Literary Gala

The annual PEN America Literary Gala is a highlight of the New York literary and social calendars, with over 800 guests and an impressive group of leading writers who sit among them as Literary Hosts. Every year, it’s an inspiring, exhilarating, moving event; we promise an unforgettable evening. The proceeds from this dinner are crucial to PEN America’s dynamic cultural programming and critical advocacy work on behalf of free expression.


Unlike PEN America’s literary awards, the awards conferred at the annual PEN America Literary Gala are not juried awards based on a competitive submission process. These awards, which currently include the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, and the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Free Expression Courage Award, are granted after consultations among PEN America staff and Trustees with specific relevant expertise on matters of literature and freedom of expression. In some cases, outside expertise from PEN America’s membership, partner organizations, and network of contacts is enlisted to inform internal analysis and deliberations. All final decisions regarding Award determination and recipients are made by the Executive Committee of the PEN America Board of Trustees.

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We don’t want to remember December 14, 2017 as the day the internet began to go dark.

PEN America has been at the forefront of petitioning, protesting and pressing to keep the internet open. We have only just begun to fight—the next battlegrounds will be in Congress and the Court.

We won’t stop until a free and open internet has been secured for everyone who thinks, explores, and creates.

Support us as we double down for digital freedom.