PEN America Literary Awards PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut book, a collection of short stories, represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise for a second work of literary fiction. The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize intended to allow significant time and resources with which to pursue subsequent work.

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize was established in memory of Robert W. Bingham, who died in 1999 at the age of 33, to commemorate his support of young writers, his love of literature, and his contribution to literary fiction.

All winners, finalists, and longlisters for this award are eligible to receive PEN America’s official emblems. If you are a publisher and interested in obtaining PEN America’s award emblem, please write to [email protected]. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.

Submissions open from June 1 – August 1, 2024 for books published in the 2024 calendar year. 

Featured Winner

To an author whose debut collection of short stories represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise for future work.

Judges: Chris Gonzalez, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Nafissa Thompson Spires 

Night of the Living Rez, Morgan Talty (Tin House Books)

From the judges’ citation: “Morgan Talty’s Night of the Living Rez percolates with tales about contemporary life and community on the Penobscot Indian Nation reservation. Here, Talty is a master of the craft; he understands the narrative power of the short story form, its ability to serve as both a mirror and a compass. These linked stories probe generational trauma and tradition with honesty, unrelenting humor, and depth, through memorable characters who ask, ‘“How did we get here?”’ and ‘“How do we get out of here?”’ Talty’s stories are made of fire and walk among us. May they walk for years to come and make their home deep in our canon.”

2023 Finalists

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, Sindya Bhanoo (Catapult)

A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times, Meron Hadero (Restless Books)

The Anchored World, Jasmine Sawers (Rose Metal Press)

Night of the Living Rez, Morgan Talty (Tin House Books)

Manywhere, Morgan Thomas (MCD)


Previous Winners

(This award was formerly named the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers.)

2022 Skinship: Stories, Yoon Choi (Knopf)

2021 Michael X. Wang for Further News of Defeat: Stories (Autumn House Press)

2020 Mimi Lok for Last of Her Name (Kaya Press)

2019 Will Mackin for Bring Out the Dog (Random House)

2018 Jenny Zhang for Sour Heart (Lenny)

2017 Rion Amilcar Scott for Insurrections (University of Kentucky Press)

2016 Mia Alvar for In The Country: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf)

2015 Jack Livings for The Dog (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

2014 Shawn Vestal for Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest)

2013 Sergio De La Pava for A Naked Singularity (University of Chicago Press)

2012 Vanessa Veselka for Zazen (Red Lemonade)
Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station (Coffee House Press)

2011 Susanna Daniel for Stiltsville (Harper)
Danielle Evans, Before You Suffocate your Own Fool Self (Riverhead Trade)
Runner-Up: Teddy Wayne, Kapitoil (Harper Perennial)

2010 Paul Harding for Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press)
Terrence Holt, In the Valley of the Kings (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Daughters of the Stone (Thomas Dunne Books)

2009 Donald Ray Pollock for Knockemstiff (Doubleday)
Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (Free Press)

2008 Dalia Sofer for The Septembers of Shiraz (Ecco)
Joshua Ferris, Then We Come to an End (Little, Brown & Co.)
Alex Mindt, The Male of the Species (Delphinium)

2007 Janna Levin for A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines (Knopf)
Runners up:
Tony D’Souza, Whiteman (Harcourt)
Katherine Min, Secondhand World (Knopf)

2006 Christopher Coake, We’re In Trouble (Harcourt)
Tom Bissell, God Lives in St. Petersburg: And Other Stories (Pantheon)
Richard McCann, Mother of Sorrows (Vintage)

2004 Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Will Heinrich, The King’s Evil (Scribner)
Monique Truong, The Book of Salt (Mariner Books)

2002 Manil Suri, The Death of Vishnu (W.W. Norton)
Carolyn Cooke, The Bostons (Mariner)
Matthew Klam, Sam the Cat and other stories (Vintage)


  • PLEASE NOTE: This prize will honor a debut writer’s short story collection, which is also the writer’s first published book.
  • The candidate’s first (and only the first) collection of short fiction must have been published by a U.S. trade publisher between January 1 and December 31 of the applicable calendar year.
  • Eligible books must be written by a single, living author.
  • Candidates must be U.S. residents; American citizenship is not required.
  • There are no restrictions on the candidate’s age or on the style of their work as long as it is a collection of individual short stories.
  • If you submit a book for this award, you may not submit it for any additional PEN America Literary Award, with the exception of the PEN Open Book Award. Please note that the PEN/Faulkner Award is not considered a PEN America Literary Award.

Submission Guidelines

  • All submitted books must be published by a trade or academic publisher between January 1 and December 31 in the applicable year. 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.
  • On the submission form, please select the award you are submitting to.
  • Submissions of a book to multiple awards is allowed only in the case of the PEN Open Book Award. Please complete a separate submission for this award if applicable.
  • Please submit verified email addresses on the submission form. Your order cannot be processed without an email address. Additional contacts are required so that we may be in contact directly if an author or translator is selected as a longlister, finalist, and/or winner.
  • Upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript on the book submissions form. 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.
  • Upload a high-resolution book jacket photo. This may be used later if the book is longlisted, a finalist, or a winner.
  • Each submission is $85. Submission fees are not refundable. Please note that all payments must be made via the submission form.
  • Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $2 million. You may request an exemption here—this form asks for a letter on company letterhead stating that the press’s annual net sales are less than $2 million. Do not submit your title before requesting your fee exemption, as the Literary Awards Team 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 [email protected] to your address book, as it will be the main point of contact from PEN America.