Voices from PEN/Faulkner

2021 PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration

The 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration was held on May 10, 2021, and honored this year's distinguished books and authors. This exquisite literary evening featured original readings by our PEN/Faulkner Award winner and four finalists; commendations by our three...

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Enjoy the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration with Us!

Though the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration is virtual this year, we are still incredibly excited to honor the year's best in fiction with you. Join our team in setting the mood by streaming our event playlist, mixing a custom drink, and putting your literary...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Jennifer Cheng

We're delighted to present this essay by Jennifer Cheng, our incredible Literary Outreach/Education Programs intern who joined us this past winter/spring, about an experience at an author visit that impacted her. Bringing Worlds to Life: Fostering Empathy and...

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TWR with Aida Salazar: A Virtual Success

This fall, we were joined by wonderful interns who each wrote about an experience at an author visit that impacted them. We are thrilled to present this essay by Isabel Callahan and Melissa Young, our Literary Outreach/Education Programs interns. “So...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Isabel Callahan

This fall, we were joined by wonderful interns who each wrote about an experience at an author visit that impacted them. We are delighted to present this essay by Isabel Callahan, one of our Literary Outreach/Education Programs interns. Visit Story – Patrice...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Melissa Young

This fall, we were joined by wonderful interns who each wrote about an experience at an author visit that impacted them. We are delighted to present this essay by Melissa Young, one of our Literary Outreach/Education Programs interns. DC International School’s...

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2020 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony

DATE | December 4, 2020 at 7:30 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

The 2020 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony celebrated Lydia Davis. This year’s event featured a reading, an in-depth conversation and a Q&A about Ms. Davis’ work, and remarks by Janna Malamud Smith, Bernard Malamud’s daughter. The cceremony was hosted in partnership with the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University.

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Our History

Celebrating literature, enriching our community The work of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation began in 1980, when National Book Award-winner Mary Lee Settle set out to create the largest annual peer-juried prize for fiction in the United States. The award was named for...

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Why Literary Education Matters

As has been established by multiple research studies, books and reading have a profound impact on a child’s academic achievement and post-graduation employment success. A 2012 report by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution found that “over the past forty...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Alice Tsai

We continue our spotlight on the wonderful interns we worked with this spring with an essay by our Research and Evaluation intern, Alice Tsai. As the population of the United States becomes increasingly diverse, it is important that students are in classrooms that are...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Natalie Davis (Part 2)

This spring, we were joined by incredible interns who each wrote essays inspired by their time in the organization. We are thrilled to present the second essay by Natalie Davis, our spring Education Programs intern. “Twilight Is My Harry Potter” Author’s Note: The...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Natalie Davis (Part 1)

This spring, we were joined by Natalie Davis, our amazing Education Programs intern, who wrote two essays inspired by her time in the organization. We are excited to share the first of them with you. “A Street Where Books and YouTube Meet” There was a time where I...

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Our Video Celebration of the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award

Please join us in paying tribute to our 2020 winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Chloe Aridjis’ Sea Monsters, as well as our four finalists: Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End; Peter Rock’s The Night Swimmers; Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow; and Ocean...

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Announcing the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award Longlist

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the PEN/Faulkner Award, we asked this year’s award judges to select a long list of the ten most significant books published in 2019. We are pleased to announce the following books which have been longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Faulkner...

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Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Ten percent. In 2018, that was the percentage of published children’s books that featured a character who was African or African American. Ten percent. The total percentage of children’s books featuring African or African American, Asian Pacific American, Latinx, or...

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Celebrating Our Education Programs

The name PEN/Faulkner may conjure images of literary delights, from dynamic authors in conversation to our prestigious, peer-juried awards in fiction and the short story. Alongside these nationally-reaching endeavors, we bring more than one hundred writers to schools...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Sabrina Sthay

This fall, PEN/Faulkner had the privilege of being joined by three amazing interns. Before they left us, they each wrote essays inspired by their time in the organization. It’s our honor to share them with you. We started with a piece by Anique Jones, continued with a...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Demory Hobbs

This fall, PEN/Faulkner had the privilege of being joined by three amazing interns. Before they left us, they each wrote essays inspired by their time in the organization. It’s our honor to share them with you. We started with a piece by Anique Jones, and we're...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner Interns: Anique Jones

This fall, PEN/Faulkner had the privilege of being joined by three amazing interns. Before they left us, they each wrote essays inspired by their time in the organization. It’s our honor to share them with you, starting with this piece by Anique Jones: LOOKING THROUGH...

