Since 1963, PEN America has honored exceptional literary work across literary genres. Today, our awards highlight achievement in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, science writing, sports writing, essays, biography, children’s literature, and drama. They honor everyone from emerging writers to luminaries in their field. To view a complete list of winning titles and honorees, search by year or award below.
PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award
Here you will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions, applicable to our awards more generally. If you have a question specific to a particular award, please find its page under our Awards section.
The PEN America Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers nearly $315,000 to writers of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, and poetry.
At PEN America, we believe literary awards are a vital part of the literary landscape. Our awards vary in focus and scope and honor writers and translators at every stage of their career, from emerging writers to established literary luminaries.
Please visit our Awards section which lists all of our awards, including those offered this year and those that rotate on a biannual schedule.
Most of PEN’s Literary Awards are for writers who have already published work, though some of the awards consider the author’s first published work. There are two exceptions. The PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants support translators process of translating works that have not previously appeared in English or have appeared only in an outdated or otherwise flawed translation. Similarly, the PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Oral History recognizes an unpublished, ongoing oral history project.
For your reference, PEN does manage a database of Grants and Awards offered by other organizations, many of which are open to unpublished authors.
Submissions for the 2018 Awards will open in the summer of 2017. For each of our awards, the application materials, eligibility requirements, and submission timeline varies. Please check the award of interest’s page in our Awards section for more detailed instructions.
Simply mark on your submission form that your publisher’s annual net sales are under four million dollars. If we have questions about the validity of your claim, we will contact you.
Each award presents different benefits. For instance, some awards grant authors the ability to complete their unfinished work. One of our awards grants the honoree a book contract. Other PEN Awards honor lifetime achievement. All winning titles are promoted to PEN America’s 4,400 members, literary advocates, and other affiliates.
To view past press coverage of the PEN Literary Awards, please follow the links below.
PEN’s 2017 Ad Rate page will be posted soon.
Submissions for all our awards will close in the fall of 2017. Longlists are expected to be announced in early December 2017 and finalists in January 2018. More information about the 2018 Awards cycle will be posted soon.
Information on the 2018 Literary Awards ceremony is forthcoming.