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Literary Awards

Literary Awards


The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers more than $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry.

» Click here to see the complete archive of winners by year. 

Call for Submissions


for an outstanding work of debut fiction


to preserve the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature


to celebrate writing that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of physical and biological sciences


This biennial prize of $10,000 will go to the author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important...


three awards to honor a Grand Master of American Theater, playwright in mid-career, and emerging playwright


for a distinguished book-length prose translation


for a book-length work by an author of color


for a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English


for excellence in the art of biography


to promote the publication and reception of translated world literature in English

Children's / Young Adult

for an author of an unpublished work of children's or young-adult fiction

Children's / Young Adult

an award established in memory of Steven Kroll to acknowledge the distinct literary contributions of picture book writers


for an author of a nonfiction book about sports


to a writer for their long-time contributions to the field of literary sports writing


for a new and emerging American poet with promise of further literary achievement


The PEN/Nora Magid Award, established in 1993, honors a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of...


The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation is given every three years to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.

Featured Award Winners

At the outset, I had no intention of doing what I...

While the sport would never be entirely free of peril,...

First are the kinds of shadow books that fail to be...

In the twentieth century alone, the Amphitryon myth has...

I am tired of his body. I am tired of his body parts—...

Indeed, the truth of the forest may be more clearly and...

"The Philosophy of Composition” is a lovely little...

It means everything because sentencing like Physics and...

This is just one of many / Beautiful moments I've been...

Consequently for him, as time went by, the past was...

People ate differently here, talked differently,...

You do not understand how one can possibly go to school...

He decided to guess who the perpetrator was, even...

I was running with the spear which was a pencil in my...

"I'm here for you to save my life. Is that too...

In the chapel, Baroque music played from invisible...

At some point in the proceedings one of the more...

Writing by Past Winners