The 2011-12 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series

Subscribe to the 2011-12 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series


We’re proud to announce this year’s schedule for the PEN/Faulkner 2011-2012 reading series, held in partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. This year’s readers include doctors-turned-novelists, historians of fine perfume, love stories that are super, sad and true, and much much more. Here are the details:

10.14.11: R. Dwayne Betts & Ta-Nehisi Coates

11.7.11: Emma Donoghue & Chris Adrian

12.2.11: PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction: Edith Pearlman

12.12.11: Gish Jen & Helen Simonson

1.9.12: Monique Truong, Allegra Goodman, & Myla Goldberg

2.6.12: Benjamin Percy & Dagoberto Gilb

3.2.12: Tilar Mazzeo & Stacy Schiff

4.20.12: Gary Shteyngart & Adam Ross

5.5.12: PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Reception

By subscribing to the series, not only can you see great readings, but you also receive a 20% discount on tickets, get invitations to special events and receptions hosted by PEN/Faulkner, and receive priority invitations for the PEN/Faulkner Gala in September  and the Award for Fiction Ceremony.

Subscriptions for all eight readings are $100, and subscriptions to both the readings and the Award for Fiction Ceremony are $200. Unless otherwise noted, all readings take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, located at 201 East Capitol St. SE, Washington DC (map). Seating is general admission.

For tickets and information, either order online here or call the Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077

Submissions Now Open for the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Awards!

It’s official: we’re now accepting submissions for the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Awards. To submit, please send us any work of fiction published in 2011 for consideration.

The PEN/Faulkner Award, which is peer-juried and one of the nation’s foremost awards for literary fiction, honors excellence by selecting five writers whose work represents the best of American fiction published within the calendar year. The winner receives $15,000, and the other four finalists receive $5,000 each.

Read up on the complete submission guidelines here. In the meantime, If you have any questions call Matthew Burriesci, Executive Director, at 202/898-9063 or email at

Please mail submissions in care of Matthew Burriesci at:

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Look forward to reading your submissions!

Edith Pearlman to Receive the 2011 PEN/Malamud Award

Washington, DC––Edith Pearlman has been selected to receive the 24th annual PEN/Malamud Award.  Given annually since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, this award recognizes a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction. The announcement was made today by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Robert Stone and Susan Richards Shreve, Co-Chairs.

“Bernard Malamud expressed the hope that ‘expert practitioners of the short story, especially those who come rarely if ever to the novel, will be recognized’ so that their work might be ‘brought emphatically to public attention.’  With this prize, we hope to bring exactly such long-deserved attention emphatically to Ms. Pearlman’s beautifully crafted and deeply moving short fiction,” said Deborah Tannen, chair of the Malamud Award Selection Committee.

Edith Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short non-fiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and on-line publications. Her work has appeared in Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Collection, New Stories from the South, andThe Pushcart Prize Collection Best of the Small Presses.

Her first collection of stories, Vaquita, won the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature and was published by the University of Pittsburgh University Press in 1996. Her second, Love Among The Greats(Eastern Washington University Press, 2002) won the Spokane Annual Fiction Prize. Her third collection,How to Fall, was published by Sarabande Press in 2005 and won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Her fourth collection, Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories, was published in January 2011 by Lookout Books, a new imprint at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

In a review of Binocular Vision,published in the New York Times, Roxana Robinson wrote, “Pearlman writes about the predicaments — odd, wry, funny and painful — of being human. Her characters are sophisticated, highly literate, relatively affluent and often musical. They travel, they read, they go to museums and concerts: they take pleasure in what the world offers. They’re also principled, and moral responsibility plays an important part in their lives. Pearlman’s prose is smooth and poetic, and her world seems safe and engaging. So it’s arresting when, suddenly, almost imperceptibly, she slips emotion into the narrative, coloring it unexpectedly with deep or delicate hues.”

The PEN/Malamud Award includes a reading in the 2011/2012 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library and a prize of $5,000. The selection committee is composed of a panel of PEN/Faulkner Board members.  Ms. Pearlman will be given the award on Friday, December 2, 2011 at the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Tickets for the event will go on sale September 1, 2011.

Previous PEN/Malamud Award winners include: Edward P. Jones, Nam Le, John Updike, Saul Bellow, George Garrett, Frederick Busch and Andre Dubus, Eudora Welty, Peter Taylor, Grace Paley, Stuart Dybek and William Maxwell, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, John Barth, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Ann Beattie and Nathan Englander, Sherman Alexie, Richard Ford, Junot Diaz, Ursula K. Le Guin, Barry Hannah, Maile Meloy, Richard Bausch, Nell Freudenberger, Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, Adam Haslett, Elizabeth Spencer, Cynthia Ozick Peter Ho Davies, Amy Hempel and Alistair MacLeod.

