History

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. 

Archives

Search by Award

 

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award 

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
 

PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature

PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards: For Master American Playwright, Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging Playwright

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay 

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction

PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History

PEN Open Book Award [formerly the PEN Beyond Margins Award]

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry

PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award For Literary Sports Writing

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation

PEN Translation Prize

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants 

PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship 

PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers 

 

Discontinued Awards


PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize

PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award

PEN/Architectural Digest Award for Literary Writing on the Visual Arts

PEN/Bruno Schulz Prize

PEN Emerging Writers Awards

PEN/Gregory Kolovakos Award for Expansion of Hispanic Literature to an English-Language Audience

PEN/Jerard Fund Award

PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir

PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction

PEN/Nabokov Award for Fiction

PEN/Renato Poggioli Translation Award

PEN/Roger Klein Award for Career Achievement

PEN/Roger Klein Award for Editing

PEN/Steven Kroll Award Honoring the Author of an Illustrated Children’s Book

PEN/W. G. Sebald Award for a Fiction Writer in Mid-Career

 

FAQ

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

About the PEN America Literary Awards:

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.

What awards will PEN America offer this year?

Please visit our Awards section which lists all of our awards, including those offered this year and those that rotate on a biannual schedule.

Does PEN offer grants or awards to unpublished writers?

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.

Where and when to submit:

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.

As stated on the website, publishers whose annual net sales are under four million dollars do not have to pay the submission fee. What documentation is needed to prove qualification?

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.

What will honorees receive?

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.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/toni-morrison-wins-pensaul-bellow-award-for-lifetime-achievement/

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/pen-announces-finalists-for-2016-literary-awards/

Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities:

PEN’s 2017 Ad Rate page will be posted soon.

What is the timeline for the PEN Awards announcements?

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 about the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony:

Information on the 2018 Literary Awards ceremony is forthcoming.