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PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000)

This biennial prize of $10,000 will go to the author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in the United States during the previous two calendar years. The book should possess the qualities of intellectual rigor and importance, perspicuity of expression, and stylistic elegance conspicuous in the writings of author and economist John Kenneth Galbraith, whose four dozen books and countless other publications continue to provide an important and incisive commentary on the American social, intellectual and political scene.

Past winners: James Carroll, Steve Coll, Robert Perkinson, and Katherine Boo.

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2015 Awards


Submissions will open later this summer of 2014. 
Who Is Eligible 
A candidate’s book of nonfiction must have been published in the United States between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. Candidates need not be U.S. residents. Biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs are not accepted. 

Submissions are only accepted from publishers, editors, and agents. One need not be a Member of PEN to submit. Self-published books are not eligible. If you submit a book for this award, you may not submit it for any additional PEN American Center awards.

How to apply

  1. In Fall 2014, we will attach a link here that will direct you to the awards submissions page. Each submission is $50. If you would like to pay by check, please select CHECK in the coupon code field at checkout. Be sure to print your receipt.

  2. Mail three copies of the candidate's book accompanied by the printed receipt and submission form to the address below during the 2015 Awards submission period (to be determined):
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012
Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $4 million. Please contact PEN if you wish to find out more.
For more information, please contact awards@pen.org.