The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers more than $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry. Until December 16, 2013, PEN will be accepting submissions and nominations for the following awards for the 2014 awards cycle:

Book Submissions

Fiction and Nonfiction

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000)

For a fiction writer whose debut work, published in 2013, represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000)

To the author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

The 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 of the essay form

The PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)

For a book of literary nonfiction published in 2013 on the subject of the physical or biological sciences

The PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)

For a nonfiction book published in 2013 on the subject of sports. Eligible titles should be of a biographical, investigative, historical, or analytical nature and of the strongest literary character.

The PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000)

For a distinguished biography published in the United States in 2013

The PEN Open Book Award ($5,000)

For an exceptional work of literature published in 2013 by an author of color


The PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)

For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013 (works of poetry will not be accepted; for works of poetry in translation, please see the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation below)

The PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)

For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000)

To the author of a major work of Paraguayan Literature not yet translated into English

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000–$4,000)

To support the translation of book-length works that have not previous appeared in English

Children’s Literature

The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000)

For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two books, to complete a book-length work-in-progress. The Fellowship has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber but who have not yet attracted a broad readership.

The PEN/Steven Kroll Award ($5,000)

For a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013

Career Awards

One of the many benefits of PEN membership is the ability to submit letters of recommendation on behalf of your colleagues acknowledging their achievements in literature. Send your letter of nomination in on October 1, 2013. 

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)

For a living American or U.S.-based writer each year to celebrate their body of work and long-time contributions to the field of literary sports writing

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama ($7,500)

A pair of awards, which honor a Master American Dramatist and an American Playwright in Mid-Career

PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000)

To a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable presence in American literature

In 2014, PEN will also be offering the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000) to a fiction writer whose body of work places him or her in the highest rank of American literature. However, the award will be administered by internal nomination only.