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

2018 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction

For a debut novel or book of short stories published in 2017 by an American author who has not previously published a full-length book of fiction. In addition to a $25,000 prize, the winner receives a one-week residency and 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. 

Read an interview with Teju Cole, 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award winner.

The award is funded by the Hemingway Family, Hemingway Foundation and Society, and PEN America.


Submissions for the 2018 awards will be accepted from October 4, 2017 through December 8, 2017.  For eligibility requirements and to apply for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, visit


Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing

Bill Beverly, Dodgers (Crown)
Leopoldine Core, When Watched (Penguin Books)

Honorable Mention
Callan Wink, Dog Run Moon (Dial Press)
Melissa Yancy, Dog Years (University of Pittsburgh Press)

40-Year Legacy

The PEN/Hemingway Award was 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.


Ottessa Moshfegh