Each year the National Book Foundation (NBF) brings together the American literary community to recognize excellent writing in four different genre categories and merit those authors with the National Book Awards (NBA). For the past 10 years the National Book Awards has been bringing its finalists to colleges around the nation, and this year the organization has partnered with Rollins College; we are now the NBF’s sole representative in the Southeast.
On February 25, Rollins will have the opportunity to welcome two authors who have gained recognition from the NBF. The NBF awards this literary prize to one author in each of the following categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. 20 judges are selected by the Foundation to decide on the awardee. Their Foundation’s goal is to reach out to readers everywhere and encourage the value of writing in America. Rollins’ new partnership with the NBF allows both students and professors the chance to have a personal encounter with two of the winners during Winter With the Writers ’16. Rollins College English Professor and director of Winter With the Writers Dr. Carol Frost, as well as the executive director of NBF Harold Augenbraum, will decide together who among the finalists will speak at Rollins, including participating in book signings, interviews, and holding a Master Class during Winter With the Writers.
“The mission of the National Book Awards mirrors the mission of Winter With the Writers—to celebrate the best of literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America,” said Frost. “Essentially, we’ll be joining forces with a high-profile institution to give to the Rollins community and the communities of Winter Park and Central Florida an even greater sense of literary excellence.”
Frost states that she has previously been a judge for the National Book Awards and held a similar position for other literary programs. “I’ve found that making literary choices is nearly always interesting, sometimes confounding, and also exciting. I’m very pleased with the overall caliber of writers coming to our 2016 literary festival.”
Rollins students are especially looking forward to attending Winter With the Writers this year and meeting the National Book Awards finalists. English Major Barbara Padilla ’18 stated, “I feel really excited because the reason that I came to Rollins was for the writing program. I heard it was the best, and it’s awesome to know that authors who are recognized for being the best are going to be here”.
She expressed an interest in reading novels awarded with titles such as the NBA and is looking forward to meeting the authors of those novels personally.
“I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about their work and their inspiration and techniques.”
As well as the two NBA finalists, Rollins will be welcoming other widely recognized authors during Winter With the Writers. On February 4, Antonio Skàrmeta, a Chilean novelist, screenwriter, and diplomat will be visiting; on February 11, Philip F. Deaver, Rollins College English professor, author, and poet; and on February 18, Chase Twichell, the author of seven books for poetry and an Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing.
According to Frost, Rollins will definitely have more literary opportunities to look forward to in the future, not only due to this new partnership, but also because of Winter With the Writers inviting superb writers.
“The NBA connection makes our literary presence a bit larger and Rollins College’s long devotion to contemporary literature more visible on the national stage.”