.C. State. Her first poetry collection, The Wild Fox of Yemen, arrived in April from Graywolf Press. She is the 2020 recipient of the Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets. Almontaser teaches English to immigrants and refugees in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was featured in a long interview in the Spring 2021 NCWN newsletter, The Writers’ Network News.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the author of two poetry collections and multiple novels, including The New York Times and USA Today bestselling The Returned, which was adapted for television under the title. “Resurrection” for the ABC Network. His newest novel, Hell Of A Book came out in June. He has taught at past NCWN conferences and contributed to the Fall 2021 NCWN newsletter, The Writers’ Network News.

New York Times bestselling author Carole Boston Weatherford recently released Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Baltimore-born and -raised, she composed her first poem in first grade and dictated the verse to her mother on the ride home from school. Her father, a high school printing teacher, printed some of her early poems on index cards. Since her literary debut with Juneteenth Jamboree in 1995, Weatherford’s books have received three Caldecott Honors, two NAACP Image Awards, an SCBWI Golden Kite Award, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and many other honors. Weatherford has received the Ragan-Rubin Award from the North Carolina English Teachers Association and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a professor at Fayetteville State University.

Established in 1950, the National Book Awards are American literary prizes administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of writers such as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Alice Walker, E. Annie Proulx, Jesmyn Ward, and Ta-Nehisi Coates have all won National Book Awards. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the Awards currently honor the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature, published each year.

For more about the National Book Foundation, click here.