Natan Book Award at the Jewish Book Council

The Natan Book Award at the Jewish Book Council | About Natan Fund | Eligibility Requirements
Entry Rules | Process | Natan Book Award Committee | Application Form


The Natan Book Award at the Jewish Book Council

The Natan Book Award at the Jewish Book Council brings Natan’s values of infusing Jewish life with creativity and meaning into the intellectual arena by supporting and promoting a breakthrough book intended for mainstream audiences that will catalyze conversations around the issues that Natan grapples with in its grantmaking. These issues, broadly understood, are the reinvention of Jewish life and community for the 21st century; changing notions of individual and collective Jewish identity; and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry.

In order to have a meaningful impact and to reflect Natan’s innovative approach to Jewish philanthropy, the Natan Book Award pioneers a new model in literary philanthropy, capitalizing on a key leverage point in a book’s trajectory: its marketing and publicity. The Award is a two-stage award, offering at most a total of $25,000, to be divided as follows: a cash award to the author of $10,000, to be used during the writing process; and customized support for the marketing and publicity strategy for the book, up to $15,000. This is a pre-publication award and the prize winner will be announced prior to the book's publication date.

The uniqueness of this prize lies in its second stage, support for the book’s marketing and publicity. Working with experts in the literary and publishing fields and with the book’s publisher, Jewish Book Council and Natan will customize a digital and in-person marketing and publicity strategy tailored to the topic of the book and the assets that the author and publisher bring to its marketing and publicity. Jewish Book Council and Natan will actively connect the author and the book with the multiple Jewish and philanthropic networks of which both organizations are a part. The goal is to catalyze a robust public discourse on the topics the book addresses, creating broad and diverse exposure for the book and true engagement with the book’s issues, especially for new and nontraditional audiences.

Jewish Book Council is currently accepting submission with a November 1, 2017-October 31, 2018 publication date. The deadline to submit is March 1, 2017. If you would like to submit a book that will be published after October 21, 2018, please email natanbookaward@Jewishbooks.org.

Additional details can be found below; full information about the prize and the requirements can be downloaded here. The application form can be found here.

Natan Fund

The Natan Fund inspires philanthropists to engage actively in Jewish giving by funding innovative initiatives that are shaping the Jewish future. Natan members pool their funds and bear the risks involved with supporting new and/or undiscovered ideas. They engage in a group educational process in order to fund innovative, creative, and socially meaningful initiatives, and they make all of Natan’s grant decisions collectively. Read more about Natan here.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The award is open to non-fiction books that have an existing publishing contract with a recognized commercial publisher. (Academic publishers are also acceptable in certain cases where the book is intended to appeal to mainstream audiences.)

  • The book must have the potential to be a breakthrough book for mainstream audiences that will catalyze public discussion and debate.

  • The book can be nominated by its author, agent, or publisher.

  • The publisher must agree to collaborate with Jewish Book Council and Natan on the marketing and publicity of the book; the award is intended to complement, not replace, the publisher’s marketing efforts.

  • There is no geographic or language limitation, other than that the book must either be originally published in English or be contracted to be translated into English and have distribution set up for the U.S. market.

  • The book should ideally be scheduled for publication between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018. (Jewish Book Council and Natan will endeavor to collaborate on the marketing and publicity of the book within the first three months of its publication.) To submit a book with a publication date past October 31, 2018, please email natanbookaward@Jewishbooks.org.

  • Ideally, the book should address one or more of Natan’s grant areas. Broadly understood, these are: the reinvention of Jewish life and community for the 21st century; changing notions of individual and collective identity for 21st century Jews; and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry.

  • The author and the publisher must agree to work with Jewish Book Council and Natan to promote, market and distribute the book.

Entry Rules

Applications must include:

  • completed Online Entry Form (one per book);

  • the full or partial manuscript AND the book proposal accepted by a publisher, or

  • ONLY the book proposal accepted by a publisher, if the author has not yet written any part of the manuscript. These should be emailed to natanbookaward@jewishbooks.org.

  • Applicants may submit bound hard copies or digital versions of the manuscript, but the entry form MUST be submitted online. If the applicant is submitting a bound hard copy of the manuscript, 15 copies must be mailed to Jewish Book Council, 520 8th Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018 ATTN: Natan Book Award. Submitted materials will not be returned, and additional copies may be requested if the book is shortlisted.

Applications are due by March 1, 2017. Applications are available online here.

Jewish Book Council and Natan reserve the right not to award the final portion of the grant if the caliber of the final manuscript does not meet its requirements.

Jewish Book Council and Natan reserve the right not to make an award of any kind if the caliber of the applications submitted for consideration does not meet its requirements.

Process

The application for the Natan Book Award is open to the general public.

Applications are due March 1, 2017, and must include a complete online entry form and a full or partial manuscript (if available) and the book proposal accepted by the book’s publisher.

Initial applications will be read by select Book Award Committee members, Jewish Book Council and Natan staff, and additional Advisory Committee members, as needed. The Book Award Committee will interview Award finalists in person or by video in late spring 2017. Nominators will be receive an update on the status of their application by May 2017.