The 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists
PEN America is thrilled to announce the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards finalists. Our awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, booksellers, and critics. Learn more about each of the PEN America Literary Awards judges here.
This year’s awards will confer nearly $315,000 to writers and translators whose exceptional literary works were published in 2017 and span fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essays, science writing, sports writing, translation, and more.
The winners were announced live at the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on February 20 at the NYU Skirball Center in NYC.
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000)
To the author of a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, and that has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000)
To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2017—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. JUDGES: Mia Alvar, Rion Amilcar Scott, Justin Torres, Claire Vaye Watkins.
PEN Open Book Award
To an exceptional book-length work of any genre by an author of color, published in the United States in 2017. JUDGES: Eduardo C. Corral, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Amy Quan Barry.
PEN Translation Prize
For a book-length translation of prose from any language into English published in 2017. JUDGES: Eric M. B. Becker, Lisa Hayden, Jenny Wang Medina, Denise Newman, Lara Vergnaud.
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000)
For a book of essays published in 2017 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. JUDGES: Vinson Cunningham, James Fallows, Gillian Tett.
PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography ($5,000)
For a distinguished biography published in 2017. JUDGES: Joe Jackson, Michelle Legro, Judith Thurman.
PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing ($10,000)
For a book that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience. JUDGES: Luke Dittrich, Deanna Fei, Dr. Carl Hart.
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2017. JUDGES: Chloé Cooper Jones, Sally Jenkins, Joe Nocera.