PEN/ Faulkner Foundation
PEN/Faulkner brings literature to life for diverse communities by investing resources in fostering readers and writers at every age and level of expertise. 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. Since our founding, that mission has grown to include bringing interested readers into direct contact with writers, and working with teachers to promote readership among students. We administer two of the country’s preeminent awards for fiction; host a reading series that brings accomplished authors to DC; and coordinate Writers in Schools (WinS), a free literary arts outreach program that provides works of contemporary literature to DC public and charter middle and high schools, arranges for the authors of those works to visit classrooms, and supplies teachers with curricular materials through which students can deepen their understanding and connect literature to their own lived experiences.