PEN New England

PEN new england


“Literature is the best thing humanity has. Poetry is the heart of literature, the highest concentration of everything that is the best in the world and in man. It is the only true food for your soul.”  
Lyudmila Ulitskaya



We are a chapter of PEN American Center, part of a global association of writers celebrating literature and defending free expression. We make our home at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction

2017 PEN/Hemingway AWARD, APRIL 2ND


about the award

The PEN/Hemingway Award is given for a novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a full-length book of fiction.

In addition to $25,000, the winner also receives a one-week residency and $5,000 honorarium from the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series at the University of Idaho’s MFA Creative Writing Program. All competition honorees receive Residency Fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers.

The award is funded by the Hemingway Family, the Hemingway Society, and PEN New England. Major support is also provided by Mary & Kurt Cerulli.

A 40-Year legacy

We’re still celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the PEN/Hemingway Award, founded in 1976 by Mary Hemingway, the wife of Ernest Hemingway, to honor his legacy. Notable PEN/Hemingway winners and honorees include Marilynne Robinson, Edward P. Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Colson Whitehead, Lily King, Jennifer Haigh, ZZ Packer, George Saunders, Ha Jin, Sherman Alexie, Junot Díaz, Yiyun Li, Ben Fountain, Joshua Ferris, and Teju Cole—a forty-year lineage of literary excellence. For a full list of honorees, click here.


2016 Ceremony Highlights

2016 Winner Ottessa Moshfegh

Recent Winners