Michael Haskins

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Literary Legend Elmore Leonard set to receive Lifetime Achievement Award


EN, has unveiled the winners of its prestigious 2009 Literary Awards competition. The prizes, announced by PEN USA Executive Director Adam Somers, honor outstanding work by writers in 10 separate genres. They will be presented at the 19th Annual Literary Awards, which will be held at the BeverlHills Hotel on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009.

In addition to the literary prizes, PEN USA’s LitFest gala will feature several other honors. As a ribute to his writing accomplishments, legendary author Elmore Leonard will be presented ith the Lifetime Achievement Award. In a career spanning 60 years, Leonard has published 3 novels and numerous short stories, creating a distinct literary style that has delighted readers nd influenced a new generation of writers. Books like Swag, LaBrava, Freaky Deaky, and Tishomingo Blues are not only classics of the crime genre, but some of the best writing of the last alf century. Many of Leonard’s novels and stories have been adapted to film: most notably Get Shorty, starring John Travolta, and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld; Out of Sight, starring George Clooney and directed by Steven Soderbergh; and Jackie Brown, from the novel Rum Punch, directed by Quentin Tarantino. In the spring, a TV series based on Leonard’s short story, Fire in the Hole, is scheduled to premiere on FX. Leonard’s most recent novel, Road Dogs, has received some of the best reviews of his career. He is currently finishing his next book, entitled Djibouti, to be published in 2010 by HarperCollins/William Morrow.

Recipients of the literary awards were chosen by a distinguished panel of writers, editors and journalists. Winners were selected from among more than 500 entries. Each winner will receive a $1000 cash prize presented at the Literary Awards Gala.

Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include: Woody Allen, Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Betty Friedan, Larry Gelbart, Vaclav Havel, Christopher Isherwood, Walter Mosley, Neil Simon, Jane Smiley, Robert Towne, Gore Vidal, and Billy Wilder.


Fiction KIM BARNESA Country Called Home (Alfred A. Knopf)

Creative Nonfiction STEVE LOPEZThe Soloist (G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Research Nonfiction LESLIE T. CHANGFactory Girls (Spiegel & Grau)

Poetry SEIDO RAY RONCIThe Skeleton of the Crow (Ausable Press)

Children’s Literature KATHI APPELT • The Underneath (Atheneum Books for Young


Translation MAXINE CHERNOFF & PAUL HOOVERSelected Poems of

Friedrich Hölderlin (Omnidawn Publishing)

Journalism KAREN OLSSONBefore and After (Texas Monthly)

Drama MARISELA TREVINO ORTABraided Sorrow (El Centro Su


Teleplay GEORGE MASTRASBreaking Bad: Crazy Handful of Nothin’

(Sony/Gran Via/Highbridge)

Screenplay DUSTIN LANCE BLACKMilk (Newmarket Press)


PEN USA is a non-profit Los Angeles-based membership organization of professional writers, and the International PEN center in the United States for those writers living west of the Mississippi River. Its members are connected by the goals of building interest in the written word and defending writers worldwide by protecting freedom of expression. Among its many contributions to the literary world, PEN USA’s Emerging Voices program awards fellowships to

promising writers from underserved communities and provides them with an intensive eight month program of workshops, classes, seminars and individual mentorships. In the classrooms of many underprivileged schools across Southern California, its PEN in the Classroom program helps children and teachers alike in the process of creative reading and writing.

For further information, visit www.penusa.org

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