NEW YORK (AP) -- Prize-winning authors Charles Baxter and Gish Jen will be judges for this fall's National Book Awards. But for the first time in decades, non-authors also will serve on the four panels that decide some of literature's most prestigious honors.
The National Book Foundation announced Monday that Seattle-based bookseller Rick Simonson and former New York Times Book Review editor Charles McGrath will be among the journalists, bookstore officials and others recruited as judges. The foundation announced earlier this year that it was expanding the pool of potential judges in response to publishers' concern that some recent winners had been too obscure. Several publishers serve as board members of the foundation.
Categories for the judging committees, each consisting of five members, will be fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.
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