PEN America Literary Awards Submissions

The words “PEN America Literary Awards” enclosed in a dark red diamond with a gold background; white rays sticking out from each corner

Submissions for the 2023 PEN America Literary Awards are open from June 1, 2022 through August 1, 2022.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submitted books must be published by a trade or academic publisher between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Self-published books are ineligible for the PEN America Literary Awards.

  • Books with more than one original author are ineligible for the PEN America Literary Awards.

  • PEN America will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents. Authors may not submit their own books.

  • Submissions of a book to multiple awards is allowed only in the case of the PEN Open Book Award. Please select only one award on the submission form, unless the book additionally meets the criteria of the PEN Open Book Award.

  • Please submit verified email addresses on the submission form. This is so that we may directly be in contact if an author or translator is selected as for as a longlister, finalist, and/or winner.

  • Upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript. Following pandemic-related protocols, book award submissions will be read as PDF files. Please upload the file saved as BOOKTITLE_AUTHORNAME. For the judges’ convenience, please upload a book file WITHOUT watermarks. Each book file will be kept confidentially between the Literary Awards team and the awards Judges. (Please note that if a book is longlisted, PEN America may request a physical copy be sent to the judging panel.) If you are having trouble uploading your book, please email before submitting an alternative file.

  • Upload a high-resolution book jacket photo. This may be used later if the book is longlisted, a finalist, or a winner.

  • Please download the award’s corresponding declaration of eligibility (available below). Complete all fields and have the editor or publisher sign to confirm the book’s eligibility. Please upload this document along with the rest of your application on the submissions form. If submitting to two awards, in the case of the PEN Open Book Award, please upload both declarations on the submissions page.

  • Each submission is $85. Please note that due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19, we are asking that all submissions payments be made via credit card. Submission fees are not refundable. 

  • Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $2 million. In order to have fees waived, have a company official write a letter on company letterhead stating that the press’s annual net sales are less than $2 million. Please send this letter as a PDF attachment to Do not submit before emailing this document to the Literary Awards team, as they will provide you with an alternative submission method. 

  • Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility by PEN America, it will be passed along to the judges. Please add and to your address book, as these emails will be the main point from PEN America.


Declarations of Eligibility