The PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History recognizes a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement. The winner will receive a $10,000 grant to help maintain or complete his or her ongoing project.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2018 through August 15, 2018.
Who Is Eligible:
- The submitted project must be the work of a single individual, writing in English.
- The project must be an unpublished work-in-progress.
- The project must be a work of literary nonfiction (scholarly/academic writing is not eligible).
- Oral history must be a significant component of the project and its research.
How to apply:
Please submit your application below. Please note that the application will require:
- A 1-2 page, single-spaced description of the work, its importance, and why the author chose to undertake this project.
- A 1-2 page, single-spaced statement explaining why and how oral history was used in the project.
- A 300-500 word statement explaining how a grant would aid in the completion of the project.
- A CV for the author of the project, which should include information on any previous publications.
- An outline that includes the work completed thus far and the work remaining. The outline should include the names of all participants.
- Transcripts of the project interviews (6-10 pages).
- A writing sample from the project (20-40 pages).
The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship is a $5,000 award offered annually to an author of children's or young-adult fiction. It has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber and is designed to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career to complete a book-length work-in-progress.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2018 through August 15, 2018.
Who Is Eligible:
- A candidate is a writer of children's or young adult fiction in financial need.
- Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author.
- The writer's previous book(s) must be published by a U.S. trade publisher (not self-published).
- The submitted work must be fiction and a work-in-progress (not published). Graphic novels and picture books are not accepted.
- Judges will be looking for candidates whose work has not yet attracted a broad readership.
How to Apply or Nominate:
Please note that the application process is now entirely online. Hard copy applications will no longer be accepted. Writers may nominate themselves or a fellow writer. To submit, please complete the electronic application below which will require the following materials:
1) Cover letter: A 1-2 page letter describing in some detail how the candidate meets the criteria for the Fellowship, including a list of their previously published novel(s) for children or young adults.
2) Three professional reviews: Copies of or links to at least three reviews of their novel(s) from professional publications.
3) Letter of recommendation: A 1-2 page letter of support written by an editor or fellow writer.
4) Project outline: A brief (2-4 page) outline of the current novel in progress. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the outline in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
5) Manuscript sample: 50–75 pages of the work-in-progress. Graphic novels and picture books are not eligible. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
6) Financial statement: A brief description (roughly 1 page in length) of the candidate's recent earnings and a statement about why monetary support will make a particular difference in the applicant's writing life at this time. If the candidate is married or living with a domestic partner, please include a brief description of total family income and expense. Please note that these details will be viewed only by PEN's awards administrator. This statement will not be shared with the judges and will be kept confidential.
PEN America’s $10,000 Writing for Justice Fellowships will commission six writers — emerging or established — to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate.
The PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing and sharing the stories of incarcerated individuals, their families, communities, and the wider impact of the criminal justice system. Our goal is to catalyze a broad, sustained conversation about the dangers of over-incarceration, and the imperative to mobilize behind rational and humane policies. As an organization of writers dedicated to promoting free expression and informed discourse, PEN America is honored to have been entrusted by the Art for Justice Fund to engage the literary community in addressing this pressing societal issue.
The Writing for Justice Fellowship is open-genre, and proposed projects may include — but are not limited to — fictional stories; works of literary or long-form journalism; theatrical, television or film scripts; memoirs; poetry collections; or multimedia projects. The most competitive applications will demonstrate how the proposed project will engage issues of reform, fuel public debate, crystallize concepts of reform, and facilitate the possibility of societal change. As part of our mission to stimulate discussion, emphasis will be placed on proposed projects that show strong promise for publication. Fellows must commit to contribute actively to bringing attention to their work, and that of other Fellows. The Fellowship is open to writers at any stage of their career. Currently and formerly incarcerated writers are highly encouraged to apply, and special provisions will be made for incarcerated writers to participate through alternative methods.
Fellows will receive an honorarium of $10,000, and may request up to $5,000 in additional funding for travel and research. In addition to financial support, Fellows may choose to be paired with a mentor to serve as a source of guidance for the project, and the cohort will convene in person twice during the course of the Fellowship. PEN America will draw on the Writing for Justice Advisory Committee, as well as its network of agents, editors, publishers, partner organizations and outlets in order to assist efforts for publication and dissemination of the work of the Fellows. Opportunities for sharing the created work through public forums will be organized in New York City at the PEN World Voices Festival, in the Fellow’s home community and possibly additional locations.
The first eight months of the Fellowship is designed for Fellows to research, create, and connect with mentors and the cohort, working toward submission of a polished final product that is ready for publication. The final four months of the Fellowship will focus on placing the works for public dissemination and opportunities for Fellows to present their work publically.
