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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 an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues
to celebrate writing that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of physical and biological sciences
for a promising young writer of an unpublished work of nonfiction that addresses a global and/or multicultural issue
three awards to honor a Grand Master of American Theater, playwright in mid-career, and emerging playwright
for a book-length work by an author of color
for excellence in the art of biography
for a new and emerging American poet with promise of further literary achievement
to a writer for a lifetime of writing about sports and its dimensions of character and action
for an author of a nonfiction book about sports
Children's / Young Adult
for an author of an unpublished work of children's or young-adult fiction
for a distinguished book-length prose translation
for a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English
for a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits
to promote the publication and reception of translated world literature in English

Featured Award Winners

Lauren Redniss is the winner of the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson...
Mia Alvar is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham...
Rick Barot is the winner of the 2016 PEN Open Book Award...
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Diamonstein...
On a long-forgotten Sunday during the middle of the nation...
The pencil that was always in her hand when she began a...
All day / I hear the fallen, trampled leaves groaning. /...
Though no one was paying attention, she smoothed her skirt...
The balance of humor and horror in Venturini's The Cousins...
Read an essay from Ian Buruma's Theater of Cruelty, winner...
You tell your neighbor that your friend, whom he has met,...
Since the crackdown he’d been living like a man in a...
The novel that propelled Aurora Venturini to literary...

Writing by Past Winners