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One of the richest literary awards in the world $150,000 bestowed annually

Judges will choose six finalists in Fiction, Nonfiction and Young Readers' Literature to be announced Septemeber 30, 2015

Three Winners to be announved at a special ceremony in Austin on October 15, 2015.


New York (April 28, 2015)Kirkus Reviews, the nation’s leading prepublication journal of book reviews, today announced the judges for the second annual The Kirkus Prize. The judges for the Kirkus Prize award $150,000 in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. Panels of three highly regarded judges, composed of a writer, a bookseller or librarian and a Kirkus critic, select the Kirkus Prize finalists and winners from among titles that receive a starred Kirkus review with publication dates between November 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015.

The judges for the 2015 Kirkus Prize: (bios follow at the end of the release)

Fiction Panel: Megan Labrise, Nicole Magistro, Colson Whitehead
Nonfiction Panel: Meghan Daum, Marie du Vaure, Clayton Moore
Young Readers’ Literature Panel: Jamie C. Naidoo, Jon Scieszka, Stephanie Seales

The judges will select six finalists in the categories of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature to be announced on September 30, 2015. The three winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Austin on October 15, 2015.


Colson Whitehead is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction, most recently The Noble Hustle, an account of the 2011 World Series of Poker. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine, where he writes a column on language.

Megan Labrise writes “Field Notes” and features for Kirkus Reviews. Her work has appeared in Edible Hudson Valley, Epicurious, Gourmet Live, Guernica Daily and Salon. She is a graduate of Reed College and NYU's Cultural Reporting and Criticism program, and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She lives in the Hudson Valley.

Nicole Magistro is the owner of The Bookworm of Edwards, an independent bookstore and restaurant located near Vail, Colorado. She has served on the board of directors for The Literacy Project of Eagle County, Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association and the ABA Task Force for Indie Commerce. Magistro attended Northwestern University and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism.


Meghan Daum is an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times and the author of four books, most recently The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, a collection of original essays exploring themes of sentimentality in American life. She is also the editor of the anthology Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids. She is a 2015 Guggenheim fellow and her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Harper’s and Vogue.

Marie du Vaure was born in Southeast Asia and spent her childhood there and in France. After earning a degree in philosophy and French literature in Aix-en-Provence, France, she moved to the United States and began her career in independent bookselling. Marie has been head book buyer at several stores in California over the past twelve years. Currently she is the book buyer for the J. Paul Getty Museum Stores in Los Angeles.

Clayton Moore is a freelance writer, journalist and literary critic whose work has appeared in Kirkus Reviews, The Denver Post, Paste Magazine, Rain Taxi and Bookslut, among many other venues. The authors he has profiled during the decade he has contributed to Kirkus Reviews include David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Christopher Hitchens, Junot Díaz, Valerie Plame Wilson and Mike Tyson, among many others. He is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle and volunteers his time at a number of literacy and educational nonprofit organizations.


The author of numerous bestselling books for kids, in 2008 Jon Scieszka was named the nation’s first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Librarian of Congress. During his two years as Ambassador, it was his job to raise “national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.” Scieszka is also the founder of Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys whose mission is to “help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.” His Time Warp Trio series, which teaches kids history, has been adapted into a television show.

Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo is Associate and Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor at the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, where he teaches courses in storytelling, children’s and young adult literature, and library services to diverse populations. He has worked as a librarian in both school and public libraries and served on several prestigious book award committees such as the Caldecott, Belpré, and Américas awards. He regularly reviews children’s and young adult materials for professional journals and has published numerous articles, book chapters, and books related to cultural diversity and children’s librarianship. His Rainbow Family Collections (Libraries Unlimited, 2012) is the first book to provide a history and comprehensive overview of LGBTQ children’s literature. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Stephanie Seales holds a Master of Arts degree in Children's Literature from Simmons College. A former teacher, she has also spent time working in children's bookstores in New York City and Massachusetts. Now, Stephanie spends her time in library services and reviewing children's and young adult books. When she's not reading, writing, or recommending books, she enjoys acting, choral singing, and Doctor Who. A California native, she now lives on Cape Cod.

About Kirkus Reviews

Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery. When Kirkus Reviews was established by Virginia Kirkus, it was an innovation in the publishing field. Virginia arranged to receive advance galley proofs of books from publishers — only 20 or so at first, but eventually nearly every firm of any size in the industry. She read the galleys and wrote brief, critical evaluations of their literary merit and probable popular appeal. Today, Kirkus Reviews covers more than 7,000 books published by traditional houses and more than 3,000 self-published books every year. The magazine is published on the 1st and 15th of every month, and because of the scope of their coverage, their authoritative voice and the timeliness of their reviews, Kirkus Reviews is revered by many as the first indicator of a book’s potential. For more information, visit

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