Submissions for the 2024 PEN America Literary Awards are now open until August 1, 2023. If you are an author with a book published in 2023, reach out to your publisher and/or literary agent to ask them to submit your title.

Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres such as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. PEN America awards nearly $350,000 to writers and translators through its many prizes each year.

Past African award winners include Hafizah Augustus Geter, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Kwame Dawes, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, and more.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submitted books must be published by a trade or academic publisher between January 1 and December 31, 2023. Self-published books are not eligible.
  • Books with more than one original author are not eligible.
  • Submissions will only be accepted from publishers or literary agents. Authors may not submit their own books.
  • On the submission form, please select the award you are submitting to.
  • Submissions of a book to multiple awards is allowed only in the case of the PEN Open Book Award. Please complete a separate submission for this award if applicable.
  • Please submit verified email addresses on the submission form. Your order cannot be processed without an email address. Additional contacts are required so that we may be in contact directly if an author or translator is selected as a longlister, finalist, and/or winner.
  • Upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript on the book submissions form. Book award submissions will be read as PDF files. Please upload the file saved as BOOKTITLE_AUTHORNAME. For the judges’ convenience, please upload a book file WITHOUT watermarks. Each book file will be kept confidentially between the Literary Awards team and the awards judges. Please note that if a book is longlisted, PEN America may request a physical copy be sent to the judging panel.
  • Upload a high-resolution book jacket photo. This may be used later if the book is longlisted, a finalist, or a winner.
  • Each submission is $85. Submission fees are not refundable. Please note that all payments must be made via the submission form.
  • Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $2 million. You may request an exemption here—this form asks for a letter on company letterhead stating that the press’s annual net sales are less than $2 million. Do not submit your title before requesting your fee exemption, as the Literary Awards Team will provide you with an alternative submission method.
  • Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility, it will be passed along to the judges. Please add [email protected] to your address book, as it will be the main point of contact from PEN America.

Deadline: August 1, 2023

Submit here.

For more info, go here.