PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction
Fiction has a unique capacity to bring difficult issues to a broad readership on a personal level, creating empathy in a reader's heart for the theoretical stranger. Its capacity for invoking moral and social responsibility is enormous. Throughout history, every movement toward a more peaceful and humane world has begun with those who imagined the possibilities. The Bellwether Prize seeks to support the imagination of humane possibilities.
—Barbara Kingsolver, founder
The PEN/Bellwether Prize's intent is to advocate serious literary fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. The prize is awarded to a previously unpublished novel representing excellence in this genre. Learn more about the prize from Algonquin editor Kathy Pories.
Ron Childress, author of And West is West (Algonquin 2015)
Susan Nussbaum, author of Good Kings Bad Kings (Algonquin Books, 2013)
2010: Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift (Algonquin Books, 2012)
2008: Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin Books, 2010)
2006: Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound (Algonquin Books, 2008)
2004: Marjorie Kowalski Cole, author of Correcting the Landscape (HarperCollins, 2005)
2002: Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins, 2003)
2000: Donna Gershten, author of Kissing The Virgin's Mouth (HarperCollins, 2001)