Internship Opportunities at PEN/Faulkner

The PEN/Faulkner 2018 internship program is now open.

We are currently looking to fill two internship positions:

  • Writers in Schools Internship
  • Programs and Development Internship

The Writers in Schools Internship will focus on our Writers in Schools outreach program, which brings contemporary literature into DC public and public charter schools. We provide free books for students and coordinate class visits with the authors, fostering conversation about their works and their careers as writers.

Responsibilities include:

  • Helping coordinate author visits
  • Organizing past and current literature and information, and assisting in the evaluation of this large, expansive arts outreach program
  • Working closely with the Writers in Schools Program Director to analyze program data and draw meaningful conclusions on the strength and vitality of the program
  • Implementing new processes for tracking, archiving, and analyzing program and evaluation data
  • Researching DC area public and public charter schools to 1) understand the populations we serve and 2) adapt our program to better meet the needs of our local communities
  • General copywriting & administrative tasks

The ideal candidate has:

  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • An interest in education and in art-based outreach programs
  • The ability and drive to work independently and as part of a team
  • A passion for literature
  • A good sense of humor

The Programs and Development Internship will focus on outreach, marketing, and research, centered around our public literary events and projects. These projects include our ongoing programs, such as smaller book clubs, author talks, and joint events with DC partner organizations.

Responsibilities include:

  • Research on contemporary authors for upcoming literary events
  • Organization and categorization of PEN/Faulkner archival materials
  • Basic graphic design for both print and online material
  • Content generation for multiple social media platforms
  • Development research, to include identifying potential underwriters for public events
  • General copywriting & administrative tasks

The ideal candidate has:

  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Some experience with graphic design and social media
  • An interest in outreach or marketing
  • The ability and drive to work independently and as part of a team
  • A passion for literature
  • A good sense of humor

These internships are open to high school students, college and graduate students, and recent graduates. For college or graduate students, we expect a commitment of around 10 hours a week, as well as the ability to receive school credit for your time. Scheduling is flexible. Our office is located in the WeWork Wonder Bread building near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resumé to


Make Words Matter! Support PEN/Faulkner this #GivingTuesday

Today PEN/Faulkner is participating in Giving Tuesday, a national day of generosity when communities come together to support the causes they believe in. Help us do even more this coming year to bring books to life and make literature accessible to everyone.

Here’s an idea of what your donation can make happen:

  • $25: Help a DC public school student attend a public literary event
  • $50: Buy materials for the 2018 DC Essay Writing Contest workshop
  • $100: Provide lunch for 3 Teen Parent Book Club sessions
  • $500: Donate books to 25 Writers in Schools students
  • $1000: Fund an entire Writers in Schools visit, including author travel and honorarium
  • $5000: Cover the venue cost for a public Literary Conversations reading series event in 2018

Donate to PEN/Faulkner

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Cardozo Education Campus

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Cardozo Education Campus

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


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.

Announcing the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner


Congratulations to Imbolo Mbue, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel Behold the Dreamers (Penguin Random House), and congratulations again to our four finalists:

Viet Dinh for After Disasters (Little A, Seattle)

Louise Erdrich for LaRose (HarperCollins)

Garth Greenwell for What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Sunil Yapa for Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Little, Brown)

About the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner and Finalists:


Behold the Dreamers
(Penguin Random House)

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel, Behold the Dreamers, covers the struggle of immigrants longing to become American citizens, the stark divide between rich and poor, and the global financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. At the center of the novel is Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant who takes a job as a personal chauffeur for Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. It opens a window into a world of astounding privilege. Even as he works his way through immigration court, Jende remains aggressively optimistic about the promise of America, and soon his wife too begins working for the Edwards family. But in the days before the historic 2008 election, as Lehman Brothers declares bankruptcy, the cracks in the Edwards family begin to show — as do the things that make this country both blessed and doomed.  Michael Schaub, in his review on NPR, writes that Behold the Dreamers is a story with “no false notes, no narrative shortcuts, and certainly no manufactured happy endings.”

A native of Cameroon, Mbue currently lives in New York City.


Image result for viet dinh author

After Disasters
(Little A, Seattle)

Viet Dinh’s After Disasters is the ambitious debut novel chronicling trauma in many forms, from ecological, to psychological, to colonial. Based loosely on the major earthquake that struck the Gujarat province in India in 2001, the novel stitches together the lives of four men who arrive to join in relief efforts. Ted is a pharmaceutical salesmen turned U.S. aid-worker; Piotr is a haunted, Bosnian War Veteran; Andy is a young British firefighter eager for action; and Dev is an Indian AIDS doctor given the impossible task of tending to quake victims without the resources or time. In their attempt to redirect the forces of death and chaos, the disaster leads all four men to confront the fault lines of desire, love, and duty, in their own lives and the lives of strangers. Heidi Hong for the Los Angeles Times Book Review writes, “Dinh’s storytelling is attuned to paradox and interconnectedness, showing us that catastrophic events can change lives irrevocably while being only one of many ongoing tragedies in a short life.”

Dinh was born in Vietnam and grew up in Colorado. He currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware and teaches in the English Department at the University of Delaware.


