The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay aims to preserve the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. The winner receives a  $10,000 prize and will be honored at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony.

Finalists

The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood 
Belle Boggs
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Known and Strange Things
Teju Cole
Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind
Siri Hustvedt
Simon & Schuster
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Girls in My Town
Angela Morales
University of New Mexico Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Becoming Earth
Eva Saulitis
Red Hen Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Longlist

The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood 
Belle Boggs
Graywolf Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Known and Strange Things
Teju Cole
Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Against Everything
Mark Greif
Pantheon Books/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind
Siri Hustvedt
Simon & Schuster
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Girls in My Town
Angela Morales
University of New Mexico Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Soul at the White Heat
Joyce Carol Oates
Ecco Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Becoming Earth
Eva Saulitis
Red Hen Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Ethics in the Real World
Peter Singer
Princeton University Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change
Andrew Solomon
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Hungry Heart
Jennifer Weiner
Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

 

Winner

The winner will be announced live at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017.

Judges

Eula Biss is the author of On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review, as well as Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 2010, and The Balloonists. 

 

 

Kiese Laymon  is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, three essays of which have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On, which can be expected in 2017, both from Scribner. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi.

Paul Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief and CEO of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. As its executive chairman, he consults with management on business and editorial matters. Steiger was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. During his tenure as top editor at each organization, members of the Journal’s newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and ProPublica’s reporters received two. A Yale graduate, he is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and treasurer of the Global Editors Network.

 

Past Winners

Bernard Knox, Martha Nussbaum, David B. Morris, Frederick Crews, Stanley Fish, John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Thomas Nagel, Cynthia Ozick, Adam Hochschild, Marilynne Robinson, Annie Dillard, David Quammen, David Bromwich, William H. Gass, Stewart Justman, Mark Slouka, Christopher Hitchens, Robert Hass, James Wolcott, Ian Buruma, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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