Laura Legge wins the 2016 PEN International/New Voices Award  


The 2016 PEN International/New Voices Award was awarded to Laura Legge for her short story ‘Dress, Rehearse’. The winner – who collects a prize of $1000USD – was announced at the closing ceremony of the 82nd PEN International Congress in Ourense, Spain, hosted by PEN Galicia.

‘The New Voices Award proves that secretly, deftly, in spite of everything, we continue to survive as a word-making species. The stories and poems received from all over the world are proof of the extraordinary resilience of the literary imagination.’ – Alberto Manguel, 2014 New Voices judge.

Laura Legge, who was nominated for award by PEN Canada, is a fiction writer and poet. She recently received her MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, after obtaining her Honours BA from the University of Toronto. She has previously been a finalist for the 2013 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and for the CBC Short Story Prize. You can read an interview with her here.

The 2016 shortlist for the New Voices award comprised:

Viertel-Neger’ by Julian Amankwaa (nominated by German PEN). Translated by Stefanie Retterbush, Mathilde Sommain and Erik Arellana Bautista

Manifesto’ by Ioana Vintila (nominated by Romanian PEN). Translated by Ioana Poenaru & James Christian Brown

Dress, Rehearse’ by Laura Legge (nominated by PEN Canada)

PEN International would like to congratulate the shortlisted writers Julian Amankwaa and Ioana Vintilam, as well as the longlisted writers, the translators, and all candidates and PEN Centres who participated.

PEN International would also like to give a special thanks to the 2016 JuryMircea Cărtărescu,  Laia Jufresa, Andrei Kurkov, Lee Yew Leong, , John Ralston Saul and Annelies Verbeke.

The PEN International/New Voices award has been an important springboard for several short-listed writers: Rebecca F. John and Lea Sauer, winner and runner up in 2015 respectively will both have their first novels published in 2017. The first novel of Masande Ntshanga, the inaugural winner in 2013 is now on the undergraduate syllabus at Yale University.