The Bellwether Prize, which was established in 2000 by Barbara Kingsolver and is funded entirely by her, was created to promote fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships.
Beginning in 2012, the $25,000 prize will be awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that exemplifies the prize’s founding principles. The winner will also receive a publishing contract with Algonquin Books, which will be the participating publisher for at least the next two awards cycles. The first PEN/Bellwether Prize will be conferred at PEN’s Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City in the fall of 2012.
Deadline: Submissions must be received between October 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012.
Who is eligible: Candidates must have some publishing experience, but must not have published a work that has sold more than 10,000 copies. The submission must be an original, previously unpublished novel, written by one person, in English, at least 80,000 words in length. Eligible authors must be U.S. citizens. The winning manuscript will be chosen by a panel of three judges: one editor representing the participating publisher and two distinguished literary authors selected by PEN’s Literary Awards Committee in consultation with Barbara Kingsolver.
How to apply:
1) Pay the $25 entry fee online and proceed to checkout. If paying by check, skip to step 2.
2) Fill out the online submission form and click “Submit.”
3) Mail all application items between October 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012 to:
PEN/Bellwether PrizeApplications must include:
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012
• two copies of your typed, double-spaced (11 or 12 point font), and paginated manuscript with title appearing on every page (your name should not appear anywhere on the pages)
• résumé or curriculum vitae (five pages maximum)
• check or proof of online payment
• printed submission form
• self-addressed, stamped postcard for verification of receipt of entry (optional)
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 334-1660, ext. 126.