DC – 2016 PEN/Faulkner Foundation Summer Supper & Book Club

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Summer is almost here (it’s true!), and while the school year is coming to a close, our Writers in Schools programming is not! Join us for the 2016 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 2016 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 Tuesday, June 21, 2016 and run every Tuesday evening from 5:30 — 8:00 p.m. (6/21, 6/28, 7/5, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2) through August 2, 2016.


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 May 27, 2016.

Note: Students must be in the class of 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020

Questions? Email PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools Program Coordinator Greg Langen: glangen@penfaulkner.org

The program is entirely FREE.


Episode 42 – The Imaginary Real


In Episode 42 of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast, Man Booker Prize finalist Ruth Ozeki and Guggenheim Fellow and short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins read from their work and discuss the fine line between real and imagined experience.

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest whose novels include My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her films have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at numerous universities. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the story collection Battleborn, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, and Time Out New York. In 2012, the National Book Foundation named Watkins one of the 5 Best Writers Under 35. She teaches at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.



Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Thank you to Benedict Kupstas and Field Guides for donating the music used in this episode. Listen here to Field Guides’ album Boo, Forever.

Congratulations 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists!

2015 Award Covers Banner

Judges Alexander Chee, Marc Fitten, and Deirdre McNamer have announced their list of finalists for the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on April 7th, and the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

More information about this year’s finalists and their work can be found on our Award for Fiction page.

Congratulations to our finalists:

Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press)

Jennifer Clement, author of Prayers for the Stolen (Hogarth)

Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books)

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf)

Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation (Alfred A. Knopf)


Apr. 7th: Allan Gurganus & Elizabeth Strout

Where We Are From:
Place and Personhood in Fiction


Tuesday, April 7, 2015  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $15  (buy)

Folger Shakespeare Library – Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003 

Few authors portray local life in America with as much generous care as Allan Gurganus and Elizabeth Strout. In acclaimed novels and stories, these authors explore the ways in which our sense of place intersects with our sense of self.



Allan Gurganus is the author of the novels Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Plays Well With Others and three collections of short fiction: The Practical HeartLocal Souls, and White People, which was a finalist for the 1992 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The recipient of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gurganus is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in a village of 6,000 residents in North Carolina.

“The pleasures of Allan Gurganus’ Local Souls are pretty much the pleasures of fiction, period: the satisfactions of the tale and the surprise of the phrase, insights into the human condition and portraits from a particular place, a sharp sense of the physical world and a freshened awareness of the pulls and pains of social class. Pick a page and you’ll find a sentence to love…. Dazzling.”

— Kevin Fenton, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Purchase books by Allan Gurganus.



Elizabeth_Strout_SQElizabeth Strout is the author of the bestselling novels Olive Kitteridge, Abide with Me, and The Burgess Boys, among other works. She has received the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. She lives in New York City.

“Miss Strout guides her readers through the action with delicate subtlety and forceful writing. She has a gift for straightforward storytelling and original turns of phrase, coupled with insight into the human heart and psyche.”

— Corrina Lothar, The Washington Times

Purchase books by Elizabeth Strout.




Teachers, Authors, Students, Readers: Check out Our New Writers in Schools Website

 Screen Shot of WinS Web Platform

This spring, PEN/Faulkner has launched a powerful new tool that assists teachers in bringing works of contemporary fiction and authors into their classrooms.

Check out the new site over here: https://wins.penfaulkner.org/

Since 1989, we’ve run Writers in Schools, an initiative that gets works of contemporary literature into the hands of high school students here in Washington, DC and that brings authors into classrooms to meet with students who’ve studied their work. Last year, we expanded the program to Baltimore, and by the end of this school year, we will have run a total of 170 visits to DC high schools and another 32 to Baltimore high schools, donating a mountain of books and providing meaningful literary encounters for thousands of students in the process. In order to centralize our Writers in Schools curricular materials and to streamline the process for scheduling author visits, we’ve built a new Writers in Schools web platform.

Full 2014-2015 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series

The 2014/2015 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series: 

The PEN/Faulkner Reading Series annually brings today’s best writers to Washington DC. This year, we’ll welcome Ann Beattie, Taiye Selasi, Okey Ndibe, Chinelo Okparanta, Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, Marilynne Robinson, James Carroll, Claire Vaye Watkins, Ruth Ozeki, T.C. Boyle, Elizabeth Strout, and Allan Gurganus to town.

Student, military, and senior discounts apply by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

2014-2015 Reading Series Events:


October 17, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Ann Beattie moderates a conversation with emerging writers from the Virginia Quarterly Review, including Tope Folarin, Onyinhe Ihezukwu, Greg Jackson, and Brendan McKennedy
A Storied Future


November 24, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Okey Ndibe, Chinelo Okparanta, and Taiye Selasi
In This Way Comes Morning: New Writing of the West African Diaspora

– Buy Tickets –


December 5, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $25
Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore, and Tobias Wolff
The Legacy of Bernard Malamud: Celebrating Excellence in the Short Story with Former PEN/Malamud Award Winners

– Buy Tickets –


January 12, 2015 | 7:30 PM | $15
Marilynne Robinson & James Carroll
In the Beginning Was the Word

– Buy Tickets –


February 9, 2015 | 7:30 PM | $15
Claire Vaye Watkins & Ruth Ozeki
The Imaginary Real: Weaving Fact into Fiction

– Buy Tickets –


March 27, 2015 | 7:30 PM | $15
T.C. Boyle
All Things Animate, Beating in Unison: An Evening with T.C. Boyle

