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2021 PEN America Literary Awards Submissions

PEN America Literary Awards 2021. Submissions Open: June 15–August 15, 2020

Submissions for the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards will be accepted from June 15, 2020 through August 15, 2020.* Please be sure to carefully follow the below instructions. Any questions may be sent to [email protected].

*Please note, the deadline to submit has been extended to August 19 at 11:59pm ET.


  • PEN America will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents. Authors may not submit their own books.
  • Please select just ONE award—the award you are submitting to—in the checkboxes. The only exception to this for authors of color who are additionally being submitted to the PEN Open Book Award.
  • Please submit verified email addresses on the submission form. This information will later be used to contact you regarding your submission.
  • Upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript. Due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19, 2021 book award submissions will only be read digitally as PDF files. Each book file will be kept confidentially between the PEN America Literary Awards team and the applicable 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 [email protected] 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. 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 page. 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. If you are a publisher whose annual net sales are less than $2 million, please contact [email protected] for a fee waiver.
  • Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility by PEN America, it will be passed along to the judges. Please add [email protected] to your address book, as it will be the main point from PEN America.

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