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The charge of the National Book Foundation has been to highlight great American writers and writings. As the preeminent organization devoted to literature "the Foundation has sought to fulfill this mission in two ways. Through The National Book Awards -- the nation's preeminent literary prize -- the Foundation recognizes books of exceptional merit written by Americans. Through its unique outreach programs featuring National Book Award authors, communities participate in the writing life of the nation by reading and writing together." Over the years, the awards have featured the names of such exemplary and inimitable authors as Saul Bellow, Rachel Carson, Thornton Wilder, William Faulkner, and Lauren Bacall, and include such genres as autobiography, poetry, religion, history, fiction, and more. With September 2003 came the addition of Stephen King -- the author of numerous short stories and books that take the reader through twisted, snaring plots in stories such as Carrie, Christine, and Misery -- to this illustrious list of honorees by receiving the foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. At this Web site, visitors can peruse a listing of all of the award winners, learn about the annual National Book Month (celebrated in October), and explore the many other offerings of the foundation including workshops, writing camps, and available resources.
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