Cocktails with Mitchell S. Jackson and Leslie Jamison



Join PEN/Faulkner to welcome Mitchell Jackson and Leslie Jamison to D.C. with cocktails, conversation, and Union Kitchen catering at Compass Coffee! Doors open at 6:30 PM on Sunday, March 20th. Tickets are $75 here or at 202-898-9063. Student tickets are here.

Proceeds benefit Writers in Schools, PEN/Faulkner’s literary outreach program in D.C. and Baltimore.



The First Annual Eudora Welty Lecture in Washington, D.C.

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Salman Rushdie to Give the Inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture in Washington, D.C.

A new endowed lecture to be presented by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Eudora Welty Foundation

Tickets $24


The PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Eudora Welty Foundation announce the creation of the Eudora Welty Lecture to be held in Washington, D.C. as part of the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series. The first Eudora Welty Lecture will be held on October 20, 2016, at 7:30 PM at the National Cathedral. The inaugural lecturer will be Salman Rushdie. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased on the Cathedral’s website.

The Eudora Welty Lecture will be open to the public and will be an important and unique addition to Washington, D.C.’s literary culture. The lecturers will be chosen from the most prominent writers working in the English language today. Each lecturer will present an original talk on the topic of their creative origins. Lecturers will receive a $20,000 honorarium.


Eudora Welty is the author of such acclaimed works as The Optimist’s Daughter, Delta Wedding and the short story collection A Curtain of Green. Her many honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award for Fiction, and the Gold Medal for the Novel, given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters for her complete works in fiction.

Salman Rushdie is the author of twelve novels, including the Man Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and, most recently, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. He has also published a significant body of non-fiction, including The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and The Wizard of Oz. In 2008, Midnight’s Children was named the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 40 years of existence. He has won the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature and is a fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In June 2007, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a knighthood.


To read the full press release, click here. For more information about the Eudora Welty Foundation, click here.

PEN/Faulkner and the Folger Theatre Present: Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich Credit Paul Emmel

Louise Erdrich

May 10th, 2016  |  7:30 PM

In Collaboration with the Library of Congress

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003 (map)

Tickets $15 online or at 202-544-7077

“Book by book, over the past three decades, Louise Erdrich has built one of the most moving and engrossing collections of novels in American literature.”

– Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

LaRoseLouise Erdrich is the author of fourteen novels, a volume of short stories, several books of poetry, and a series of children’s books. Her novel The Round House won the 2012 National Book Award; she is a former Guggenheim Fellow and has received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. 

In 2015, Erdrich received the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, a lifetime achievement award, presented at the National Book Festival this past September. On May 10th, Erdrich will join PEN/Faulkner at an event co-hosted by the Library of Congress to read from her forthcoming novel, LaRose.

Purchase Tickets



Feb. 21st: Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara  |  A Little Life

In Conversation with Mic’s Madhulikka Sikka

6:30 PM at Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Takoma

PEN/Faulkner and Politics & Prose present Hanya Yanagihara, Man Booker- and National Book Award-shortlisted author of A Little Life and The People in the Trees. This event is free and unticketed.

A Little Life

little lifeWhen four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

PEN/Faulkner Presents: Edna O’Brien

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Edna O’Brien

April 3rd, 2016  |  6:00 PM

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 (map)

Tickets $20 online or at 877-987-6487

Edna O’Brien has been hailed as the doyenne of Irish literature. Her first novel in a decade, The Little Red Chairs – her “masterpiece,” says Philip Roth – will be released in March 2016. From the beginning of her career, O’Brien broke literary ground, writing openly about female sexuality in her first novel, The Country Girls. The book was lauded by critics and banned by the Irish Censorship Board. The idea that women had sex lives was, at that time, an obscene notion.

In the half century that’s followed, O’Brien has become one of the most celebrated writers in the English language.  She’s received the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, and honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. O’Brien will discuss her new novel and share her genius with us, if just for an evening.

Purchase Tickets


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We’re Looking for a Teen Parent Book Club Discussion Leader!

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Teen Parent Book Club Discussion Leader

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is currently seeking discussion leaders for their Teen Parent Book Club program. Discussion leaders will lead group discussions of contemporary novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry with groups of participating teen parents at local high schools. Discussion leaders will then host local authors of those works to meet with students and engage in discussions about literature and the writing life.

