PEN America is delighted to announce their newest literary award, the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Offered for the first time during PEN’s 2017 Awards cycle, this award will recognize twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in a literary magazine or cultural website in 2016.

Each of the twelve winning writers will receive a $2,000 cash prize and will be honored at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City. In a further effort to launch the winners’ careers as fiction writers, the independent book publisher Catapult will also publish the twelve winning stories in an annual anthology entitled The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories, the first publication of which will be forthcoming in spring 2017. 

This new award is generously supported by the family of the late Robert J. Dau, whose commitment to the literary arts has made him a truly fitting namesake for this new career-launching prize. Mr. Dau was born and raised in Petoskey, a city in Northern Michigan in close proximity to Walloon Lake where Ernest Hemingway had spent his summers as a young boy and which serves as the backdrop for Hemingway’s The Torrents of Spring. Petoskey is also known for being where Hemingway determined that he would commit to becoming a writer. This proximity to literary history ignited the Dau family’s interest in promoting emerging voices in fiction and spotlighting the next great American fiction writer.

All eligible literary magazines are invited to submit their authors’ works published in 2016 for consideration. Submissions are now open and will be accepted through November 11, 2016. Publishers interested in submitting their author’s work can find more information on the award and its submission guidelines here.

PEN is thrilled to note that as of January 3, 2017, the following publishers have agreed to participate in the inaugural PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize by submitting their authors’ works for consideration: 

1 for 1000  805 Lit + Art A Public Space
African Voices Aliterate Appalachian Heritage
Baltimore Review Barrelhouse Bellevue Literary Review
Bennington Review Black Candies Blackbird
BOMB Boston Review Boulevard
Carve Catamaran Literary Reader Chicago Literati
Chicago Quarterly Review Chicago Review Cimarron Reivew
Cleaver Commentary Conjunctions
Consequence Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores Day One
Drunken Boat Electric Literature Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
Epiphany Event Exposition Review
F(r)iction Fence Fiction International
Fields Fifth Wednesday Journal Four Way Train
Glimmer Train Great Jones Street Grist
Guernica Harvard Review Hudson Review
Hypen Magazine Idaho Review Iowa Review
Isthmus J Journal Joyland
Juked Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal Kelsey Review
Kenyon Review Kweli LA Fiction Anthology
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Little Fiction | Big Truths Little Star
Louisana Literature Malahat Review Massachussetts Review
Memorious Natural Bridge New England Review
New Letters New Millennium Writings New Ohio Review
New South Newtown Literary Noon
North American Review North Dakota Quaterly One Story
One Teen Story Outlook Springs Philadelphia Stories
Phoebe Ploughshares Prairie Schooner
Prime Number Magazine Puerto del Sol Pulse: The Literary Magazine of Lamar University
Quarter After Eight Quarterly West Queen Mob’s Teahouse
Red Rock Review Relief River Styx
Rosebud Seems Slice
SmokeLong Sonora Review Southwest Review
Sparkle & Blink  Storgy Structo
Subtropics Sycamore Review The 2016 Scythe Prize
The Adroit Journal The Asian American Literary Review The Caribbean Writer
The Common The Diagram  The Flash Fiction Press
The Gettysburg Review The Gravity of the Thing The Healing Muse
The Iowa Review The Journal (Ohio State University) The Literary Review
The Maine Review The Malahat Review The Massachussetts Review
The Masters Review The Missouri Review The Moth
The Nervous Breakdown The New Yorker The Paris Review
The Potomac Review The Rumpus The Seventh Wave
The Southampton Review The Southern Review The Stinging Fly
The Summerset Review The Sun Magazine The Threepenny Review
The Tishman Review The Toast The White Review
Tin House Tupelo Quarterly Virginia Quarterly
Waccamaw  Washington Square Review ZYZZYVA


All publishers who submit to the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize between now and November 11, 2016 will be added to the above list. If you are a publisher that plans to submit to the prize, please write to to have your name added to the above list. 

 African Voices