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
Submission Guidelines

PEN New England is now accepting submissions for the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2016. 

In addition to $25,000, the winner also receives a fellowship at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and a residency at the University of Idaho’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. All competition honorees receive Residency Fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers. A panel of three distinguished fiction writers selects the winner.

Previous recipients of the PEN/Hemingway Award include Marilynne Robinson, Edward P. Jones, Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jennifer Haigh, Chris Abani, Yiyun Li, Ben Fountain, Joshua Ferris, Teju Cole, and Ottessa Moshfegh. A full list of past winners can be found here.

The late Mary Hemingway founded the award in 1976 both to honor the memory of her husband, Ernest Hemingway, and to recognize distinguished first books of fiction. The award is funded by the Hemingway Family, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and PEN New England.

PEN New England is a chapter of PEN America and part of a national and international community of writers celebrating literature and defending free expression. We make our home at MIT, where the Arts are rooted in imagination and experimentation.

The award will be presented at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston on April 2, 2017.

Eligible Books

Eligible titles must be the first published book-length work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) and must have been published in 2016 by a U.S. publisher. Candidates must be U.S. residents; American citizenship is not required. Self-published books, digital files, or e-books are not eligible for consideration. Submissions are welcome from publishers, editors, literary agents, and authors. Authors are not disqualified by the previous publication of nonfiction, poetry, drama, or books for children. 


Submissions must be postmarked by December 31, 2016.

To Apply Online

For each title being entered, click the button below and fill out the accompanying form. Repeat as needed. After you have finished entering all titles, click the shopping cart icon to finish your transaction. There is a $50 entry fee* for each title. Mail four (4) copies of each title to:

PEN New England
The PEN/Hemingway Award
MIT, 14N-221A
77 Massachusetts Avenue,
Cambridge, MA 02139

To pay by check, enter CHECK in the coupon code box and mail your payment to the address above. If you prefer, you can download a hard copy of the application form here.

Enter a Title

*Presses with an annual budget of $3 million or less may request a 50% waiver on the fee.