Announcing the PEN International New Voices Award


PEN Canada collaborates with PEN International to encourage new, unpublished writers

PEN Canada is excited to announce the first annual PEN International New Voices Award. The award aims to encourage new writing and to provide a space where young and unpublished writers can submit their work. The winning writer, selected from the submissions of PEN centres around the world, will be awarded $1000 and published in PEN International magazine.

PEN Canada will be accepting submissions until midnight April 30, 2013. Once the applications have been reviewed an independent jury will review a shortlist and determine the entry our centre will submit to the international jury.

Submissions to PEN Canada must be in English. The chosen entry will be translated into PEN’s two other official languages (Spanish, French) and submitted to PEN International. All judging will be blind. For detailed submission guidelines and terms of entry please read below.

Submission Guidelines

    • All submissions must be received before midnight April 30, 2013
    • Please send all submissions to:
    • No entry may be altered after submission
    • It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email
    • Entries must be emailed and must include:
      • cover sheet – this should state applicant contact information (address, phone, email), date of birth, and the title of work being submitted
      • submission – prose or poetry. The title of the submission should appear in the top margins of each page and match the title stated on the cover sheet.
      • The filename of the submission must be the title of the submission and it must be a MS Word file or a PDF
      • All entries are judged anonymously: DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME on the document, only on the cover sheet


      • All writers must be over 17 but under the age of 30 on June 20, 2013
      • Writers who have published books may not enter but those with publishing contracts for forthcoming books may enter
      • Writers who have published pamphlets, or whose work has appeared in magazines and journals may enter

Prose Submissions

      • Prose entries must be between 2,000-4,000 words
      • Short stories should be double-spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page
      • Writers may only submit one prose work

Poetry Submissions

      • Poetry entries may take the form of individual poems, a sequence, or one long poem of no more than 2,500 words in total
      • Poems to be single-spaced and a line count noted at the top of the first page


Terms and Conditions

PEN Canada

      • Submissions to PEN Canada will be shortlisted and then evaluated by an independent jury
      • PEN Canada will nominate one entry for submission to PEN International, which will be translated into French and Spanish

PEN International

      • PEN International will draw up an initial longlist of entries received from PEN centres in-house; each of these texts will be assessed in English, French and Spanish by the judging panel
      • PEN International will also arrange an assessment of the entries in their original language
      • PEN International is assembling a judging panel of five experts, who will reflect and be representative of PEN’s global remit and aims
      • the initial longlist will be passed to the panel, each of whom will choose their own longlist of six
      • the judges will confer to finalize one single longlist of six, and subsequently a shortlist of three
      • the longlist of six writers will receive feedback on their entries from distinguished experts and advice on the next steps to take towards a writing career
      • a shortlist of three writers will be invited to the PEN International Congress to read their work, with expenses covered
      • all shortlisted entries are eligible for publication in PEN International at the discretion of the editor
      • the winning writer will be announced during the PEN International Congress
      • the winning entry will be published in PEN International magazine
      • the winning writer will receive an award of $1,000 USD
      • a selection of the texts received will appear in a special e-anthology
      • all translators will receive full accreditation and recognition
      • the judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into
      • PEN International reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice
      • worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but PEN International will have the unrestricted right to publish entries in the e-anthology, in print, on the website, and in any relevant promotional material