Oprah Winfrey to receive honorary PEN/Faulkner award

Oprah Winfrey is receiving a literary honor for her championing of so many authors over the past quarter century

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is giving Winfrey its inaugural Literary Champion award, a lifetime achievement prize for contributions to literacy and for inspiring younger readers and writers. PEN/Faulkner is otherwise known for the annual fiction prize it has presented since 1981.

“Oprah Winfrey is a literary force field,” PEN/Faulkner Board Vice President Mary Haft said in a statement Tuesday. “She has been like a lighthouse, standing sentry and shining a beacon of light onto literature and into the lives of writers and readers.”

Winfrey, who has boosted the sales for dozens of authors through the book club she founded in 1996, received an honorary National Book Award in 1999. She will accept her PEN/Faulkner award during a virtual ceremony to be held May 2.