PEN/Faulkner 2017-2018 Season

We are pleased to share with you our exciting lineup of events for the 2017-2018 season. After thirty extraordinary years with the Folger Shakespeare Library, we are excited to expand our reading series to new locations in the city. Come join our Literary Conversations to hear today’s writers read their work and engage in discourse on today’s issues, with each event individually ticketed (or free to attend) and held at a different venue. We look forward to seeing you! Click here for more information on all events.


BELONGING: The 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration

BELONGING: The 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration
Monday, October 16th, 2017  |  6:00 PM

NEW LOCATION: The Showroom | 1099 14th Street, NW

On Monday, October 16th, 2017, PEN/Faulkner will hold its 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration at THE SHOWROOM in downtown Washington, DC. This annual event supports the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and our Writers in Schools programming, and features some of today’s finest authors reading works composed especially for the occasion.

This year acclaimed authors André AcimanRanda JarrarGish JenAlexander MaksikImbolo MbueAlexandra PetriRion Amilcar ScottAkhil SharmaHannah TintiD. Watkins and Master of Ceremonies Calvin Trillin will take to the Showroom’s stage to present work written on the theme of BELONGING.

Cocktails begin at 6:00 p.m. and the reading program starts at 7:00 p.m. The program will be followed by a dinner reception with chef stations featuring food prepared by local chefs.

Please note that this is no longer a seated event, and that it is no longer black tie. Tables are no longer available for purchase.

Individual tickets to the event are $500. For more information, or to purchase tickets, email or call the PEN/Faulkner office at 202-898-9063. Tickets are also available for purchase online.

You can also listen to readings from previous PEN/Faulkner Celebrations as episodes of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. Episode 21 comes from 2013’s “Renewal” Gala, Episode 34 comes from 2014’s “Danger” Gala, and Episode 47 features 2015’s PEN/Faulkner Celebration on the theme of “Spark.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Named 2nd Annual Eudora Welty Lecturer

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will deliver the second annual Eudora Welty Lecture on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. Inspired by Eudora Welty’s lectures on One Writer’s Beginnings, the Eudora Welty Lecture is an original talk on the topic of a writer’s creative origins. The program is presented by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Eudora Welty Foundation.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Photo by Wani Olatunde


Announcing our new Executive Director

DarlTaylor-4720FThe PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Darlene Taylor is our new Executive Director.

Taylor brings experience in connecting people and organizations in initiatives they value from her previous service in the corporate sector, nonprofits, and as a senior Congressional aide. With an MFA in Creative Writing, former leadership in literary organizations, and hometown pride, she brings a passion for literature and the communities the foundation serves through its reading series, awards, and Writers in Schools programming.

“I believe literature has the power to bring people together so the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s charge to bring books to life inspires me,” Taylor said. “I look forward to being a partner in making literature accessible in classrooms and communities across the city, in bringing together diverse writers and audiences in conversations, and celebrating literature.”

Fall Internship Opportunities

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PEN/Faulkner Award Intern

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation seeks an intern to assist with the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award submission process. The intern will assist in logistical coordination of the submission process, as well as conduct research into American fiction published during 2017. Additionally, the intern will help draft marketing and communication materials to promote PEN/Faulkner’s upcoming public events, and assist with various administrative tasks.

The internship will begin in late-July and run through December, however, if an intern is interested in extending his/her internship into the spring semester, this can be coordinated. We expect a commitment of 10-15 hours per week, though the intern will have the flexibility to design his or her own schedule.

The Awards intern will:

  • Conduct research on contemporary authors & texts
  • Communicate with publicists & awards coordinators at publishing houses
  • Help track submissions
  • Draft marketing materials for the PEN/Faulkner Celebration, The Eudora Welty Lecture, The PEN/Malamud Award, and the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony.
  • Perform various office administrative tasks, as needed.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is a national prize which honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens in a calendar year. Three writers are chosen annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Board of Directors to serve as judges for the prize, and these judges are asked to select five books as finalists for the award, making ours the largest peer-juried award in the country. The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is adjudicated free of commercial considerations.


Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Executive Director Darlene Taylor ( with the subject line “Awards Internship.”

All applications are due by Monday, July 24th, 2017.

Now Accepting Submissions for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is now accepting submissions for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!

This year’s judges, Alex Espinoza, Stacey D’Erasmo, and Andrea Barrett, are poised to read the novels, novellas, and collections of short stories and to choose next year’s winner and finalists.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Books must be published in 2017.
  • Authors must be living American citizens.
  • Books must be published on an American commercial, academic, or small press. No self-published books are accepted.
  • There are no submission fees or application forms.
  • Bound proofs are eligible for submission for books which will be published in November or December of 2017.
  • All submissions must be post-marked October 31, 2017.

Please send FOUR copies of each book to the following address for forwarding to the judges. You are invited to send as many shipments as you like, and are encouraged to send available books as soon as possible.

PEN/Faulkner Award Submissions
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

The award was founded by members of the international writers’ organization PEN and is now governed by an independent foundation board. The budget for the award and its administration is funded by gifts and grants. We are always grateful for support of the award and of other PEN/Faulkner programs.

The winning writer and four finalists are honored at a ceremony held in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library in May, 2018. To browse a list of past winners and finalists, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, please send them to

Announcing the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Jhumpa Lahiri will receive the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library on December 8th, 2017.

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four widely acclaimed works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland; and two works of nonfiction: In Other Words and The Clothing of Books. She translated the novel Ties by Domenico Starnone from the Italian. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia.

Click here for more information about the PEN/Malamud Award.

The 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony

The 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner

Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Folger Shakespeare Library


Celebrating the winner as “first among equals,” the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $100.

The event will feature the judges’ citations for each finalist’s book, the conferral of the PEN/Faulkner Award on Imbolo Mbue, and a reading by each author. Ron Charles, Editor of Book World for the Washington Post, will serve as our Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

After the readings, we’ll adjourn to the Old Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library for a buffet dinner with the judges, finalists, and winner. By purchasing a table for 10, you guarantee seats with your friends, an exclusive chance to pre-select your spot in the Reading Room, and the opportunity to sit with a local author.

To purchase tickets, click here or call the Folger Box Office at 202-544-7077; to purchase a table, call the Box Office. We can’t wait to see you there!

“The most incredible part of this incredible, wonderful award are the people who are on this stage with me.” – Karen Joy Fowler, 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner  

DC – 2017 PEN/Faulkner Summer Supper & Book Club – DEADLINE EXTENDED

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Our DEADLINE for applications is now Friday, June 9th, 2017! Please complete the Summer Supper & Book Club Application — by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9th, 2017!.

Summer is almost here, and while the school year is coming to a close (!), our Writers in Schools programming is not! Join us for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Foundation Summer Supper & Book Club and spend your summer reading great books, eating pizza and having invigorating conversations with local DC authors.

What is the Summer Supper & Book Club? 

The 2017 Summer Supper & Book Club, an initiative of PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program, will provide students with free copies of contemporary literature and the opportunity to meet and discuss those books with the authors who wrote them. The program will also provide an informal dinner and supplementary materials to participating students. Students familiar with our Writers in Schools Program will notice many similarities (and a few pleasant surprises) between our Summer Supper & Book Club and Writers in Schools Programming.


Sessions start Monday, June 19, 2017 and run every Monday evening from 5:30 — 8:00 p.m. (6/19, 6/26, 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31) through Monday, July 31, 2017.


The Summer Supper & Book Club will meet
at Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital in Eastern Market
921 Pennsylvania Ave SE  |  Washington, DC 20003
Accessible by Metro, just 1.5 blocks from the Eastern Market station and Pennsylvania Ave. Bus lines.
{Click here for Map}

Apply Here:

Interested students must complete the Summer Supper & Book Club Application — by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9th, 2017.

Note: Students must be in the class of 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021

Questions? Email PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools Program Director Greg Langen:

The program is entirely FREE.