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Youth Essay Contest Winners and Runners-up!

PEN/Faulkner is excited to announce the winners and runners-up for this year's Youth Essay Contest! Writers were asked to submit personal essays on the theme of "Rise Up." Each of the winners and runners-up will receive a monetary prize, and the two winners will read...

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Voices from PEN/Faulkner’s Interns

This summer, PEN/Faulkner had the privilege of being joined by three amazing interns: Jess Karan, Anna Hotard, and Olivia Guerrero. Before they left us, they each wrote essays inspired by their time in the organization. It's our honor to share them with you. QUEERING...

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Announcing the 2019 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

WASHINGTON, DC—John Edgar Wideman has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Given since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, the award recognizes a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of...

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Announcing the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner

WASHINGTON, DC—Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s Call Me Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. “We are truly delighted to be able to honor such a rare and remarkable work of art,” said PEN/Faulkner...

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Announcing the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists

Judges have selected the five finalists for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction. The finalists are: Blanche McCrary Boyd for Tomb of the Unknown Racist (Counterpoint), Richard Powers for The Overstory (W.W....

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Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Today kicks off the DC area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in DC public and charter schools across the city. All this week, PEN/Faulkner's Writers in Schools program will be hosting conversations between Black writers and students in schools across four wards of...

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What We Read and Loved in 2018

Not surprisingly, we’re a staff of book lovers and voracious readers. We asked around our office for the best book our staff and interns read this year. While this list doesn’t always include books published in 2018, we hope you’ll find something new to pick up, or to...

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20 Book-ish Halloween Costume Ideas

1. Handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Forced to live as obedient servants in a dystopian world of totalitarian theocratic rule, the handmaids fight back to regain female agency. The government mandates that each handmaid wear a long red dress,...

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LGBTQ+ Book List for June + the other 11 months

Pride Month is drawing to a close, but it doesn’t have to be June to read, enjoy, and celebrate literary works by LGBTQ+ authors! Here’s a list of some award-winning contemporary books by LGBTQ+ writers to drop in your checkout bin. Her Body and Other Parties (2017)...

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Announcing the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Jhumpa Lahiri will receive the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library on December 8th, 2017. Jhumpa Lahiri is the author...

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Announcing the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists!

Judges Chris Abani, Chantel Acevedo, and Sigrid Nunez have announced their list of finalists for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 4th. Following the announcement, the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction...

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Announcing the 2016 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Joy Williams will receive the 2016 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in December 2016. Joy Williams is the author most...

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Announcing the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner

Congratulations to James Hannaham, winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel Delicious Foods (Little, Brown), and congratulations again to our four finalists: Julie Iromuanya for Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press) Viet Thanh Nguyen for The...

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Dec. 4th: The PEN/Malamud Award Honoring Deborah Eisenberg

The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story: Honoring Deborah Eisenberg Friday, December 4th, 2015  |  7:30 PM Purchase a single ticket for $25 Folger Shakespeare Library - Old Reading Room 201 East Capitol Street SE Washington, DC 20003 (map)   Given...

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Announcing the 2015 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Deborah Eisenberg will receive the 2015 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in December 2015.

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Announcing The 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner

  Congratulations to Atticus Lish, winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books), and congratulations again to our four finalists: Jeffery Renard Allen for Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press) Jennifer...

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Derrick Weston Brown visits the Summer Supper & Book Club!

Derrick Weston Brown writes the kind of poetry that generates conversations that are at once discomfiting, engaging, and necessary. So when PEN/Faulkner’s Summer Supper and Book club gathered on an unusually mild Tuesday evening to discuss Wisdom Teeth, the poet’s...

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2014 Summer Supper & Book Club: A Dispatch

This first dispatch from our Summer Supper & Book Club comes from Kangsen Feka Wakai, who is focusing on Writers in Schools-related projects during his summer internship with us. Stay tuned for more updates from the Book Club right here at the Writers in Schools...

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Alison Stewart & The WinS Triathlon

The WinS Triathlon with Alison Stewart If you’ve been following the WinS Blog for a while now, you’ve certainly read about the time-honored tradition of the “WinS Marathon.” It’s when a writer visits three or more class sections in a single day, which, given block...

