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Wednesday, February 9, 2000

PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award Introduced

Amazon.com has launched the PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award. A collaboration between Amazon.com and PEN American Center, an organization of American writers and editors, the contest invites unpublished writers to submit original short story manuscripts. Each manuscript will compete for a $10,000 cash grant and publication at Amazon.com and in The Boston Book Review.

The judging panel is composed of three PEN writers: David Guterson, author of the award-winning Snow Falling on Cedars; Jamaica Kincaid, author of Annie John and Autobiography of My Mother; and poet, novelist, short story writer, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

Joining 16 other PEN literary honors, the PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award will be presented at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on May 15, 2000, at the Walter Reade Theatre in New York City's Lincoln Center. In addition to having the opportunity to meet and mingle with attending PEN members, the winning writer will gain exposure to readers when the winning manuscript is published online at Amazon.com and in The Boston Book Review.

"Since 1995, the Amazon.com site has served as a gathering place for millions of people who love books as much as we do," said Nicholas H. Allison, editor in chief, Amazon.com Book Store. "We're thrilled to be partnering with an organization of PEN's stature, helping foster great writing and putting that writing before the millions of readers who visit our site."

"For over three decades, PEN's literary awards have recognized excellent writing in every genre," said Michael Roberts, executive director of PEN American Center. "PEN is delighted to join Amazon.com to help open doors for unpublished writers and, through Amazon.com's extraordinary reach into the worldwide community of readers, to gain greater recognition for all PEN's work on behalf of literature."

The PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award entry is open to any writer whose fiction has not appeared in a book or nationally distributed publication with a circulation over 5,000. To participate, writers must be over the age of 18 and residents of either the United States or Canada. Manuscript submissions must be postmarked on or before March 24, 2000. Final typed and double-spaced manuscripts should be e-mailed to shortstory@amazon.com or mailed to The PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award; P.O. Box 80727; Seattle, Washington, 98108. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned. Additional award information and a complete set of rules can be found at: www.amazon.com/shortstory. There is no fee to enter.

PEN American Center is a fellowship of writers dedicated to advancing the cause of literature and reading in the United States and defending free expression around the world. Headquartered in New York, it is the largest of 131 International PEN Centers worldwide, with some 2,700 members (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, novelists, and translators) across the United States.





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