(NEW YORK)— PEN America today announces competitive grants of $5000 to be awarded annually to two writers who are immigrants or refugees to support completion of works in progress. Submissions for the new grant, a partnership with The Bare Life Review, are open through July 21 and winners will be announced in the fall.

The co-founders of The Bare Life Review, Ellen Namakaokealoha Kamoe, David Wystan Owen, and Nyuol Lueth Tong said in a statement that the partnership with PEN America will “give new life and further reach” to the literary journal founded in 2017 with the sole mission of publishing immigrant and refugee writers.

“We founded The Bare Life Review in 2017, amid a disturbing global rise in anti-immigrant, anti-refugee sentiment,” the founders’ statement said. “We wanted the journal to be a space where the dignity, beauty, and endless diversity of migrant voices were celebrated with joy, and where their value could be taken absolutely for granted. We are honored to see the journal’s mission carried forward under the stewardship of such a venerable institution, with its history of unflagging support for international literature and free speech.”

Donica Bettanin, PEN America’s Literary Awards program director, welcomed the addition of the PEN/Bare Life Review grant, which will be administered alongside the organization’s existing PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants, PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, PEN/Jean Stein Grants for Literary Oral History, and PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists.

Bettanin said:  “We have long admired the work of The Bare Life Review and are deeply honored to have this opportunity to support the work of immigrant and refugee writers. We know that these grants will be transformative for writers who don’t always have access to traditional pathways to publication, and will help to deliver necessary stories into the hands of readers.”

About PEN America

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. To learn more visit PEN.org

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057