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A Year in the Life of Writers in Schools D.C.

Today marks the end of the 2013-2013 school year in Washington, DC. You could sum up the past 40 weeks worth of Writers in Schools activities with a few numbers: 140 visits, 26 public and public charter schools, 42 instructors, 2,100 participating students, 3,300...

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The Quotable Felicia Pride

Last week, author and communications entrepreneur Felicia Pride visited five different sections of instructor Samantha Vacknin's class at Northwestern High School in Baltimore. Pride, who grew up in Baltimore after spending her early years in New Jersey, knows a thing...

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Terry McMillan & the McKinley High Book Club

  Way back in August we released the list of writers who would participate in the 2012-2013 Reading Series and, while in Washington, would go on a Writers in Schools visit. As librarian Sarah Elwell looked over the list, she remarked, almost in passing, “Terry...

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The Quotable Dolen Perkins-Valdez

  Last week's visit to Anacostia High School with author Dolen Perkins-Valdez provided students the opportunity to engage the author on a number of issues—including class, race, love, and history—that are central to Perkins-Valdez's novel Wench. It also provided the...

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The End of an Author Visit…

WinS is having a banner week here in DC as local authors are lined up for 17 individual school visits throughout the District. While you may have noticed a bit of silence here on the WinS blog as a result, something occurred to me this week on a visit to Howard...

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The Quotable James Grady

James Grady is the author of over a dozen novels, including Six Days of the Condor, later adapted for a film starring Robert Redford. But his high profile novels weren’t up for discussion last week as he gathered with a group of students at Trinity College in...

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The Quotable E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller is the kind of person who knows something about everything. On our ride over to Thurgood Marshall Academy in Anacostia, we discussed, in no particular order, Valentine’s Day, the prison-industrial complex, college basketball, and Frederick...

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Guest Blogger: Coolidge High School’s Clare Berke

  Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench, visited my tenth grade classes as part of our third unit of the school year. The unit theme was love, and the essential question was: Does love free us or cage us? Throughout the unit, students discussed and wrote about this...

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SEED Students Brought It at SpeakeasyDC!

     Back in December I was lucky enough to go along while Dolen Perkins-Valdez visited an extraordinary group of 10th graders at the SEED School of D.C. It was a two-part visit, with students discussing two of Dolen’s short stories early in the week, and the...

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WinS Author Questionnaire: Maud Casey

  This installment of the Writers in Schools author questionnaire features fiction writer Maud Casey. A DC resident, Casey teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland and is the author of the novels Genealogy and The Shape of Things to Come as well as the...

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WinS Author Questionnaire: Amy Reingold & Maz Rauber

  Together, under the moniker Ella Monroe, Amy Reingold and Maz Rauber wrote the highly anticipated Capital Girls trilogy. The first installment was released in August and immediately began generating comparisons to hit series like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little...

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Nicole Lynn Lewis visits a Teen Parent Book Club

  A little over a month after DCPS released its data on graduation rates, I found myself faced with another sobering statistic. Nationwide only 40% of teen mothers graduate from high school, and less than two percent go on to earn a college degree by the time they’re...

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Steve Luxenberg & the Ghosts of a Family’s Past

  Steve Luxenberg is as familiar with Baltimore and Washington, DC as just about anyone. In 1985, after an eleven year tenure with The Baltimore Sun, Luxenberg joined The Washington Post as deputy editor of the investigative/special projects staff. In 1991, he...

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Maud Casey is an ACE

  Last week was a doozy around the PEN/Faulkner offices. On Sunday, Dec. 2nd, we launched the Hill Center Reading Series and on Friday, Dec. 7th, we honored 2012 PEN/Malamud Award recipient James Salter.  On the 6th, D.C.-based author Maud Casey visited two classes at...

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Leslie Pietrzyk, Author & Marathoner

  Last Thursday one teacher, one writer, and 70 Coolidge High School sophomores made Writers in Schools history. They had three WinS visits in a single day. It's not uncommon for three (or more) visits to occur in one day, but normally they are spread out over...

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Federico Falco Visits Bell Multicultural

   Argentinian author Federico Falco discusses the differences between writing novels and short fiction, a topic among many discussed during last week's visit to Bell Multicultural High School.  As you could probably tell from our previous posts, we were pretty...

