Michael Archer and Joel Whitney for Guernica 

The PEN/Nora Magid Award 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. The winner receives a $2,500 prize and is honored at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony.


From the Judges’ Citation 

Thirteen years ago, Joel Whitney and Michael Archer co-founded Guernica, a start-up enterprise that recognized the inherent interconnectedness of literature and politics, dedicating itself to bringing the best contemporary world fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and the most vital essays on American and global politics, together in an online space. The magazine emerged in part as a response to the policies of then-President George W. Bush, and had, from its inception, an outward-looking international perspective, a humanitarian ethos, and a commitment to social justice, as well as a discerning yet broad aesthetic sensibility. Now reaching over 1.4 million individual readers, with 3.75 million page views this past year, Guernica publishes work that is serious, ambitious, diverse, engaging, and literary. As one of the most distinctive and consistent online publications today, this is a magazine of the highest quality.



Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; and the coeditor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande). Formerly Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, he is a professor at Bennington College, where he teaches poetry and editing, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the newly relaunched print literary journal Bennington Review. 

Caitlin McKenna is an editor at Random House, where she works with writers including Teju Cole, Calvin Trillin, Ronald C. White, Kayla Rae Whitaker, Gavin Edwards, and the Estates of Shirley Jackson and Jane Jacobs.
David L. Ulin is the author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, his other books include The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award.

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, and Rob Spillman (Tin House).

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