July 1, 2018: Deadline to apply
September 2018: Successful applicants notified
September-May, 2018: Fellows work on their projects, meet with mentors
October TBD, 2018: Cohort meeting #1 (NYC)
February TBD, 2019: Cohort meeting #2 (Location TBD)
April 2019: PEN World Voices Festival event featuring works in progress
May 2019: Work completed and submitted for publication
May-August, 2019: Placing work and public presentations
To be eligible for this Fellowship, the applicant must be
- 21 years of age or older.
- An individual writer. Collaborative projects are acceptable, but only one project lead may apply and participate in the Fellowship’s activities.
- A United States resident.
- Available to participate actively in all dimensions of Fellowship programming, including mandatory gatherings and public programs. (The Fellowship will cover costs associated with these events, separately from the Fellowship honorarium and travel/research budget.) Currently incarcerated writers and formerly incarcerated writers on parole will participate through alternative means.
- Able to demonstrate a track record of successful projects and past project completion.
Membership in PEN America is not required. Please see FAQs below for more information.
Selection Criteria and Process
Fellows will be selected on artistic merit, the project’s approach and potential for impact, and the feasibility of project to be fully completed and in polished, publishable form within the given timeframe. Applications will be reviewed by PEN America and expert advisors through an anonymous process.
Applications close July 1, 2018. Fellows will be announced in September 2018.
How To Apply
Closely review all required materials listed below. Please be mindful of the specific application requests. Failure to follow instructions carefully will result in immediate disqualification. Late applications will not be accepted. We suggest you submit early to avoid technical issues.
All non-incarcerated applicants are asked to submit online through Submittable. There is no fee to apply to the Writing for Justice Fellowship.
Currently incarcerated writers can submit by sending application materials (preferably typed, but clean, legible handwritten applications will also be accepted) to the address below:
Writing For Justice Fellowship
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012
Currently incarcerated writers should follow formatting to the best of their ability, and estimate word count as closely as possible. We will not disqualify applications for being reasonably over count.
Please see FAQs on our website for further information.
The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers each year recognizes twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published during a given calendar year in a literary magazine or cultural website and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers.
Each of the twelve winning writers will receive a cash purse of $2,000 and will be honored at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City. The independent book publisher Catapult will publish the twelve winning stories in an annual anthology entitled The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2018 through November 1, 2018.
Who is Eligible:
- PEN will only accept submissions from editors of eligible publications. Authors may not submit their own work.
- Participating publications may be cultural websites, online magazines, or print magazines distributed in the U.S.
- Editors from eligible publications may only submit an author’s debut short story. A debut story is defined as the writer's first short story publication that has undergone an editorial review process and been accepted and published by a publication that the author is not professionally associated with.
- Stories must have been published or forthcoming in 2018.
- Editors from eligible publications may submit up to four eligible stories from eligible authors in a given award year.
- Editors from eligible publications must submit short stories that are up to 12,000 words in length.
- The editor and author must agree to the award’s Declaration of Eligibility and Consent form, which outlines serial rights for Catapult’s forthcoming anthology.
- There are no restrictions on the candidate’s age or on the style of his or her work.
How to Apply:
1. Editors from eligible publications must download and complete the award’s Declaration of Eligibility and Consent form.
2. Complete the online Submittable form below.
The Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, which was established in 2000 by Barbara Kingsolver and is funded entirely by her, was created to promote fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. The $25,000 prize is awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that exemplifies the prize’s founding principles. The winner also receives a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2018 through October 1, 2018.
The PEN/Bellwether Prize is awarded to an unpublished novel manuscript by a writer who has had at least four publications (including short stories or essays), and, if the writer has published a book, the book has not sold more than 10,000 copies. The submission must be an original, previously unpublished novel, written by one person, in English, at least 80,000 words in length. Eligible authors must be U.S. citizens. The winning manuscript will be chosen by a panel of three judges: one editor representing the participating publisher, Algonquin, and two distinguished literary authors selected by PEN’s Literary Awards Committee in consultation with Barbara Kingsolver. Manuscripts are judged blind, to avoid any form of bias; the identity of the author of the winning manuscript (and all other submissions) is not known by any judge until after the decision is finalized. Only PEN awards administrators are able to view the submitter's identity.
Each applicant's application must include their resume or CV where you will be able to detail your publishing experience for PEN staff to review for eligibility.
Your submission may not be under consideration by any publisher during the judging period. You will be notified immediately if your manuscript is no longer under consideration at which time you will should feel free to submit the work elsewhere for consideration.
Complete the online submission form below by October 1, 2018. Please note that the application will require:
- your typed, double-spaced (11 or 12 point font), and paginated manuscript (at least 80,000 words in length) with title appearing on every page (your name should not appear anywhere on the pages)
- a one-page synopsis of the work's plot which also explains how it addresses a social issue (please do not include your name on this page)
- résumé or curriculum vitae (five pages maximum)
- A $25 entry fee
The PEN/Heim Translation Fund was established in the summer of 2003 by a gift of $730,000 from Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim in response to the dismayingly low number of literary translations currently appearing in English. Its purpose is to promote the publication and reception of translated world literature in English.
