Presenter of the National Book Awards


Innovations in Reading Prize


The National Book Foundation’s 2016 Innovations in Reading Prize will award $10,000 to an individual or institution—or partnership between the two—that has developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading. In addition, the Foundation will select four honorable mentions. Applicants should be VITAL demonstrating vision, ingenuity, transformation, achievement & leadership.
Who is eligible?

All U.S. citizens and American institutions are eligible for this prize. Previous winners can apply for new initiatives.

Examples include:

  • After-school and community-based programs
  • Non-profits such as museums and libraries
  • Startups focused on reading and literature


What is the prize?
  • There are four honorable mentions, and one winner of a $10,000 prize.
  • Announcements via the press, social media, our eNewsletter, and on our website
  • An opportunity to present your work to a literary and professional audience (details TBD)
What are we looking for?

Applicants should share our mission to expand the audience for literature in America. We are less interested in programs focused on basic literacy.

We strongly encourage applicants to read about past winners to get a sense of programs we support.

Note: This is a prize, not a grant. The goal of the prize is to reward existing programs with evidence of success and encourage those programs to continue.

How is a winner chosen?

All applications will be reviewed by our Directors. Our Board members make the final selection, and announce the winner on May 2, 2016.

How do I apply?

You may submit your own application, or apply on behalf of another party (please notify the nominee you are submitting an application for the Innovations in Reading Prize on their behalf).

Complete the online application via the links below. Your progress will not be saved, so be sure to have all required materials prepared in advance.

You will need:

  • Contact information for the nominee, references, etc.

  • Two reference letters from individuals familiar with the work of the nominee (if you are applying for someone else, you can write one of the reference letters)

  • A 500-word essay that explains why the nominee deserves the Innovations in Reading Prize.


Please direct any questions about the application process to Amy Gall,


Sponsored by: Levenger Foundation

The deadline for all applications is end of day, February 29, 2016. Apply Now.