Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Author and food enthusiast Kate Christensen is the author of seven novels, two food-centric memoirs, anthologies and several essays and articles. Her work has been published in magazines including Vogue, Elle, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Food and Wine. Her novel The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The story focuses on two competing biographers who investigate the secret life of Oscar Feldman, an artist who led an entirely separate life with his longtime mistress.  She writes an occasional drinks column for The Wall Street Journal called “With a Twist” and lives with her husband and dog in Portland, Maine.

Lorraine López’s short story collection Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories was the winner of the Texas League of Writers Award for Outstanding Book of Fiction as well as a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist in 2010. The collection is set in the South and focuses on familial relationships, by birth and by choice. López is currently working on a linked story collection entitled, Postcards from the Gerund State and Other Stories, scheduled for publication in 2019. She is simultaneously working on a novel called What We Have Here. On top of that, she is the Gertrude Conaway Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear Kate Chistensen, Lorraine López and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at It will be a night of literary magic!

PEN/Faulkner Seeking New Executive Director

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation seeks a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as its Executive Director.  PEN/Faulkner is a national literary, non-profit organization with deep roots in Washington, D.C.  We work to honor excellence in American fiction, connect writers with their readers, and support the study and love of contemporary literature between teachers and students in public and charter schools.  As the initial public face and voice of the Foundation, the position requires dynamic communication skills in all areas to steward the Foundation’s efforts in Fundraising, Grant-Writing, Strategic Planning, and Public Relations. Exceptional organization skills and management expertise are needed to lead a small team of highly qualified individuals who administer one of the country’s premier literary prizes, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; coordinate public reading events throughout Washington, D.C.; and manage a Writers in Schools program that annually runs hundreds of author-visits across 40 public and charter D.C schools.

This is an extremely exciting position for someone eager to lead a richly storied and historically significant literary organization into a future full of possibility.  All candidates are required to have achieved a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university. Ideal applicants are creative and tactical thinkers with outstanding writing skills.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to  First consideration will be given to applications received by August 20, 2018.

Job Opening: Nuestra Voz Program Associate!

PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program is looking for a Nuestra Voz Program Associate. This is a new role within the organization, and the person in this position will play an important role in helping the foundation develop and expand our bilingual English/Spanish Writers in Schools programming as well as deepen our relationship with Latinx writers, educators, and students, regardless of language background. This is an excellent part-time opportunity to work closely with a small, dedicated team within a nationally renowned nonprofit to help build a program from the ground up.


  • Develop a bilingual English/Spanish WinS programming expansion plan with particular attention on writers who identify as Latino/a/x, and that is aligned with department strategy and growth goals.
  • Develop and build relationships with partner educators at bilingual DC public, charter, and Title I parochial schools; Oversee WinS programming at these schools.
  • Develop and build relationships with Latino/a/x authors, both within and outside of the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.
  • Conduct research on books, authors, and publishers for the program.
  • Provide written and verbal translation support to the WinS program, both English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English.
  • Maintain database of educator, school, and author contact information.
  • Coordinate scheduling and booking logistics for bilingual/Latino/a/x author WinS visits.
  • Manage one part-time Spanish Language and Latinx Communities intern per cohort.
  • Support PEN/Faulkner events, including Literary Conversations and awards, as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned, within a reasonable scope for the position


  • Must be fluent in written and conversational Spanish and English.
  • Experience working with bilingual youth from under-resourced backgrounds, preferably in a classroom setting.
  • Experience working with K-12 literacy, in either English or Spanish, and working knowledge of developmental milestones in reading comprehension.
  • Experience directly supervising interns, volunteers, or staff.
  • Experience with direct outreach to Spanish speaking communities, preferably within the education sector (teachers, administrators, students, parents).
  • Proven attention-to-detail. Database experience a plus.
  • Proven ability to organize and prioritize daily and long-term projects and tasks.
  • Experience with translation from English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English, both orally and in writing.
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite and GSuites.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the complex education landscape and of education policy, especially in DC.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the current world of bilingual publishing in the U.S. and of Latinx authors is a huge plus.
  • Love of reading and creating avenues of accessibility to reading and book ownership among traditionally underserved communities.

To apply, please send an email to Please put “Nuestra Voz Program Associate” in the subject line. Your email application should include:

  • a resume
  • a statement of interest written in both English and Spanish, explaining what qualifies you for this position, what skills you bring to the position, and your experience and background in bilingual literacy education.

WinS Summer Programming!

Únete con nosotros para un programa gratis de verano para estudiantes que entran al séptimo/octavo/noveno grado el proximo año escolar. Estaremos hablando con poetas que han contribuido al la colección Knocking on the Doors of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, DC . Hablaremos de sus vidas como creadores y escritores. Los estudiantes serán animados a hacer algún proyecto creativo. El programa dura 4 semanas, con reuniones los miércoles.


Apúntate aqui!
Join us for a FREE summer program for rising 7th – 9th graders who want to read, write, and create. We will be meeting Latino/Latina poets who have contributed to the collection Knocking on the Doors of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, D.C. to discuss their lives as writers and creators. Students will be encouraged to pursue their own creative project throughout the 4 week program (meeting once a week on Wednesdays)!


Register here!


