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.

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.


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.

Young Readers’ Literature

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.

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.

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.



The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.