The PEN/Bernard and Ann Malamud Award

for Excellence in the Short Story

Established in 1988 and awarded annually to a writer who demonstrates dedication to the craft of the short story and whose stories are exceptionally well-realized, the PEN/Bernard and Ann Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story is one of the nation’s most significant literary prizes for the form.

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Award, we are thrilled to announce a historic gift from the estate of Paul Malamud, son of Bernard and Ann Malamud. Over the next five years, the estate will match all donations up to $100,000. We invite you to join us in ensuring the legacy of the Award for years to come.

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, The Farming of Bones, and the novels-in-stories, The Dew Breaker, a 2005 Pen/Faulkner finalist. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the...


The PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation has granted Edwidge Danticat the 2023 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Given since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, the award recognizes writers who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the short story form.

Danticat was honored at the annual PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony, held in partnership with American University, on Friday, December 1, 2023. 


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. 


Charles Baxter
Peter Ho Davies

Nell Freudenberger
Amina Gautier

Yiyun Li

George Saunders
Joan Silber

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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