– Buy Tickets –


April 7, 2015 | 7:30 PM | $15
Elizabeth Strout & Allan Gurganus
Where We Are From: Place and Personhood in Fiction

– Buy Tickets –


May 2, 2015 | 7:00 PM | $100
(Save 15% on your ticket to the Awards by subscribing to the series)
35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Featuring the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, Finalists, and Judges
Award Ceremony & Reading followed by a buffet dinner
in the Old Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library

– Buy Tickets –

Individual tickets are $15 (with the exception of the PEN/Malamud former Award Winners evening, and the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction event) and may be purchased online through the Box Office of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Discounts for students, educators, seniors, and military personnel apply and can be obtained by calling the Box Office at (202) 544-7077. Unless otherwise noted, all readings take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, located at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC (one block east of the U.S. Capitol). Seating is general admission. 







The 2013-2014 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series Is Underway

The 2013-2014 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series

2013-2014 Brochure Art by Kristen Argenio

The Folger Shakespeare Library has long been home to the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series. Join us this season as we welcome some of today’s most exciting authors, including Tom Perrotta, Maria Semple, Philip Caputo, Kevin Powers, George Saunders, Ayana Mathis, Justin Torres, Amy Tan, Richard Ford and more.

Tickets to each event are $15 and student, military, and senior discounts can be obtained by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077. 


2012-2013 Reading Series Events: 

Tom Perrotta (left) & Maria Semple (right) - PF Reading Series 2013-2014

October 22, 2013 | 7:30 PM | $15
Tom Perrotta & Maria Semple
The Human Comedy: Serious Humor in the American Novel


Philip Caputo (left) & Kevin Powers (right)

November 4, 2013 | 7:30 PM | $15
Philip Caputo & Kevin Powers
Blood Lines: The Literature of War


George Saunders - 2013 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story

December 6, 2013 | 7:30 PM | $15
George Saunders
2013 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony & Memorial Reading


Blake Bailey (left), Ruth Franklin (center), and D.T. Max (right)

February 4, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Blake Bailey, Ruth Franklin, & D.T. Max
Whose Life Is it, Anyway?: The Literary Biographer’s Craft


Ayana Mathis (left) and Justin Torres (right)

February 24, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Ayana Mathis & Justin Torres
Survival Instincts: First-time Novelists on the Ties That Bind


Amy Tan author photo

March 3, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Amy Tan & Deborah Tannen
Two Lives in Language: Amy Tan and Deborah Tannen in Conversation


Richard Ford

April 10, 2014 | 7:30 PM | $15
Richard Ford
The Heart of Things Human: An Evening with Richard Ford


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Logo

May 10, 2014 | 7:00 PM | $100 
34th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Featuring the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, Finalists, and Judges
Award Ceremony & Reading followed by a buffet dinner
in the Old Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library



Individual tickets are $15 and may be purchased online through the Box Office of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Discounts for students, educators, seniors, and active duty military personnel apply and can be obtained by calling the Box Office at (202) 544-7077. Unless otherwise noted, all readings take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, located at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC (one block east of the U.S. Capitol). Seating is general admission. 

Benjamin Alire Sáenz Wins 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Benjamin Alire Sáenz The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that author Benjamin Alire Sáenz has been selected as the winner of the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his collection of short fiction Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, which was published by Cinco Puntos Press. The judges—Walter KirnNelly Rosario, and A.J. Verdelle—considered more than 350 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the U.S. during the 2012 calendar year. Finalists for this year’s award include Amelia Gray for her novel Threats (Farrar, Straus, Giroux); Laird Hunt, author of Kind One (Coffee House Press); T. Geronimo Johnson, author of Hold it ‘Til It Hurts (Coffee House Press); and Thomas Mallon, author of Watergate (Pantheon). 

This year’s winner and finalists will read at the 33rd Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner on Saturday, May 4th at 7 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be purchased here.

For more information about this year’s winner and finalists as well as information about the award ceremony, please visit our Award for Fiction page

Geraldine Brooks, Julie Otsuka, & Dolen Perkins-Valdez Read March 28th

Geraldine Brooks, Julie Otsuka, and Dolen Perkins-Valdez

On Thursday, March 28th at 7:30 p.m., join us as Geraldine Brooks, Julie Otsuka, and Dolen Perkins-Valdez take the stage at the Folger Shakespeare Library in a reading we’re calling Living History: Reclaiming female voices from the threat of historical silence.

Geraldine Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her novel March. Her most recent novel Caleb’s Crossing is a New York Times bestseller.

Julie Otsuka is the author of two novels and a recipient of the a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent novel, The Buddha in the Attic, is the winner of the 2012 PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez
’s writings have appeared or will appear inThe Kenyon ReviewRobert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2009, andNorth Carolina Literary ReviewWench is her first novel.

Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase online (buy) and by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077. 

Join us on Monday, March 4th for Literary Trivia Night!

Promo image for Trivia Night

On Monday, March 4th at 7:30 p.m., put those fact-filled heads of yours to use as PEN/Faulkner & Shaw’s Tavern present our first Literary Trivia Night!

Your suggested donation of $5 gets you in the door for a chance to win books and tickets to upcoming PEN/Faulkner events. Your contribution helps support PEN/Faulkner’s literary programming, including our Writers in Schools program, our reading series, and our awards.

Full Details: 

What: PEN/Faulkner & Shaw’s Tavern Present Literary Trivia Night
When: Monday, March 4th, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Shaw’s Tavern, 520 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC  {map}