(New York, NY) — PEN America today announced the 60 judges for its 2022 PEN America Literary Awards. Among the esteemed writers who will select winners across ten categories: Whiting Award winner Ling Ma; New York Times bestselling author Chanel Miller; acclaimed author of three award-winning novels Jonathan Safran Foer; New Yorker staff writer Vinson Cunningham; beloved Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry; Pulitzer winner Marilynne Robinson; and many more.

“This extraordinary group of authors has contributed their time, their energy, and their talents to evaluating some of the best works of writing from the past year,” said Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, senior director of literary programs at PEN America. “Literature is a community, and for these luminaries to devote themselves to the PEN America Literary Awards is a generous expression of their leadership among writers and readers alike.”

Among the most diverse and expansive awards programs in the country, the PEN America Literary Awards for 2022 includes a roster of judges from 17 states, Canada, the U.S., and the United Kingdom. More than 50 percent of the judges are writers of color, and more than 50 percent identify as women. Each year, judges are selected with the help of the PEN America Literary Awards Committee.

Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. With the support of its partners, PEN America confers over 20 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes each year, awarding nearly $350,000 to writers and translators.

“Working on a book, a poetry collection, or a work of translation in 2020 was a great act of faith. All the books that our judges will pore over were brought together amid one of the most wrenching periods of global history,” said Donica Bettanin, PEN America’s program director of literary awards. “Our judges are true literary citizens, poised to herald the writers who maintained their creative conviction even when faced with a pandemic.”

PEN America will announce its longlists later this year, and then finalists in early 2022. While PEN America will take health and safety into account, the organization looks forward to hosting its live awards ceremony in-person in New York City next spring. Dubbed “the Oscars, but for books” by comedian Seth Myers, the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards will also honor career achievement award winners and feature live announcements of its major prizes.

View the full list of judges and explore past PEN America Literary Award winners.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Fee, [email protected]