Writing, Literature and Publishing Professor Jerald Walker is a judge in the Nonfiction category for the 2021 National Book Awards. Walker was a finalist for a 2020 National Book Award for his book, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays.
Also on the Nonfiction judging panel with Walker is Nell Painter, author of The History of White People and a 2019 recipient of an honorary degree from Emerson.
Each year, the National Book Foundation assembles five panels of five writers to judge submissions in Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and Translated Literature. Judges are recommended by past winners, finalists, and judges, and are invited to serve by the Foundation. Panels develop their own criteria for judging submissions.