Call for Submissions for 2016 Literary Awards


The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers nearly $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry. Submissions and nominations will be accepted from June 1, 2015 through August 15, 2015 for the following 2016 awards:

Book Submissions

Fiction and Nonfiction

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000)

For a fiction writer whose debut work of fiction—a novel or collection of short stories published in 2015—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise

PEN/ Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000)

For a book of essays published in 2015 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem of the essay form

PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)

For a book of literary nonfiction published in 2015 on the subject of the physical or biological sciences

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award ($5,000)

For a distinguished biography published in the United Statesin 2015

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000)

For an exceptional work of literature by an author of color published in 2015

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)

For a nonfiction book published in 2015 on the subject of sports. Eligible titles should be of a biographical, investigative, historical, or analytical nature and of the strongest literary character


PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)

For a book-length translation of prose into English publishedin 2015 (works of poetry will not be accepted; for works of poetry in translation, please see the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation below)

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)

For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2015

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000–$4,000)

To support the translation of book-length works of prose, poetry, and drama

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award ($3,000)

For Paraguayan literature not yet translated into English

Unpublished Manuscripts

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000)

For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two books, to complete a book-length work-in-progress. The Fellowship has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber but who have not yet attracted a broad readership

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction

Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000)

To the author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books

PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize ($10,000)

For a promising young writer under the age of 35 whose unpublished work of nonfiction addresses a global and/or multicultural issue.

Career Awards

One of the many benefits of PEN membership is the ability to submit letters of recommendation on behalf of your colleagues acknowledging their achievements in literature. Send in your letter of nomination by August 15, 2015.

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)

For a living American or U.S.-based writer each year to celebrate their body of work and long-time contributions to the field of literary sports writing

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama ($7,500 & $2,500)

Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American


PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000)

For a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable presence in American Literature

In 2016, PEN will also be offering the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000) to an author whose body of work places them in the highest ranks of American literature. However, this award will be administered by internal nomination only.


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