The PEN/Malamud Award

for Excellence in the Short Story

Awarded annually to writers who have demonstrated exceptional achievement, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story is one of the nation’s most significant literary prizes for the short story form. The fund for the award, established by a generous gift from Bernard Malamud’s family, continues to grow through the generosity of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s supporters.

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li is the author of seven books of fiction and two books of nonfiction, including her newest novel, THE BOOK OF GOOSE (September 2022). She has received many awards and grants, including a Whiting Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, a Windham-Campbell...


The PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony

This rich annual literary event featured a presentation by the winning author, a tribute from the Malamud family, and an in-depth conversation between the winner and another notable PEN/Faulkner author.

Yiyun Li was honored at the annual PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony, held in partnership with American University, on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 7 pm. You can watch the recording of the ceremony below.


About Bernard Malamud

During his 37-year writing career, Bernard Malamud received the National Book Award (twice), the Pulitzer Prize, 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.

"I like packaging a self or two in 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.”

– Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

"I love the pleasures of the short story.

One of them is the fast payoff. Whatever happens happens quickly…. Before you know it, you’ve collected two or three strangers swearing eternal love and friendship before they begin making demands that divide and multiply.”

– Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

"Art celebrates life and gives it our measure."


– Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

The Selection Process

The PEN/Malamud Award winner is selected by members of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Board of Directors, who rely on their own intimate knowledge of the field and the recommendations of a small Advisory Board of literary leaders. 


Richard Bausch
Peter Ho Davies
Stuart Dybek

Deborah Eisenberg
Nell Freudenberger

Amina Gautier

Edward P. Jones

Lorrie Moore
Joan Silber
John Edgar Wideman

Past Winners

Yiyun Li, 2022
Charles Baxter, 2021
Lydia Davis, 2020
John Edgar Wideman, 2019
Amina Gautier and Joan Silber, 2018
Jhumpa Lahiri, 2017
Joy Williams, 2016
Deborah Eisenberg, 2015
George Saunders, 2013
James Salter, 2012
Edith Pearlman, 2011
Nam Le and Edward P. Jones, 2010
Alistair MacLeod and Amy Hempel, 2009
Cynthia Ozick and Peter Ho Davies, 2008
Elizabeth Spencer, 2007
Adam Haslett and Tobias Wolff, 2006
Lorrie Moore, 2005
Richard Bausch and Nell Freudenberger, 2004
Barry Hannah and Maile Meloy, 2003
Junot Diaz and Ursula K. Le Guin, 2002
Sherman Alexie and Richard Ford, 2001
Ann Beattie and Nathan Englander, 2000
T. Coraghessan Boyle, 1999
John Barth, 1998
Alice Munro, 1997
Joyce Carol Oates, 1996
Stuart Dybek and William Maxwell, 1995
Grace Paley, 1994
Peter Taylor, 1993
Eudora Welty, 1992
Frederick Busch and Andre Dubus, 1991
George Garrett, 1990
Saul Bellow, 1989
John Updike, 1988

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