NEW YORK—PEN America today released the longlists for its 2018 Literary Awards, celebrating nearly 70 titles spanning the range of literary work including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translation, and lifetime achievement. Offered by the country’s only organization that both celebrates literature and defends free expression, the Awards give special weight to emerging authors, writers of color, and international literature in translation.

The 2018 PEN America Literary Awards longlists include breakout authors Carmen Maria Machado for Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press) and Jenny Zhang for Sour Heart (Lenny); literary icons Edwidge Danticat for The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf Press) and Ursula K. Le Guin for No Time to Spare (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); historian and activist Rebecca Solnit for The Mother of All Questions (Haymarket Books); heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson for Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato with Larry “Ratso” Sloman (Blue Rider Press); and Hamilton author Ron Chernow for his newest historical biography Grant (Penguin Press), among many others. 

“Over the last year, we have witnessed a reading public thirsting for literature as a fount of inspiration, an escape from the daily headlines, and a wellspring that can allow us to reimagine a world free of today’s fissures,” said PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel. “Through the PEN America Literary Awards we celebrate the role of literature and translation in fostering empathy across social schisms, opening our eyes to what we might overlook, and offering sustenance and solace that help all of us press forward.”

Finalists for the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards will be announced in January, and winners will be revealed at the Literary Awards Ceremony on February 20 at the NYU Skirball Center in New York.

For over 50 years, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN America will confer 24 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2018, awarding more than $350,000 to writers and translators. 

The full 2018 PEN America Literary Award longlists are available at


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world.  Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Anoosh Gasparian, External Communications Coordinator:, +1 646-779-0685