(1) It’s been an open secret for several months now, but I’m one of the judges for this year’s National Book Awards (I’m on the nonfiction panel). Our short list of nominees will be announced on October 7. We think we picked a very nice bunch of books.
(2) No, I didn’t have anything to do with Stephen King’s lifetime achievement award. I found out about it the same way you did.
(3) No, I don’t have an opinion about the award, because I’ve never read anything by Stephen King (I don’t much care for tales of horror). OGIC thinks you ought to have read at least some of his stuff before making up your mind about its quality (see below). I agree.