PEN America Literary Awards PEN/Nichols Writing for Performance Award


The PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award will honor the year’s best writing for performance with a prize of $25,000. The award aims to highlight transformative works that enlighten and inspire audiences in the tradition of venerated comedian and filmmaker Mike Nichols who died in 2014.

Current Cycle: 2019

Honoring works published in 2018.

Submissions: June-August 2018
Judges Announced: December 2018
Longlists Announced: December 2018
Shortlists Announced: January 2019
Awards Ceremony: February 2019

Featured Honoree: Kenneth Lonergan, 2019 Winner

Kenneth Lonergan

Kenneth Lonergan

Lonergan, a native New Yorker, is best known for co-writing Gangs of New York (2002), and for writing and directing You Can Count On Me (2000), Margaret (2011), and Manchester by the Sea (2016). He earned the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Manchester By The Sea, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for You Can Count On Me, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Gangs of New York, among other accolades. He began writing in high school and gained critical acclaim in 1996 with the play, This Is Our Youth. His success continued with The Waverly Gallery (1999), his film debut with Analyze This (1999), and Lobby Hero (2002). Lonergan’s stories and characters have been brought to life on stage and film by Hollywood elite including filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and actors Matthew Broderick, Anna Paquin, and Matt Damon.


Selection Process

The winner is selected by a panel of judges. There are no outside nominations.