PEN America Prison Writing Award Winners: 2021

Perhaps now, more than ever, the work of this contest is needed: to help melt calcified perceptions of who is incarcerated, to uplift the incredible literary voices stifled by… More

PEN America Prison Writing Award Winners: 2020

Perhaps now, more than ever, the work of this contest is needed: to help melt calcified perceptions of who is incarcerated, to uplift the incredible literary voices stifled by… More

PEN America Prison Writing Award Winners: 2019

Every year, hundreds of inmates from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free… More

stack of notebooks

Prison Writing Award Winners: 2018

Every year, hundreds of inmates from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free… More

stack of notebooks

Prison Writing Award Winners: 2017

Every year, hundreds of inmates from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free… More

Minutes Before Six

“You are going to have a rather interesting map of what a person goes through during the years preceding an execution. He ruminated, “Sometimes I think that the missing… More

Siddharta’s Loop

I been goin’ to the Jersey shore since I was a kid and ain’t never seen a condom or syringe wash upon the sand. More

Jail Play

Here you go Frankie. Back again none too soon. Couldn’t resist coming back could you? Is it my smile? Or my size that keeps you coming back to jail?… More

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.