During his 37-year writing career, Bernard Malamud received the National Book Award twice as well as the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Faulkner Award nomination, and the Gold Medal for lifetime achievement from the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His published works include: The Natural, The Magic Barrel, The Fixer, and The Stories of Bernard Malamud.

Talking about the art of the short story, Malamud said, “I like packing a self or two into a few pages, predicting lifetimes. The drama is terse, happens faster, and is often outlandish. A short story is a way of indicating the complexity of life in a few pages, producing the surprise and effect of a profound knowledge in a short time.”

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation, now celebrating its 31st year, is committed to building audiences for literature and bringing writers together with their readers. This mission is accomplished through readings at the Folger by distinguished writers who have won the respect of readers and writers alike; thePEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer- juried award for fiction in the United States; thePEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story; and the Writers in Schools program, which brings nationally and internationally- acclaimed authors to public high school classrooms in Washington to discuss their work with students.


Press Contacts:

Garland Scott: 202-675-0342,

Matt Burriesci: 571-451-7389,

Deborah Eisenberg Wins 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 PRESS CONTACTS: Garland Scott, (202) 675–0342,             
Emma Snyder (202) 675-0345

Washington, DCDeborah Eisenberg’s The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (Picador) has been selected as the winner of the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.  The announcement was made today by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Susan Richards Shreve and Robert Stone, Co-Chairmen.

The judgesLaura Furman, William Kittredge, and Helena Maria Viramontes—considered approximately 320 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the US during the 2010 calendar year. Submissions came from over 125 publishing houses, including small and academic presses. There is no fee for a publisher or writer to submit a book.

The honored book, The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, brings together four volumes of Eisenberg’s work: Transactions in a Foreign CurrencyUnder the 82nd AirborneAll Around Atlantis, andTwilight of the Superheroes, which was a PEN/Faulkner Finalist in 2007. Eisenberg’s stories have long been admired for their exceptional language and nuanced evocation of thought and emotion. About this collection, judge Laura Furman says, “From the first to the last of her collected stories, Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates her sharp intelligence, literary inventiveness, and her clear understanding of human interconnectedness as it exists in isolation. Eisenberg’s reader often has the feeling that her characters don’t quite understand either who they are or how they got themselves into their present fix.  The struggle of her characters to create a whole life from the shards of their experience and emotions forms the moral core of Deborah Eisenberg’s work.” The recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Deborah Eisenberg has also taught at the University of Virginia since 1994.

The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer juried prize for fiction in the United States.  As winner, Eisenberg receives $15,000.  Each of the four finalists—Jennifer Egan for A Visit From The Goon Squad(Knopf); Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule(McPherson & Co.); Eric Puchner for Model Home(Scribner); and  Brad Watson for Aliens in The Prime of Their Lives  (W.W. Norton)—receives $5,000. 

All five authors will be honored during the 31st anniversary PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library, located at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $100, and can be purchased by phoning the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077, or online

The PEN/Faulkner Award was first given in 1981. Past winners include last year’s winner Sherman Alexie, and Joseph O’Neill, E.L. Doctorow, Ann Patchett, Philip Roth, John Updike, and John Edgar Wideman, among others. A full list of winners is at

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is committed to building audiences for exceptional literature and bringing writers together with their readers.  This mission is accomplished through a reading series at the Folger Shakespeare Library by distinguished writers who have won the respect of readers and writers alike; thePEN/Faulkner Award; the PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story; and theWriters in Schools program, which brings nationally and internationally-acclaimed authors to public high school classrooms, and to book groups of teen parents, and of incarcerated youth in Washington, DC.


For More Information, visit

2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees Announced!

This year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees are:

Jennifer Egan for A Visit From the Goon Squad




Deborah Eisenberg for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg




Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule




Eric Puchner for Model Home




Brad Watson for Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives





PEN/Faulkner Pizza Gala!

Your $25 ticket will support PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program 
and includes pizza, beer and wine

To RSVP email or call 202-898-9063
Tickets will also be available at the door

The 2011 Pizza Gala is sponsored by: 

Lisa and Matthew Winkler, Shelley Brazier and Tom Williamson, Rebecca Cross and Max MacKenzie, Emma Coleman Jordan, Reamy Ancarrow and Michael Forscey, Therese Droste, Jacqueline Adams, Gary Zizka and Mary Kay Zuravleff, Susan Shreve and Tim Seldes, Robert and Barbara Liotta, Marian Holmes and Glenn McNatt, Peter and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, and Shreve Williams Public Relations

Beverages donated by Diageo – Please drink responsibly

*A special thank you to James Alefantis and Comet Ping Pong*