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.

The PEN/New England Awards
Submission Guidelines

We are now accepting submissions for the PEN/New England Awards for books published in 2016. Three prizes will be awarded: one each in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Eligible titles must be by New England authors or with a New England topic or setting.

Last year’s winners were Jim Shepard for The Book of Aron, Reginald Dwayne Betts for Bastards of the Reagan Era, and Rinker Buck for The Oregon Trail.

Previous winners include E.B. White, Andre Dubus, Tracy Kidder, Mary Oliver, Anita Shreve, Donald Hall, Swanee Hunt, Stanley Kunitz, Leo Damrosch, Louise Glück, Sebastian Junger, Margo Livesey, Heidi Julevits, Wesley McNair, Kevin Birmingham, and Carolyn Chute.  A full list of past winners and more information can be found here.

PEN New England is a chapter of PEN American Center, the largest of 150 International PEN centers. The award will be presented at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston on April 2, 2017 at a ceremony that will include the presentation of the PEN/ Hemingway Award for debut fiction.

Eligible Books

Eligible books must be written by New England authors or have a New England topic or setting, 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.


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 three (3) copies of each title to:

PEN New England
PEN New England Awards
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% waver on the fee.