Rob Spillman for Tin House

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 publication he or she edits. Candidates for the biennial $2,500 award include current editors-in-chief, literary editors, and “back-of-the-book” editors of serious general interest magazines, book reviews, or literary reviews and quarterlies, whose intellectual discernment and wide range of interests recall the late PEN member Nora Magid, who was for many years the literary editor of The Reporter. The award is made possible by a grant from PEN member Gerald Weales.

From the Judges’ Citation

“Year after year, Rob Spillman has been committed to both the trajectory of literature in America and the diversity of its writers. As editor and cofounder of Tin House, which launched in 1999, Rob has consistently sought and published distinctly literary work: fiction with a strong narrative voice; elegant, incisive poetry; intelligent, absorbing essays, interviews, and features; and a “Lost & Found” section for underappreciated books unearthed by contemporary writers—all of this packaged in a handsome edition that is as much a joy to hold as to read. Rob has also expanded Tin House’s online presence, offering a significant amount of current and back issue content and a richly curated, daily updated blog. By including a wide range of writers, seeking new and unpublished voices, and being on the forefront of the move from print to digital, Rob Spillman has created an inclusive, vibrant literary community at Tin House, one that provides an encouraging glimpse into the future of letters.”

2015 Judges

Christopher Castellani is the author of three novels, most recently All This Talk of Love, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He works as the artistic director of Grub Street and teaches fiction in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His next book is The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, forthcoming from Graywolf in 2016. He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction.


Carmela Ciuraru is the author of Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms, published by HarperCollins, and the editor of several poetry anthologies. She writes a regular column for The New York Times, and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Daily Beast, Salon, and many other publications. She is on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle. Her next book is forthcoming from HarperCollins.


Bill Clegg is a literary agent in New York and the author of the memoirs Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days. He has written for The New York Times, Lapham’s Quarterly, New York Magazine, The Guardian, and Harper’s Bazaar. His debut novel, Did You Ever Have A Family, is forthcoming from Scout Press in fall of 2015.



Past Winners

Peter Stitt (The Gettysburg Review), Herbert Liebowitz (Parnassus), Wendy Lesser (The Threepenny Review), Stanley W. Lindberg (The Georgia Review), Askold Melnyczuk (Agni), Robert Fogarty (Antioch Review), Willard Spiegelman (The Southwest Review), Bradford Morrow (Conjunctions), Hannah Tinti (One Story), Brigid Hughes (A Public Space), Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery (Mother Jones).


Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.