Natan Fund Launches Nonfiction Book Award

The Natan Fund, a New York City-based foundation that supports Jewish nonprofit organizations and creative projects, has introduced a new award for nonfiction writers. The Natan Book Award will annually give a Jewish writer a prize of $50,000 for a work-in-progress.

The prize money will be given in two stages: an initial award of $15,000 will be given to an individual writer to support the writing process; the remaining amount will finance the book’s marketing and publicity. Nonfiction books on Jewish themes, written in English, which have an existing publishing contract with a recognized commercial or academic publisher, are eligible.

The Natan Book Awards are currently open for submissions. Authors or publishers may nominate books by December 3. Author and Atlantic Monthly staff writer Jeffrey Goldberg and New Republic journalist and editor Franklin Foer will co-chair the award committee, which will announce the winner in April 2013. 

At a recent celebration for the Natan Fund’s ten-year anniversary, New York Times columnist David Brooks announced the launch of the new award. “The Natan Book Award provides Natan a vehicle for bringing its support for creative and meaningful new initiatives into the intellectual arena,” Brooks said. “In ten years of grantmaking, Natan has helped to galvanize innovation across the Jewish and Israeli social sectors. The Book Award will leverage that experience on behalf of a gifted author with groundbreaking ideas.”

The Natan Fund seeks books that focus on issues of Jewish life, history, community, and identity for the twenty-first century, and which reflect “the changing notions of individual and collective Jewish identity” throughout the world.

According to the Natan website, the publisher of the selected book must agree to work with Natan on marketing and publicity strategies—however, the guidelines state, “the award is intended to complement, not replace, the publisher’s marketing efforts.” 

Since it was founded in 2002, the Natan Fund has awarded over 7.7 million dollars to 128 social entrepreneurs and emerging nonprofit organizations. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines and more information on the inaugural Natan Book Awards.