The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction was founded in 1980 by National Book Award winner Mary Lee Settle. Her goal was to establish a national prize that would recognize literary fiction of excellence, an award juried by writers for writers, free of commercial concerns. The prize was named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to establish an award for younger writers, and PEN, the international writers’ organization. Today, the PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the top three national fiction awards, and the largest annual peer-juried prize in America.
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation has grown and expanded greatly since its inception. In 1989, the organization started Writers in Schools (WinS), a literary arts outreach program that brings free copies of contemporary works of literature into DC schools, and arranges for the authors of those works to visit classrooms and discuss literature and the writing life.
PEN/Faulkner also hosts and curates public programming events, called Literary Conversations, bringing together the most highly acclaimed established and emerging writers from all over the country to engage in the most significant literary and societal conversations of the moment. These events are hosted throughout the year in venues all over Washington, DC.See more