This prize is awarded to an unpublished manuscript by a young writer under the age 35 who has had at least one prior publication (articles, essays, op-eds) in a national magazine or journal. The manuscript submission must be an original, previously unpublished work of nonfiction (essay, memoir, general nonfiction, etc.), written by one person, in English, ranging in word length from 8,000 to 80,000. The winning manuscript will be chosen by a panel of three judges: distinguished literary authors selected by PEN’s Literary Awards Committee. Manuscripts are judged blind, to avoid any form of bias; the identity of the author of the winning manuscript (and all other submissions) is not known by any judge until after the decision is finalized. Only PEN awards administrators are able to view the submitter's identity.
Eligibility and Submissions
This award is no longer offered.
Who is eligible
- An applicant must be a writer under the age of 35
- The applicant must have had at least one prior publication (articles, essays, op-eds) in a national magazine or journal.
- The manuscript submission must be an original, previously unpublished work of nonfiction (essay, memoir, general nonfiction, etc.), written by one person, in English, ranging word length from 8,000 to 80,000.
- Submitted manuscripts may not be under consideration by any publisher during the judging period. Applicants will be notified immediately when manuscripts are no longer under consideration at which time applicants will be free to submit the work elsewhere for consideration.
How to apply
When submissions open, we will provide a link here to the online application. Please note that the application will ask for:
a. A $35 submission fee to be paid by credit card when submitting submission form.
b. A short description of the work and also briefly detail how this work connects to a global or multicultural issue.
c. The applicant's resume or CV that provides a history of past publishing experience for PEN staff to review for eligibility.
d. The 8,000 to 80,000 word manuscript. Please remove any names or identifying information from the manuscript pages, as the award judges will read anonymously.
For any questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org