Shortlists Announced for the 2014 PEN Literary Awards

PEN has announced the shortlisted titles for its nine book awards, spanning fiction, essays, science writing, biography, sports writing, translation, and children's books. After announcing the longlisted titles last month, PEN extends their congratulations to the writers and translators who have been recognized in this next round of deliberations by its many distinguished and discerning judges. Be sure to check back with PEN.org later this summer, when the winners will be be announced. 

Click here to view the 2014 awards winners. Click here to view the longlisted titles.


PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

Judges: Charles Bock, Jonathan Dee, Fiona Maazel, and Karen Shepard


A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth), Anthony Marra
Brief Encounters with the Enemy (The Dial Press), Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
Everybody’s Irish (FiveChapters Books), Ian Stansel
Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest), Shawn Vestal
The People in the Trees (Doubleday), Hanya Yanagihara


PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2013 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

Judges: Geoff Dyer, Stanley Fish, Ariel Levy, and Cheryl Strayed


Forty-One False Starts (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Janet Malcolm
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (Little, Brown and Company), David Sedaris
The Faraway Nearby (Viking Adult), Rebecca Solnit
Critical Mass (Doubleday), James Wolcott


PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2013.

Judges: Akiko Busch, Rivka Galchen, and Eileen Pollack


The End of Night (Little, Brown and Company), Paul Bogard
Five Days at Memorial (Crown), Sheri Fink
High Price (Harper), Carl Hart
Surfaces and Essences (Basic Books), Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander
Wild Ones (Penguin Press), Jon Mooallem


PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2013.

Judges: Catherine Chung, Randa Jarrar, and Monica Youn


Duppy Conqueror (Copper Canyon Press), Kwame Dawes
Leaving Tulsa (University of Arizona Press), Jennifer Elise Foerster
domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher
Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books), Nina McConigley
Ghana Must Go (Penguin Press), Taiye Selasi


PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2013.

Judges: James Atlas, Lisa Cohen, and Wendy Gimbel


Lawrence in Arabia (Doubleday), Scott Anderson
Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Linda Leavell
Margaret Fuller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Megan Marshall
American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Deborah Solomon
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Simon & Schuster), Victoria Wilson


PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2013.

Judges: Joel Drucker, Chad Harbach, and Jackie MacMullan


Collision Low Crossers (Little, Brown and Company), Nicholas Dawidoff
The Sports Gene (Current), David Epstein
League of Denial (Crown Archetype), Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru
The Emerald Mile (Scribner), Kevin Fedarko
Their Life’s Work (Simon & Schuster), Gary M. Pomerantz


PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013.

Judges: Mac Barnett, Ted Lewin, and Elizabeth Winthrop


Train (Orchard Books), Elisha Cooper
Tea Party Rules (Viking), Ame Dyckman
The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers), Bil Lepp
Crabtree (McSweeney’s McMullens), Jon & Tucker Nichols


PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013.

Judge: Kimiko Hahn


Even Now: Poems by Hugo Claus (Archipelago), David Colmer
Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago), Karen Emmerich & Edmund Keeley
Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson by Yosa Buson (Copper Canyon Press), Takako Lento & W.S. Merwin
Paul Klee’s Boat by Anzhelina Polonskaya (Zephyr Press), Andrew Wachtel
Cut These Words Into My Stone: Ancient Greek Epitaphs (Johns Hopkins University Press), Michael Wolfe


PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013.

Judges: Ann Goldstein, Becka McKay, and Katherine Silver


An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman (New York Review Books), Elizabeth & Robert Chandler
Transit by Anna Seghers (New York Review Books), Margot Bettauer Dembo
The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Yale University Press), Jeffrey Gray
The Emperor’s Tomb by Joseph Roth (New Directions), Michael Hofmann
Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov


(The following PEN Awards do not have shortlists but are listed below to recognize the participation of those authors who are judging the awards. The winners will be announced later this summer along with the winners for the above book awards.)

PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000): To a distinguished living American author of fiction.

Judges: Edwidge Danticat, E.L. Doctorow, and Zadie Smith


PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000): To an author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

Judges: Terry McMillan, Nancy Pearl, Kathy Pories


PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000): To a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature.

Judges: Peg Boyers, Toi Derricotte, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips


PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards ($7,500 and $2,500): Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright. This is the inaugural year of the Award for an Emerging American Playwright.

Judges: John Lithgow, Elizabeth Streb, and Maria Tucci


PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): To an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two books, to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

Judges: Kathi Appelt, Johanna Hurwitz, and Padma Venkatraman


PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.

Judges: Kostya Kennedy, David Rosenthal, and John Schulian


PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000): To a living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature not yet translated into English.

Judges: Idra Novey, Yvette Siegert, and Mark Statman


PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000): To support the translation of book-length works into English.

Judges: Esther Allen, Barbara Epler, Sara Khalili, Michael F. Moore*, Lorin Stein, Lauren Wein (*Voting Chair of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Advisory Council)

PEN will begin accepting submissions for its 2015 Awards later this summer. For a list of all 2015 PEN Awards and information about submission guidelines, please visit www.pen.org/awards. For questions about any of the awards, write to awards@pen.org. For questions about the shortlisted titles, upcoming awards announcements, or advertising in the 2014 Ceremony program, please contact Paul W. Morris, PEN’s Director of Literary Awards, Membership, & Marketing, at paul@pen.org.

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