WinS Summer Programming!


Join us for a FREE summer program for teens who want to read, write, create, and make their voices heard. We are bringing in a multitude of writers with diverse backgrounds to discuss their lives as writers and as creators. Students will be encouraged to pursue their own creative project throughout the 7 week program (meeting once a week)!

Register here!



Fall 2018 Internship Opportunities at PEN/Faulkner

Love literature, the arts, and education? Want to learn how a nonprofit operates from the ground up? The PEN/Faulkner Internship program is perfect for you if you answered yes, and we are currently looking to fill four positions for the Fall of 2018. 

  • Writers in Schools Internship
  • Spanish Language & Latinx Communities Internship
  • Literary Events Internship
  • Media and Outreach Internship

Continue reading

Announcing the Winner of the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner is Joan Silber for her novel Improvement (Counterpoint Press)!

Congratulations again to the four finalists:

Hernán Diaz for In the Distance (Coffee House Press)

Samantha Hunt for The Dark Dark (FSG Originals)

Achy Obejas for The Tower of the Antilles (Akashic Books)

Jesmyn Ward for Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)

Tickets for The 38th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Reception are still available!

About the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner:


Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. The most recent, Improvement, has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and listed as one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, the Seattle Times, and Kirkus Reviews.  Her previous book, Fools, was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World, finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

About the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists:

In the Distance
(Coffee House Press)

Hernan Diaz is the author of In the Distance (Coffee House 2017) and Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury 2012), managing editor of RHM, and associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.

The Dark Dark
(FSG Originals)

Samantha Hunt is the author of The Dark Dark: Stories, and three novels: Mr. Splitfoot, The Invention of Everything Else, and The Seas. Hunt is the recipient of a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Prize and she was a finalist for the Orange Prize. She teaches at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and lives in upstate New York.

The Tower of the Antilles

(Akashic Books)

Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins, Days of Awe, and three other books of fiction. She edited and translated (into English) the anthology Havana Noir, and has since translated Junot Díaz, Rita Indiana, Wendy Guerra, and many others. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation. The Tower of the Antilles is her latest work.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award, and Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner, 2017), which won the 2017 National Book Award and which will be published in paperback on May 8, 2018. She is also the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time (Scribner, 2016) and the author of the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. From 2008-2010, Ward had a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She was the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2010-2011 academic year. In 2016, the American Academy of Arts and Letters selected Ward for the Strauss Living Award. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2017. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She lives in Mississippi.

About the 2018 Judges:

Andrea Barrett is the author of six novels, most recently The Air We Breathe, and three collections of stories: Ship Fever, which received the 1996 National Book Award, Servants of the Map, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and, most recently, Archangel.

Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of the novels Tea, A Seahorse Year, The Sky Below, and Wonderland, and the nonfiction book The Art of Intimacy: The Space Between. She is a former Stegner Fellow in Fiction, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim  Fellowship in Fiction, and the winner of an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The Boston Review , Bookforum, The New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She was a Frederick Lewis Allen Room Fellow at the New York Public Library for 2016-17. She is an Associate Professor of Writing and Publishing Practices at Fordham University.

Alex Espinoza
was born in Tijuana, Mexico. He came to the United States with his family at the age of two and grew up in suburban Los Angeles. Author of the novel Still Water Saints, he received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. A recipient of the Margaret Bridgman Fellowship in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Espinoza is currently an associate professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles.

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:


Call Me By Your Name: An Evening with André Aciman

Join us for this exciting evening with André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name, as he discusses his critically acclaimed novel, particularly in the context of the Oscar-winning movie adaptation!

André will be joined by Spencer Kornhaber, culture critic at The Atlantic, for a moderated discussion on literature in the context of film, crafting a queer love story, and maybe even André’s cameo performance in the film. You won’t want to miss out on this talk!

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience, and an exclusive book signing for those who purchase the VIP ticket package! This includes a copy of the book, provided by Politics and Prose Bookstore.

Tickets are on sale now! VIP Packages are limited in number, so make sure you grab yours before they sell out!


Photo by Sigrid Estrada

André Aciman is an American essayist and New York Times bestselling novelist originally from Alexandria, Egypt. He teaches Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of City University of New York. He is the author of Out of Egypt: A MemoirFalse PapersAlibis, and four novels: Call Me by Your NameEight White NightsHarvard Square, and most recently Enigma Variations. He is the co-author and editor of Letters of Transit and of The Proust Project. Aciman is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a fellowship from The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. A contributor to The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe New RepublicThe New York Review of Books, he has also appeared in several volumes of Best American Essays. He lives with his wife in Manhattan.


Photo by Daniel Lombroso

Spencer Kornhaber writes about culture and popular music for The Atlantic, where he has been on staff since 2011. A native of Dana Point, California, he now lives in Boston.

2018 Award for Fiction

Announcing the 2018 Award for Fiction finalists:

Hernan Diaz for In the Distance (Coffee House Press)

Samantha Hunt for The Dark Dark (FSG Originals)

Achy Obejas for The Tower of the Antilles (Akashic Books)

Joan Silber for Improvement (Counterpoint)

Jesmyn Ward for Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)

Read more about the finalists here. Purchase tickets for the 38th Award for Fiction Ceremony here.

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