PEN International/New Voices Award
PEN INTERNATIONAL/NEW VOICES AWARD
PEN International has set up an annual New Voices Award to encourage new writing in the countries in which we operate and to provide a much needed space for young and unpublished writers to submit their work.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, Catharine Amy 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The award is open to unpublished writers aged 18-30. The young writers must be nominated by their local PEN Centre; PEN International cannot receive entries directly from candidates.
The PEN International/New Voices Award 2013 was given on September 11 2013 to Masande Ntshanga for his work ‘Space’. Writer and jury member Alain Mabanckou presented the prize of $1000USD at the Reykjavík International Literary Festival, during the 79th PEN International Congress.
Read ‘Space’ by Masande Ntshanga (South African PEN)
Masande Ntshanga (b.1986. Nominated by South African PEN) was born in East London and grew up between Mdantsane, Zeleni, Bisho, King William’s Town, Estcourt and Pietermaritzburg. He attended the University of Cape Town and received a BA in Film and Media Production, as well as a BA (Honours) in English Studies. Masande started writing as a teenager, perhaps in response to the impact of transition, and published his first story at eighteen. This and others have been included in Laugh it Off Vol. 2, itch magazine, Imago Vol. 1 and other venues. Masande is currently enrolled for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town, where he’s working on a novel under the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program.
Congratulations also to finalists José Pablo Salas and Claire Battershill. We would like to thank all the candidates who entered the competition, the PEN Centres who nominated them and the panel of six judges for all their hard work.
Judging Panel 2013
Hephzibah Anderson is a book columnist for Bloomberg Muse. Former fiction editor of the Daily Mail, she has reviewed widely for publications including the Observer and the New Statesman, and on BBC Radio. She’s tutored for the Arvon Foundation and judged awards including the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She is also associate editor at Prospect magazine and author of the memoir ‘Chastened’. Hephzibah speaks and reads French.
Photo: Christy Pessagno.
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf set up Cassava Republic Press in 2007 with the aim of stimulating a literary and reading culture in Nigeria. Cassava Republic is now one of the continent’s leading publishing companies. Bibi is also an independent feminist scholar with publications in several academic journals. She has been a 2012 Yale World Fellow and a 2011 Frankfurt Fellow.
Carole Blake founded her own literary agency, Blake Friedmann, in 1977 after 14 years working for publishing houses, finally as Marketing Director of mass-market paperback imprint Sphere. She is President of The Book Trade Charity; a past President of the Association of Authors’ Agents; and former Chairman of the Society of Bookmen. She is a member of the advisory board for the post-graduate publishing studies courses at both City University and UCLA. Author of ‘From Pitch to Publication’ (Macmillan, 1999), now in its 13th printing, Carole’s clients include Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Erskine, Liz Fenwick, Ann Granger, Ken Hom, Peter James, Lawrence Norfolk, Joseph O’Connor, Sheila O’Flanagan, Tess Stimson and Julian Stockwin.
Photo: Jack Ladenburg.
Alain Mabanckou is a novelist, journalist, poet, and academic. A French citizen born in the Republic of the Congo, he is currently a Professor of Literature in the United States. He is best known for his novels and non-fiction writing depicting the experience of contemporary Africa and the African diaspora in France. Mabanckou’s work has been published in fifteen languages. African Psycho (2007), Broken Glass (2009), Memoirs of a Porcupine (2011), “Black Baazar” (2012) and “Tomorrow I will be Twenty” (2013) have been translated into English.
Sjón has published seven novels and numerous other poetry collections, and written plays, librettos and picture books for children. Novels include ‘The Whispering Muse’, ‘From the Mouth of the Whale’, and ‘The Blue Fox’; the last was awarded the prestigious Nordic Council Literary Prize and nominated for the 2009 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. In 2001, his long-time collaboration with the Icelandic singer Björk led to an Academy Award Best Song co-nomination (for lyrics to ‘I’ve Seen It All’), from the Lars von Trier film ‘Dancer in the Dark’. ‘From the Mouth of the Whale’ was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. Sjón resides in Reykjavík with his wife and two children.
Luisa Valenzuela was born and currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the author of over 20 books; a former journalist, Valenzuela has published articles throughout the Spanish-speaking world and in Village Voice, Vogue and The New York Times.
While living in New York, she became a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities a board member of PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write Committee. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow (1983) and a Fulbright Fellow. Valenzuela has been Writer in Residence at Columbia University, and the Center for Interamerican Relations NYU. In 2011 she was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Luisa used to live in France and speaks fluent French.
Photo: Vasco Szinetar.
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. http://www.pen-international.org.