The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize honors exceptionally talented fiction writers whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. One PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize winner will be selected by a panel of three to four writers or editors who are PEN Members.
The winner receives a cash award of $25,000, a stipend intended to permit a significant degree of leisure in which to pursue a second work of literary fiction. The recipient is also encouraged to become an active participant in the PEN community and its programs advancing literature, free expression, and the worldwide PEN community of writers.
The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize was established in memory of Robert W. Bingham, who died in 1999 at the age of 33, to commemorate his support of young writers, his love of literature, and his contribution to literary fiction.
Past winners: Carolyn Cooke, Matthew Klam, Manil Suri, Jonathan Safran Foer, Will Heinrich, Monique Truong, Christopher Coake, Janna Levin, Dalia Sofer, Donald Ray Pollock, Paul Harding, Danielle Evans, Susanna Daniel, Vanessa Veselka, Sergio De La Pava, and Shawn Vestal.
Eligibility and Submissions for the 2016 Awards
Submissions will open for the 2016 awards on June 1, 2015.
- PEN will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents. Authors may not submit their own book for this award.
- One need not be a Member of PEN to submit
- To be eligible, a candidate’s first (and only the first) novel or first collection of short fiction must have been published by a U.S. trade publisher between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.
- Candidates must be U.S. residents; American citizenship is not required.
- There are no restrictions on the candidate’s age or on the style of his or her work.
- Self-published books are not eligible.
How to apply
1. Please download the award's Declaration of Eligibility here. Complete all fields and have a company executive sign in order to confirm the book's eligibility. If eligible, please mail this form along with one copy of the book to PEN's office (see step 3).
2. Complete awards online submission form. When submisisons open, we will provide a link here to the online submissions form. Each submission is $50. If you would like to pay by check, please enter CHECK in the coupon code field at checkout. Be sure to print your receipt. Please also submit a verified email address on the submission form; your order cannot be processed without an email address, as this info will be used to later contact you regarding the shipments of your submission. Please note that submission fees are not refundable.
3. When submissions open mail one copy of the candidate's book accompanied by the printed receipt to the address below. Please note that we also accept galleys.
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012