PEN will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents. Authors may not submit their own book for this award.

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose work—a first novel or collection of short stories—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise of a second work of literary fiction. One PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize winner will be selected by a panel of three to four writers or editors who are PEN Members. The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize intended to allow significant time and resources with which to pursue a subsequent work of fiction. 

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize was established in memory of Robert W. Bingham, who died in 1999 at the age of 33, to commemorate his support of young writers, his love of literature, and his contribution to literary fiction.  Click to view past winners of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize »

All winners and finalists for this award are eligible to receive PEN America’s official winner or finalist seal. If you are a publisher of a shortlisted or winning book for this award and are interested in obtaining PEN’s award seal, please write to [email protected].

 

Eligibility 


Submissions for the 2018 awards will be accepted from June 1, 2017 through August 15, 2017. 

Eligible:

  • The candidate’s first (and only the first) novel or first collection of short fiction must have been published by a U.S. trade publisher between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Publishers may submit galleys or bound manuscripts for consideration if the book is not yet published.
  • Candidates must be U.S. residents; American citizenship is not required.
  • There are no restrictions on the candidate’s age or on the style of his or her work as long as it is fiction.

NOT Eligible:

  • Self-published books are not eligible.

 

Submission guidelines


*Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $4 million. In order to have your dues waived, please have a company official write a letter on company letterhead stating that your press’ annual net sales are less than $4 million. Please send this letter as an attachment (.doc or .pdf) to [email protected]. Once received, you will be provided with a coupon code to use at check-out in order to have your submission fees waived. One fee waiver may be used for all 2018 PEN Awards; you do not need to submit a separate fee waiver for each award.