Image result for louise erdrichLOUISE ERDRICH


Louise Erdrich’s La Rose unfolds from a single, tragic shot. While hunting near his home on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation one afternoon, Landreaux Iron accidently shoots his best friend’s son, Dusty. The two families, the Irons and the Ravichs, are plunged into blinding grief. But, Landreaux and his wife Emmaline arrive at an act of atonement: “Our son will be your son now,” they tell Peter Ravich, handing over a suitcase, “It’s the old way.” And so they leave their son, LaRose, to be raised in place of another boy. The story that follows traces the contours of grief—and both the possibilities and limitations of forgiveness. In his review of LaRose in The Washington Post, Ron Charles writes, “[Erdrich] gently insists that there are abiding spirits in this land and alternative ways of living and forgiving that have somehow survived the West’s best efforts to snuff them out.”

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels, including The Round House, which won the National Book Award for Fiction, Love Medicine, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Plague of Doves, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. An enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians,  Erdrich lives in Minnesota where she is the owner of Birchbark Books.


What Belongs to You
(Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Garth Greenwell’s debut novel What Belongs to You begins on a downward arc. The narrator, a young American teacher living in Bulgaria, searches for anonymous sex in public bathrooms under the National Palace of Culture. There he meets a rough, captivating man named Mitko who quickly takes the narrator up on his offer. What follows is the development of a relationship so tangled that it threatens to cast the narrator’s neatly measured life into disarray. Greenwell transforms introspective material into a thrilling narrative the plumbs the depths of what it means to love, what it means to lust, and what we are and are not able to confess.  Aaron Hamburger writes in The New York Times, “‘What Belongs to You’ is a rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, its subject: a gay man’s endeavor to fathom his own heart.”

Along with What Belongs to You, Greenwell is the author of the novella, Mitko, which won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Prize and a Lambda Award. He lives in Iowa City, where he holds the Richard E. Guthrie Memorial Fellowship at the University of Iowa.


Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
(Little, Brown)

In Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa tells the story of the Seattle World Trade Organization Protests of 1999 through a cast of rotating characters, evoking the human elements of a mass protest. Victor is the central character among these. A young black runaway and the estranged stepson of the white police chief presiding over the protest, Victor is hoping that the crowds gathered outside the WTO conference center will make for a pot-selling business opportunity. Other chapters are told from the perspectives of two street medics, a Sri Lankan delegate attempting to attend the conference so his country can gain admittance to the WTO, and Victor’s own estranged stepfather, Police Chief Bishop. The book displays the competing individual desires of a protest: activists who what justice, delegates who strive for economic growth, and cops who are trying to maintain order amidst perceived chaos. In The New York Times, Jenny Hendrix writes, “At the center of the novel is the same question posed by the protests themselves: What kind of world do we want, and what must we do to get it?”

Yapa is a Sri Lankan-American and lives in upstate New York

About the 2017 Judges:

Chris HeadshotChris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright.  Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria and received a BA in English from Imo State University in Nigeria, a BA in English, Gender and Culture from Birbeck College, University of London and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.  He is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemmingway Book Prize and Guggenheim Award.  His fiction includes The Secret History of Las VegasSong for NightThe Virgin of FlamesBecoming AbigailGraceLand, and Masters of the Board.  He has lived in the United States since 2001.

Chantel Acevedo‘s novels include Love and Ghost Letters, which won the Latino International Book Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book of the Year, Song of the Red Cloak, a historical novel for young adults, A Falling Star, winner of the Doris Bakwin Award and a National Bronze Medal IPPY Award, and The Distant Marvels, one of the Booklist’s Top Ten Historical Novels of 2015. THE MILK BROTHER, a novel about the Infanta Eulalia, is forthcoming in 2017.  Her fiction and poetry have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, North American Review, and Chattahoochee Review.  Acevedo is currently an Associate Professor of English in the MFA Program of the University of Miami.

Related imageSigrid Nunez
 is the author of the novels, A Feather on the Breath of God, a finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award and received the Association for Asian American Studies Award for best novel of the year, Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, winner of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, For Rouenna, The Last of Her Kind, and Salvation City.  Nunez is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag.  Her new novel, The Friend, will be published by Riverhead in 2018.  Nunez has taught at Princeton, Amherst, Smith, Columbia, the New School, Boston University, and Brooklyn College, and has been a visiting writer, or a writer in residence at Washington University, Baruch, Vassar, and the University of California at Irvine, among others.  Sigrid Nunez lives in New York City.

Buy Copies of the Books from Politics & Prose:

Politics and Prose logoOur longtime friends and partners at Politics & Prose will be on hand to sell copies of books by this year’s finalists and winner, and we encourage you to check out the store’s huge selections of books and amazing lineup of live events by visiting them online here:


Listen to the Podcast:

PEN/Faulkner Podcast LogoThe 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Reading will recorded and produced as an episode of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. You can listen to past awards and other events on the Podcast Page.

You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

About the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

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 directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to serve as judges for the prize, and these judges are asked to select five books as finalists for the award, making this the largest peer-juried award in the country. Both the eventual winner of the award and all finalists are invited to Washington, D.C. for the PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony and Dinner.

Celebrating the winner as “first among equals,” the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The event will feature the judges’ citations for each finalist’s book, the conferral of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a reading by each author.

Each year, the PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner is open to the public. Tickets are available for purchase through the Box Office of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Call the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077 for more information.

A list of past winners and finalists of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction can be found here.