You can attend the Kirkus Prize ceremony this year without having to buy a plane ticket to Austin, Texas.
The award ceremony will be streamed online, with Kirkus CEO Meg LaBorde Kuehn hosting live from the Austin Central Library. The event is scheduled for Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Literary fans can watch the event on YouTube.
“If there has ever been a time that begged for a celebration of writing, of art that connects people to their own humanity and to others’, it’s 2020,” Kuehn said.
Twenty-one finalists for the award will be joining the ceremony via Zoom. And Kirkus will host four “cocktail party” conversations among the finalists, moderated by Kirkus editor at large Megan Labrise, host of the Fully Booked podcast. Past Kirkus Prize winners Colson Whitehead, Saeed Jones, and Jerry Craft will also be featured in conversation.
“Unlike other literary awards, the Kirkus Prize ceremony is a cocktail party,” Kuehn said. “It is known for being fun and lively (‘Golden Globe-esque,’ according to Entertainment Weekly), and we are excited to share that energy with the brightest literary stars and readers around the world this year.”
Author judges Chang-rae Lee, Kiese Laymon, and Nicola Yoon will read statements on the winning books at the ceremony and will also be guests on a special episode of Fully Booked scheduled to air on Nov. 3.
And while nothing’s stopping you from watching the ceremony in your pajamas with a can of Diet Coke, you’re encouraged to dig out your finest outfit from the recesses of your closet and your nicest glassware from the back of your cabinet. “Festive attire and cocktails encouraged at home,” reads the invitation to the event.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.