The program meets bi-weekly for hour-long sessions at lunchtime in on-site drop-in centers for teen parents and will run throughout the 2015-2016 school year. PEN/Faulkner is asking for a total time commitment of 5 hours/month. Volunteers will:

  • Lead bi-weekly book club discussions at one of five DC Public High Schools
  • Coordinate book club selections in consultation with participating students
  • Design discussion activities for each book club meeting
  • Engage contemporary authors in discussions of their work

Interested volunteers should have:

  • Classroom experience, preferably working with non-traditional students
  • Interest in contemporary fiction, poetry or literary non-fiction
  • A desire to engage diverse audiences in discussions about literature
  • Patience
  • Intellectual flexibility
  • Daytime availability during the week

*Candidates fluent in Spanish should make a note of this in their cover letter. However, Spanish fluency is not a requirement for this position.

If you are interested, please send a résumé́ and a brief cover letter (no more than 1 page) explaining your interest to Writers in Schools Program Coordinator Greg Langen (, by Friday, January 22nd, 2016.

PEN/Faulkner Presents: Howard Jacobson


PEN/Faulkner Presents Howard Jacobson

In Conjunction with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Wonder of Will and with Hogarth Shakespeare

Monday, March 14th, 2016  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $15

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


The Wonder of Will is the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2016 celebration of Shakespeare and his extraordinary legacy through special events, exhibitions, performances, and more—online, at the Folger, and across the United States.

The Hogarth Shakespeare series is a major international project in which some of today’s bestselling and most celebrated writers reimagine Shakespeare’s plays as contemporary novels. The books will be true to the spirit of the original plays, while giving authors an exciting opportunity to do something new.

Award-winning novelist and critic Howard Jacobson, best known for his prizewinning tragi-comic novels, will be the third novelist to publish in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, following Jeannette Winterson and Anne Tyler. He has chosen one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays – The Merchant of Venice. Jacobson comments:

“For an English novelist Shakespeare is where it all begins. For an English novelist who also happens to be Jewish The Merchant of Venice is where it all snarls up. ‘Who is the merchant and who is the Jew?’ Portia wanted to know.  Four hundred years later, the question needs to be reframed: ‘Who is the hero of this play and who is the villain?’ And if Shylock is the villain, why did Shakespeare choose to make him so?

Only a fool would think he has anything to add to Shakespeare.  But Shakespeare probably never met a Jew, the Holocaust had not yet happened, and anti-Semitism didn’t have a name. Can one tell the same story today, when every reference carries a different charge? There’s the challenge. I quake before it.”

PEN/Faulkner Celebrates #GivingTuesday

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This year, on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015, PEN/Faulkner is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global giving day designed to bring communities together.

Last year, over 30,000 organizations in 68 countries participated in #GivingTuesday. We were proud to be one of them, and we’re excited to get back on board in 2015.

You can donate to PEN/Faulkner here or on social media. To donate on Twitter, Tweet #donate followed by a dollar amount @penfaulkner, and to donate on Facebook, comment #donate followed by a dollar amount on any of our posts. And once you’ve donated, click here to find out if your employer will double your donation.

You can join us in spreading the word about #GivingTuesday! We invite you to learn more about it at, and to make a difference with us.



Submissions for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Are Closed

Submissions for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award have now closed.

This year’s judges, Abby FruchtMolly McCloskey, and Sergio Troncoso, are busy reading the novels, novellas, and collections of short stories in order to choose next year’s winner and finalists.

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. To browse a list of past winners and finalists, click here. To read the award announcement letter, click here.

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

Richard Ford to Receive Fitzgerald Award


Richard Ford to Receive Fitzgerald Award at 19th Annual Fitzgerald Festival on October 10th, 2015 


Award-winning author Richard Ford will receive the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature at the 19th Annual Fitzgerald Festival at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Rockville, Maryland on October 10th. As with last year, the 2015 Festival will include programs spread over three days in partnership with the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland and the Friends of the Library in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Festival is Sponsored by the City of Rockville and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc.

Richard Ford is the author of eleven books of fiction, including Independence Day, which is the first and only novel to date to win both the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award. His short fiction has been honored with the Rea and PEN/Malamud Awards. He has taught at Williams College and Princeton University, and is currently the Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University.

More information about the Festival, including a full schedule, can be found at