Since the Fund's inception in 2004, the Fund has given grants of $2,000–$10,000 to a total of 139 translations from over 35 languages, including Armenian, Basque, Estonian, Farsi, Finland-Swedish, Lithuanian and Mongolian, as well as French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. Among the 108 projects awarded grants in the Fund’s first 10 years of operation (2004–2013), 72 of those (roughly 67%) have thus far been published or are forthcoming from a publisher.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2018 through July 20, 2018.
Who is eligible:
- The PEN/Heim Translation Fund provides grants to support the translation of book-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or drama that have not previously appeared in English in print or have appeared only in an outdated or otherwise flawed translation.
- Works should be translations-in-progress, as the grant aims to provide support for completion.
- There are no restrictions on the nationality or citizenship of the translator, but the works must be translated into English.
- The Fund seeks to encourage translators to undertake projects they might not otherwise have had the means to attempt.
- Anthologies with multiple translators, works of literary criticism, and scholarly or technical texts do not qualify.
- As of 2008, translators who have previously been awarded grants by the Fund are ineligible to reapply for three years after the year in which they receive a grant.
- Please note that projects that have been previously submitted and have not received a grant are unlikely to be reconsidered in a subsequent year.
- Projects may have up to two translators.
- Translators may only submit one project per year.
How to apply:
How to apply:
Please note that this year, hard copy versions are NOT required. The application process is entirely online.
Translators must complete the below applications form by midnight EST July 20, 2018. The below application will require the following materials:
1. The application form, with all items completed:
- A one- to two-page, single-spaced statement outlining the work and describing its importance.
- A biography and bibliography of the author, including information on translations of his or her work into other languages.
- A CV of the translator, no longer than three pages.
- If the book is not in the public domain and the project is not yet under contract, please include a photocopy of the copyright notice on the original (the copyright notice is a line including the character ©, a date, and the name of the copyright holder, which appears as part of the front matter in every book), and a letter from the copyright holder stating that English-language rights to the book are available. A letter or copy of an email from the copyright holder is sufficient.
- If the translation is currently under contract with a publisher, please submit a copy of the contract.
2. A 10–12-page, single-spaced sample of the translation.
3. The same passage in the original language (and, if the work has been previously translated, the same passage in the earlier version).
For more information, please contact awards[at]pen.org
The PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship (EV) is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.
Emerging Voices is a rigorous national fellowship that is based in Los Angeles, with weekly meetings and an intense reading and writing schedule. If you are not a resident of Los Angeles, and you are awarded the fellowship you will need to relocate for the seven month period, from January to July of 2019. Housing is not provided.
Components of the Emerging Voices Fellowship Include:
- Guidance from a professional mentor.
- Private Author Evenings with writers, agents, and publishers.
- Genre-specific master classes.
- UCLA Extension Writers' Program classes.
- A professional voice instruction class and recording session.
- A submissions workshop.
- A volunteer opportunity.
- Authors photos and professional bio.
- Three public readings in Los Angeles.
- A $1,000 stipend.
People ineligible for the Emerging Voices Fellowship:
- Those who have an M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D., or minor in Creative Writing.
- Students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
- Writers who have published one or more books through major publishing houses, university presses, or established presses.
- Current professional magazine and or newspaper feature writers or editors.
- Writers who are widely published in top-tier literary journals and/or magazines.
- Anyone under the age of 21.
Applications Must Include:
- Completed short answers.
- A professional CV or résumé. Please list any writing experience, education, and publishing credits.
- Two current letters of recommendation written by people who are either familiar with your writing, or can attest to your ability to complete a long term project. Letters must include the recommender's current e-mail address and phone number. Recommenders are not notified until the completed application is submitted. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the two letters are uploaded on August 1, 2018, by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time. (If you are waiting until the last minute to apply, be sure to notify your recommenders ahead of time so that their letters are ready to upload.)
- A writing sample of up to 20 pages of double-spaced fiction or creative nonfiction, or 10 pages of single-spaced poetry. This sample should be relevant to the project you are proposing in the short answer section of your Emerging Voices Fellowship Application. Writing samples that exceed this page count will be disqualified.
Writing Samples Must:
- Include full name and e-mail address on each page.
- Be typed, double-spaced, paginated in 12-point Times New Roman font.
- Uploaded as an attachment.
- Not be longer than the required page count. (See above.)
Finalists will be notified mid-November and will be required to interview in person with the selection committee in Los Angeles. The list of selected fellows will be posted on the PEN America website following interviews.
Application Deadline: August 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
PEN America does not discriminate based upon age, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, status as a veteran, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.