Announcing PEN/Faulkner’s Fall Season of Literary Conversations and Events!

Literary Conversations are PEN/Faulkner’s regular public programming events, which are designed to capture the most significant literary and societal conversations of the moment. Unlike other reading events, Literary Conversations are moderated discussions embedded with opportunities for writers to read from their work. At their very core, they are organic discussions featuring the most highly acclaimed contemporary authors, discussing their work in the context of all that is happening in the world today. This brings literature to life, and allows readers to build meaningful connections to the words on the page.

We are excited to announce this year’s Fall Season of events! We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 29
Literary Horror Night
7pm at Penn Social (801 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004)

Join the PEN/Faulkner Foundation as we delve into the Halloween spirit during our Literary Horror Night, hosted at an exciting new space, Penn Social! Dan Chaon, (Ill Will), Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves), and Brian Evenson (A Collapse of Horses) will read from their work and engage in conversation about what horror fiction as a genre says about the very real horrors we face on a daily basis. This evening will be moderated by bestselling and award-winning author, Elizabeth Hand. You won’t want to miss these critically-acclaimed authors at our pre-Halloween celebration!

Tuesday, November 27
Finding Home
7pm at GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium (805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052)
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation & GWU’s Institute of Middle Eastern Studies invite you to delve into the intricacies of Arab American identity through the individual experiences of some of today’s most celebrated literary voices. Join notable Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam as she sits down with Osama Alomar (The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories), Susan Darraj (A Curious Land: Stories from Home; The Inheritance of Exile) and Laila Halaby (Once in a Promised Land) to discuss what “Finding Home” looks like for an Arab American, especially in today’s political climate. These award-winning authors will also read from their work in what will be a fascinating and engaging evening.
                                                                                                                                          Saturday, December 8
2018 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony
7:30pm at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
(600 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001)


The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story was established in 1988 by Bernard Malamud’s family to honor the best published collections of short fiction. This year’s winners, Joan Silber and Amina Gautier, will be honored in a ceremony at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue where they will read from their work and be presented with the $5,000 prize.
*This event is not sponsored by Sixth & I.

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Though James Hannaham is an award winning author, he is also a performer and visual artist. His novel Delicious Foods was the winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction as well as the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Hannaham’s novel follows three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy their lives. While attending Yale University in 1992, Hannaham worked in the art department of The Village Voice. Creativity and talent in the arts run in his family, as artist Kara Walker is Hannaham’s cousin. Hannaham is now an associate professor in the writing departement at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Joan Silber was this year’s winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for her novel Improvement. The novel revolves around a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them. In addition, Silber’s short fiction, which has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Epoch, and many more, has won her the 2018 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Silber lives in New York, with her dog Lucille, and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear James Hannaham, Joan Silber 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!

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

ZZ Packer was recognized as a talented writer at the early age of 19 for her first significant publication “Sometimes You Get Lucky” in Seventeen magazine. Another of Packer’s short stories, featured  in the Debut Fiction issue of The New Yorker, became a title story in her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. The collection was a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and was personally selected by John Updike for the Today Show Book Club. Packer is currently working on a novel set in the aftermath of the Civil War specifically focused on the Reconstruction and Buffalo Soldiers. In an interview with SuicideGirls, Packer stated, “you don’t hear much about blacks in the West and I became really fascinated by them. I thought to justify my interest I had better write about them.”

Michael Cunningham is the author of seven novels including The Hours. The novel follows the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who goes about her morning, planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, a 1950s housewife, who slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, as she begins to write “Mrs. Dalloway.” By the end of the novel, the stories are intricately intertwined. The novel was awarded the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was adapted into an Academy Award nominated film. His most recent book, A Wild Swan, was an NPR Best Book of the Year in 2015. Cunningham lives in New York City and teaches Creative Writing at Yale University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear ZZ Packer, Michael Cunningham 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!


Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

David Bradleys novel The Chaneysville Incident won the 1982 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Academy Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The novel was inspired by the discovery of the graves of runaway slaves on a farm near Chaneysville in Bedford County, PA, where Bradley was born. In 1981, the New York Times Book Reviewer Vance Bourjaily stated, “What [Bradley] can do, at a pretty high level of energy, is synchronize five different kinds of rhetoric, control a complicated plot, manage a good-sized cast of characters, convey a lot of information, handle an intricate time scheme, pull off a couple of final tricks that dramatize provocative ideas, and generally keep things going for 200,000 words. That’s about two and a half books for most of us.”

Karen Joy Fowler’s novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was the winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The novel is a story of Rosemary Cooke who grapples with the silence that consumes her after her siblings have vanished from her life. Fowler is most known for her novel The Jane Austen Book Club, which was later adapted into a movie of the same name. Much of Fowler’s work is centered around the lives of women and the theme of alienation. We are excited to see how Fowler could potentially incorporate those themes into an original piece, based on the theme ‘Magic,’ at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala on September 24!

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear David Bradley, Karen Joy Fowler 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!

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s second novel Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist, follows the life of a seventh grade teacher as she grapples with being new to teaching, being new to the school and being newly engaged. Her first novel Madeleine Is Sleeping was a National Book Award Finalist in 2004. A common theme in Bynum’s work is fairy tales, expressing that she loves how “they always walk that line between wonder and darkness.” Get excited to see how Bynum incorporates this year’s theme, ‘Magic,’ into her original piece, written for the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala.

Tobias Wolff is a short story writer, a memoirist and a novelist, and he is primarily known for his memoir This Boy’s Life. The story recounts the details of his adolescence as he moved around the country with his mother and abusive stepfather. Wolff has received several awards for his work, including the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His short stories have established him as a highly acclaimed writer, however he won the 1985 award for his novella The Barracks Thief, a story of three young paratroopers in training during the Vietnam War. He currently lives in Northern California and is a Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Tobias Wolff 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!

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!