The PEN Open Book Award, formerly the Beyond Margins Awards, honors a book-length work by an author of color, published in the United States during the current calendar year. The PEN Open Book Award was created by PEN America’s Open Book Committee, a group committed to racial and ethnic diversity within the literary and publishing communities. The winner receives a $5,000 prize.

Finalists

The Book of Memory
Petina Gappah
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Big Book of Exit Strategies
Jamaal May
Alice James Books/University of Maine at Farmington
Amazon | Indie Bound

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House
Amazon | IndieBound

Look
Solmaz Sharif
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Blackacre
Monica Youn
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Longlist

Blackass
A. Igoni Barrett
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt
Yasmine El Rashidi
Tim Duggan Books/Crown Publishing Group
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Book of Memory
Petina Gappah
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Big Book of Exit Strategies
Jamaal May
Alice James Books/University of Maine at Farmington
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Behold the Dreamers
Imbolo Mbue
Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House
Amazon | IndieBound

Look
Solmaz Sharif
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Problems
Jade Sharma
Coffee House Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Cannibal
Safiya Sinclair
University of Nebraska Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Blackacre
Monica Youn
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

Winner

The winner will be announced on February 22, 2017 and honored at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017.

Judges
 

Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier & Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel. He is currently completing The Lively Skeletons of Every Season, a novel soon to be published by Riverhead. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and children. www.ishmaelbeah.com @IshmaelBeah

Major Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry: Roll DeepHolding CompanyHoops, and Leaving Saturn, winner of a Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Among his honors is a Guggenheim Fellowship, Whiting Writers’ Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.  He has published poems and essays in American Poetry ReviewBoston ReviewThe New YorkerParis ReviewVirginia Quarterly Review, and been included in several volumes of Best American Poetry.  Major Jackson is University Distinguished Professor and Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont. He is the poetry editor of the Harvard Review.

Bich Minh Nguyen, who also goes by Beth, is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Award, the novel Short Girls, which received an American Book Award, and most recently the novel Pioneer Girl. She teaches in and directs the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

 
 
 

Past Winners

Meena Alexander, Luis Francia, Joy Harjo, Victor LaValle, Nelly Rosario, Laila Halaby, Suki Kim, Nasdijj, Willie Perdomo, April Reynolds, Faith Adiele, Raquel Cepeda, Lan Samantha Chang, Lolita Hernandez, Ishle Yi Park, Richard Blanco, Andrew Lam, Ed-Bok Lee, Caryl Phillips, Jennifer Tseng, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ernest Hardy, Harryette Mullen, Alberto Ríos, Chris Abani, Amiri Baraka, Frances Hwang, Naeem Murr, Joseph M. Marshall III, Uwem Akpan, Juan Felipe Herrera, Lily Hoang, Sherwin Bitsui, Robin D.G. Kelley, Canyon Sam, Manu Joseph, Siddhartha Deb, Gina Apostol, Kevin Young, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Nina McConigley, Claudia Rankine, and Rick Barot.

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