Northern California Book Awards

(Formerly Bay Area Book Reviewers Association/BABRA)

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BOOK REVIEWERS (NCBR), a volunteer group of book reviewers, book review editors, and book media hosts who read passionately and write about reading, have met regularly since 1981 to recommend and celebrate books by presenting the Northern California Book Awards. (See 2016 NCBA page for the complete list of the finalists and winners for the 2016 NCBA celebrating books published in 2015.)

The 36th Annual Northern California Book Awards will take place in spring 2017 at Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, date to be announced. The NCBA honor the work of northern California authors and translators, and recognize exceptional service to the community by northern California writers and literary leaders through the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award and NCBR Recognition Award. The Fred Cody Award-winner receives a $1,000 honorarium; Award-winners in other categories receive a $100 check. Nominated books are on sale for book signing at the event.

The awards ceremony and reception are presented by the Northern California Book Reviewers and Poetry Flash, co-sponsored by PEN West, Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room (, Women's National Book Association-SF Chapter (, San Francisco Public Library, and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (

Poetry Flash is the organizational home, awards producer, and fiscal sponsor for the Northern California Book Awards and NCBR. Poetry Flash, literary review and calendar for California and the West and a presenter of literary events, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Columbia Foundation, Words of the World Fund, Frances Phillips, Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada (literary agents), and Laura Sheppard of the Mechanics' Institute. We also thank Wanda Sabir of for online radio and media support. Thanks to the members of PEN West, and to all of the members of the NCBR.

Eligible Books

Submission Guidelines for Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Translation, and Children's Literature
Books written by authors based in northern California and published for the first time in the given year (2016) are eligible for nomination. In the case of translations, the translator must live in northern California. In the case of children's picture books, the author of the text must live or be based in northern California. Authors may divide their time between two locales, e.g.: "She divides her time between San Francisco and Paris."

For this purpose, northern California includes Fresno and Big Sur. There are no fees or forms. Either the publisher or the author may send books for consideration.

Send three copies of each title by December 31, 2016. The books should arrive in the first week of January 2017. Mail to: Northern California Book Awards, 1450 Fourth Street #4, Berkeley, CA 94710

Join Northern California Book Reviewers
Throughout the year, nominating committees in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction (General and Creative), Children's Literature, and Translation read books by northern California authors.

Reviewers are always welcome to join Northern California Book Reviewers. Active reviewers based anywhere in northern California are welcome in all categories. Prospective members must have published three reviews in an established online or print publication.

Editors at newspapers and other periodicals that publish book reviews are also encouraged to join. Librarians, book media hosts, and other book professionals who recommend and write about books may be eligible for membership.

Annual NCBR dues are $25. Meetings are held in the winter and spring in San Francisco and Berkeley; you need not attend meetings to participate. Please contact Joyce Jenkins,, (510) 525-5476.

Become a Sponsor, Support NCBA
Friends of NCBR are non-nominating and non-voting members who support NCBR and/or help with the annual Awards Ceremony. To support this work with a tax-deductible donation, send a check to Poetry Flash, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, earmarked for the Book Awards, or donate via PayPal on this site (, noting that your gift should be applied to the book awards. For more information, email

If you represent a literary arts organization, media, or business, please consider becoming a sponsor of the Northern California Book Awards. For a $250 contribution to the awards ceremony and reception, your organization will be included in our list of sponsors. Your organization's name will appear on NCBA posters, postcards, flyers, and event program, which also features a review of every nominated title. You will also be asked to spread the word about the NCBA to your members, and to send invitations and notice of the awards and nominated books and authors to your organizational lists. The NCBR membership reserves the right to approve sponsorship requests.

Contributions to NCBR/Northern California Book Awards are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Checks may be made to Poetry Flash/NCBR and mailed to 1450 Fourth Street, #4, Berkeley, CA 94710.

The Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award Fund is a donor advised fund managed by East Bay Community Foundation. To support the legacy of this award honoring NCBR founder, book reviewer, and legendary bookseller Fred Cody, please contact Joyce Jenkins, or, (510) 525-5476, or Frances Phillips,


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