PEN America is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the 2018 PEN Literary Awards. Submissions and nominations for this awards cycle will be accepted from June 1, 2017 through August 15, 2017. 

PEN’s Literary Awards are the most comprehensive awards program in the United States. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers nearly $315,000 annually to writers and translators. In 2018, PEN will administer 22 distinct awards in the fields of fiction, science writing, translation, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, drama, and poetry.

Please be sure to click on the award to visit its submission page, which will contain more information on submission deadlines and processes.

Book Submissions*

(*Please note that only publishers and literary agents may submit to the following PEN book awards.)

Fiction and Nonfiction

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000)
For a fiction writer whose debut work of fiction—a novel or collection of short stories published in 2017—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

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 of the essay form
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)
For a book of literary nonfiction published in 2017 on the subject of the physical or biological sciences
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000)
For a distinguished biography published in the United States in 2017
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000)
For an exceptional work of literature by an author of color published in 2017
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
For a nonfiction book published in 2017 on the subject of sports. Eligible titles should be of a biographical, investigative, historical, or analytical nature and of the strongest literary character
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

 

Translation

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)
The prize invites submissions of book-length translations from any language into English published during the current calendar year.
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Prize for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000)
The award carries a cash stipend of $3,000 for the living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature. Another $3,000 is given to the winning translator in order to bring the work to the English-speaking world.
Submissions will be accepted June 1—September 15, 2017

 

Career Achievement & Nomination 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. Submit your letter of nomination by August 15, 2017. 

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation
Awarded to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work
Submissions will be accepted June 1—September 15, 2017

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama ($7,500 & $2,500)
Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
For a living American or U.S.-based writer, awarded each year to celebrate their body of work and long-time contributions to the field of literary sports writing 
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/Voelcker Award ($5,000)
For a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers ($2,000 to 12 writers)
Recognizing twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in a literary journal in 2017
Submissions will be accepted June 1—November 10, 2017

 

Unpublished Manuscripts

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction ($25,000)
Awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships
Submissions will be accepted June 1—October 12, 2017

PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History ($10,000)
For a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement
Submissions will be accepted June 1—August 15, 2017

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000)
For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has previously published at least one book, 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
Submissions will be accepted June 1—October 13, 2017

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000–$4,000)
To support the translation of book-length works of prose, poetry, and drama
Submissions will be accepted June 1—September 15, 2017

PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature ($5,000)
For a work-in-progress translation of narrative prose from Italian into English
Submissions will be accepted June 1—September 15, 2017


In 2018, PEN will also confer the following two awards. Please note that submissions are not accepted for these awards. 

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000)
For a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact
Submissions not accepted

PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature ($50,000)
To an international writer of any genre for their body of work
Submissions not accepted

PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000)
To a distinguished living American author of fiction 
Submissions not accepted