PEN New England

PEN new england

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

—George Orwell, 1984


PEN New England is 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.

Cerulli Award for Excellence in Sports Writing

Established in 2012 by Kurt and Mary Cerulli, the award–which comes with a $5,000 prize–honors excellence in sports writing across genres. The inaugural winner was Ben Fountain for his novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award.


I like your interest in sports… Sports take people out of doors, get them filled with oxygen—generate some of the brutal customs (so-called brutal customs) which, after all, tend to habituate people to a necessary physical stoicism.
— Walt Whitman

Sport is an activity that has captivated the minds of great thinkers and writers for ages, from Aristotle to Walt Whitman to John Updike. The best sports writing transcends the game and reveals the same drama, excitement, and style found in all great literature. Maxwell Perkins said that Chicago sports columnist Ring Lardner was the most talented writer he knew—a nice tribute considering Perkins was the editor of both Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Making its permanent home in the Press Room at Fenway Park, the Sports Writing Hall of Fame honors writers who have made significant contributions to sports literature. The first class of inductees was unveiled on June 15, 2015, in an on-field ceremony at Fenway Park.

2015 Ceremony At Fenway Park

The 2015 winner of the Cerulli Award for Sports Writing is All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach, announced and celebrated on June 15th at an on-field ceremony in Fenway Park where we also dedicated the Sports Writing Hall of Fame and honored the first class of inductees: W. C. Heinz, Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice, and Red Smith. Watch a video of the event and view photos below:

About the Winners