PEN International has released the longlist for its 2016 New Voices Award for young writers.
The award, open to unpublished writers between 18 and 30, whether submitting short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism or poetry, is designed to encourage new writing worldwide, particularly from diverse linguistic regions and communities.
It also provides a platform for young and unpublished writers to promote their work. The six-strong longlist, whittled down from nominations from 150 PEN centres around the world, comprises nominations from PEN Afrikaans, Wales PEN Cymru, English PEN, German PEN, Romanian PEN and Pen Canada.
Frederick J. Botha, who was nominated by PEN Afrikaans, is studying for his doctorate in Afrikaans and Dutch at North-West University in South Africa, was longlisted for "Please Help, God Bless", translated by Marta Behar and Marius Swart. Robin Ganderton, nominated by Wales PEN Cymru, was longlisted for "In the Hearts of Green Birds", Stefan Kielbasiewicz, a co-chair of York Student PEN, nominated by English PEN, was longlisted for "The Rat, and other poems’", Julian Amankwaa succeeded in her nomination by German PEN for "Viertel-Neger", while Ioana Vintila, nominated by Romanian PEN, was longlisted for "Manifesto", translated by Ioana Poenaru & James Christian Brown. The final young writers to make the longlsit are Toronto writer Laura Legge, nominated by PEN Canada, also a finalist for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize and the 2013 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, for "Dress, Rehearse".
The judges of the 2016 award are: Mircea Cărtărescu, a member of the Romanian PEN and of the European Cultural Parliament; Mexican writer Laia Jufresa, Lee Yew Leong, the Singaporean founder of Asymptote, winner of the 2015 London Book Fair’s International Literary Translation Initiative; vice president of Ukrainian PEN Andrei Kurkov; John Ralston Saul and film script writer Annelies Verbeke, a committee member of PEN Flanders, who made her prose debut with the international bestseller Sleep! (2003).
The shortlist of three will be released "soon", according to PEN International, with the award ultimately presented on 28th September 2016 during the 82nd PEN International Congress in Ourense, Spain. The winning submission will be translated into PEN’s three official languages, French, English and Spanish, published by PEN International and awarded $1,000 (USD).