Presenter of the National Book Awards





The National Book Foundation's 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize will award $10,000 to an individual or organization that has developed an innovative project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading in the community they serve. In addition, the Foundation will recognize four projects, which will receive honorable mention. 

Due to technical issues, the application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 1 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific).

If you have questions, please contact Benjamin Samuel at or call 212-685-0261.

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 newsletter, and on our website
What are we looking for?

Applicants should share our mission to expand the audience for literature in America. We are most interested in programs that focus on reading, rather than strictly literacy skills.

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?

Applications will be reviewed and selected by National Book Foundation staff and members of our Board of Directors. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2017

How do I apply?

You may submit your own application, or nominate an organization or individual's project (please notify the nominee you are submitting an application for the Innovations in Reading Prize on their behalf).

Complete the online application via the link below.

You will need:

  • Contact information and organizational details

  • Two reference letters from individuals familiar with the work of the applicant (if you are nominating an organization or individual, you can write one of the reference letters)

  • Several short narratives, including a description of the work, its impact, and how the prize money would be used.


Please direct any questions about the application process to Benjamin Samuel,

Sponsored by: Levenger Foundation