Your 2014 PEN Literary Award Winners Have Been Announced
On Wednesday morning, I could not have been happier to see writer Nina McConigley's name splashed all over my Facebook News Feed. (That's her above.) Why the fanfare? She's one of the 2014 PEN Literary Award Winners.
McConigley's stunning short story collection Cowboys and East Indians (for which Claire Luchette interviewed her in November) was honored with the $5,000 PEN Open Book Award, which is given to an author of color with an outstanding book-length work of lit published in 2013. Winning alongside of her was another female author, poet Ruth Ellen Kocher for domina Un/blue. Bonus: Both books come from small presses — FiveChapters and Tupelo, respectively — which I'm always a fan of seeing.
Other people picking up nods: Linda Leavell for her biography of modernist poet Marianne Moore, Holding on Upside Down; emerging playwright Laura Marks; and children's author Linda Oatman High — and that's just a few of the honorees. PEN has the full list of winners at the link above. And it's an impressive group, as expected.
The jury's still out until September 29 on one marquee award: the $25,000 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, which will be announced at the organization's New York City ceremony. The competition for the debut novel or short story prize — which is insanely prestigious, as you can guess — is fierce; nominees include Anthony Marra, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Ian Stansel, Shawn Vestal, and Hanya Yanagihara.
Cheers to all the winners... so far!