Wednesday, February 5, 2014



PEN International’s 2nd annual New Voices Award is to encourage new writing in
the countries in which it operates and to provide a much needed space for young and unpublished writers to submit their work. The award will actively encourage entries from diverse linguistic regions and communities.

Before PEN International was established in 1921, its founder C. A. Dawson Scott set up the Tomorrow Club as a space for aspiring writers to network with more established writers. In 1928,Herman Ould, International Secretary, felt strongly that it was important for PEN to maintain focus on helping emerging writers, and so established a ‘Young PEN’ chapter.

The PEN International/New Voices Award builds on these ideas, simultaneously reconnecting with our past and moving into the future.

The annual PEN International/New Voices Award aims to:
- work closely with our members, to encourage new writing nationwide;
- encourage writers aged 18-30 to write short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism, and poetry;
- to promote freedom of expression, literature, and the tenets of the PEN Charter;
- foster new forms of writing appropriate to our time;
- promote translation, especially into ‘bridge’ languages such as English, French, and Spanish;
- provide a (much needed) space for emerging writers to submit their work;
- help emerging writers by providing advice on how best to work towards a career as a writer;
- to cement PEN’s profile as the world’s oldest and pre-eminent writers’ organization

Details of the award’s terms of entry and judging structure are set out below:
- each PEN Centre, or officially-recognised Chapter, may nominate and mentor a
maximum of two writers. One male, one female;
- all proposed candidates must be over 17 & still under the age of 30 at the time of the closing date;
- writers who have published books may not enter, but those who have existing
contracts with publishers for forthcoming books may enter. A nominee must not have had any book published during the entire duration of the award;
- writers who have published pamphlets, or work in magazines and journals are allowed to enter;
- all manuscripts entered must be the work of one author only;
- prose entries must be between 2,000-4,000 words;
- poetry entries may take the form of individual poems, a sequence, or one long poem of no more than 2,500 words in total;
- writers may only submit one prose work;
- all texts nominated must remain unpublished during the entire duration of the award;
- the winning entry will be published by PEN International;
- the winning writer will receive an award of $1,000 USD;
- a longlist of six writers may request feedback on their entries;
- the shortlist of three writers may be asked to participate in later events through PEN International;
- the winning writer will be announced during Congress;
- all translators will receive full accreditation and recognition;
- there will be no entry fee

- the award will be open to submissions January-March – 05, 2014;
- the submission window will close on 12 midnight of 5th May 2014 and no late entries will be considered;
- the National Secretariat, will draw up an initial longlist with input from the panel of judges
- PEN Nigeria’s judging panel of experts, aims to reflect and be representative of
PEN’s global remit and aims;
-         There would be no less than three judges evaluating each of the genres;
-         Each of the judges, working independently, would come up with a list of three, scored over a hundred;
-         Two successful entrants in each genre would be provided official entry form for the international grand finale

- Two  shortlisted candidates would be eligible for a one year online mentorship programme starting from 2015

- amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor
substitutions made;
- it is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email;
- poems to be single-spaced and a line count noted at the top of the first page;
- short stories to be double-spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page;
- the filename of online entries must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc, .docx, .rtf file: we cannot accept PDFs
- all entries are judged anonymously: do not include the entrant’s name on the
document, only on the covering mail;
- the judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into;
To enter and for further information please contact Secretary General, PEN Nigeria, Ropo Ewenla:
Entries must bear the subject: NV 2014 ( Title of work)

PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, our global community of writers now comprises 146 Centres spanning more than 100 countries. Our programmes, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers for global solidarity and co-operation. PEN International is a non-political organisation and holds consultative status at the United Nations and UNESCO.

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