The new John Leonard award is named after the influential critic, who died in 2008. Leonard was born in Washington and went on to write and edit for the New York Times Book Review. He co-founded the NBCC in 1974 with Nona Balakian and Ivan Sandrof. In 2006 the organization honored him with a lifetime achievement award.
The first winner of the John Leonard prize will be announced at the NBCC’s annual awards ceremony in early 2014.