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12 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers 2020


November 15, 2019


Opportunity Cover Image - 12 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers 2020

2020 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers ($2,000 to 12 Writers)

Ends on November 15, 2019

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers each year recognizes twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published during a given calendar year in a literary magazine or cultural website and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers. 

Each of the twelve winning writers will receive a cash purse of $2,000 and will be honored at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City. The independent book publisher Catapult will publish the twelve winning stories in an annual anthology entitled The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories.

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2019 through November 15, 2019. 

Who is Eligible:  

  • PEN will only accept submissions from editors of eligible publications. Authors may not submit their own work. 
  • Participating publications may be cultural websites, online magazines, or print magazines distributed in the U.S.
  • Editors from eligible publications may only submit a short story by a debut writer. The story must be the writer’s first English publication of ANY genre that has undergone an editorial review process and been accepted and published in a literary journal, book, media outlet, or other publication that the author is not academically or professionally associated with.
  • Stories must have been published or forthcoming in 2019. 
  • Editors from eligible publications may submit up to four eligible stories from eligible authors in a given award year. 
  • Editors from eligible publications must submit short stories that are up to 12,000 words in length. 
  • The editor and author must agree to the award’s Declaration of Eligibility and Consent form, which outlines serial rights for Catapult’s forthcoming anthology. 
  • There are no restrictions on the candidate’s age or on the style of his or her work.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Event Type
Publish Date
November 04, 2019


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