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WinS Author Questionnaire: Christopher Mlalazi

  Zimbabwean author and recent resident of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Christopher Mlalazi, recently visited Coolidge High School to talk about his new memoir, Running With Mother.    Last week we were lucky enough to host...

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The Fine Line Between Fact & Fiction

  During a recent visit with author Danielle Evans to two writing classes at Trinity College, Evans was quick to point out that while for many authors (herself included) personal experience may inform her fiction, the stories found in her collection Before You...

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The Quotable George Pelecanos

We'll not mince words here: George Pelecanos is incredible. The prolific author, script writer, and television producer (and let's not forget PEN/Faulkner Board Member) is beloved by students and Writers in Schools instructors for a reason: because the man cares about...

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Loving Language with Lulu Delacre

 On Thursday, October 11th Lulu Delacre visited the Cardozo Senior High School teen parent book club to discuss Jay and Ben, as well as her bilingual book Arrorró, Mi Niño, a book of Latino lullabies and gentle games. She discussed her inspiration for writing Arrorró,...

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End of Summer Goodbyes

Summer Program Update With Gretchen Barkhuff   Goodbyes have never been my strong suit. In some ways, they are a bit like writing conclusions for a paper: you look back, wrapping up what you did and tying up loose ends, but you also need to look forward and...

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Nostalgia for the Maud

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff   Maud Casey, author of The Shape of Things to Come, joined us on August 7th for the last day of our summer 2012 writing workshop. The workshop topic for our final week was revision, and Casey came with many clever tips...

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Pearls of Wisdom with Derrick Weston Brown

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff Last Tuesday, July  31st, poet Derrick Weston Brown led the summer program students in a fun and lively discussion based off of his poetry collection entitled Wisdom Teeth. One of the students asked Weston Brown why he chose...

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Poetry Down the Lane

Do you remember the childhood game "Telephone" (or "Whisper Down the Lane"), where the first person in a line would whisper a phrase to the person behind them? This process is continued down the line—the phrase being repeated and often reinterpreted—until the last...

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(Sub)texting with Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff Author Dolen Perkins-Valdez stopped by the workshop this past Tuesday, July 24th, to discuss her short story, “The Clipping.” “The Clipping” explores the weight of memory as a haunting family past of a lynched ancestor bleeds...

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Creating a Dialogue with James Grady

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff “If someone gives you an opportunity, hijack it and make it the best possible thing it can be,” author James Grady advised the summer workshop students. Grady—a thriller and noir writer— was excited to work with our young...

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Imagining Character with Susan Richards Shreve

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff Novelist Susan Richards Shreve led a fun and thought-provoking conversation on writing and characters this past Tuesday, July 10th, at the summer program. The students read her novel Plum & Jaggers which is a truly...

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And We’re Off!

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff   The summer program is off to an amazing start. We have a wonderful group of high school students that were ready to jump right in on the first day. As a warm up activity we did a writing relay race outside. Two teams...

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Preparing for the Summer Writing Workshop

Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff It has been quite a busy week here at the PEN/Faulkner office! The summer program starts today and, as the Education and Development intern, I’ve been brainstorming writing activities, finalizing lesson plans, and compiling...

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Summer Program Update: Welcome, Gretchen!

Hi! My name is Gretchen Barkhuff and I am excited to be the new Education and Development intern here at PEN/ Faulkner. This summer I will be helping to organize and lead the Summer Writing Workshops for high school students as part PEN/ Faulkner’s Writers in Schools...

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My Life in AP

A Reflection by 2011 Gala Essay Contest Winner Laneisha McCauley In September Laneisha McCauley was selected as one of the winners of our Gala Essay Contest and was asked to read her essay at the Folger Shakespeare Library alongside writers including Al Young, Natasha...

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James Salter to Receive 2012 PEN/Malamud Award

James Salter has been selected to receive the 25th 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. Salter is regarded as one of the...

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Leslie Pietrzyk Visits School Without Walls

Filipa Calado accompanied local writer Leslie Pietrzyk to School Without Walls where Mr. Ismail's AP class had discussed the novel Pears on a Willow Tree. Filipa's account of the visit follows. In early March, Leslie Pietrzyk stopped by the School Without Walls to...

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