National Book Award allow Undocumented writers to get nominated without a "process"

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The National Book Award is one of the highest literary awards in America that honors the best national books that are published annually. Getting nominated for such an award gives writers some exposure in the media and allows these writer’s work to reach new audiences. The National Book Foundation states, “The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture.” Although the Foundation preaches to honor the “best literature in America,” the Foundation has put up barriers for undocumented writers from getting nominated and honored. As if undocumented writers are not part of this nation and creating art to represent a community in America that is often erased.

For an undocumented writer to get nominated for the National Book Award, they need to go through a “petition process” that is only gatekeeping them from getting honored. Publishers are additionally required to answer some questions that further alienates undocumented writers from being considered part of the national literary canon. Borders shouldn’t be in the conversation when we are discussing national literature and art. The fact is that U.S citizens are not being made to go through such a long process to prove that they are citizens.

The National Book Award/Foundation needs to reconsider the way that they honor undocumented writers in the nation. There shouldn’t be a “petition” or even a further process to prove that undocumented people are a part of this nation. NBA needs to stop gatekeeping these national writers who contribute to this nation as much as U.S citizens. This petition has been created so that this foundation could change their ways and stay true to their mission statement.