• Awards

Tina Fey Will Receive “PEN” Honor

Two-time Golden Globe-winning comedy writer and actress Tina Fey will receive the “2023 PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award” at the 50th annual PEN America Literary Awards, taking place in New York on March 2.

Fey will be recognized for her comic writing legacy, as the fifth recipient to receive the award honoring a groundbreaking writer whose transformative work inspires audiences in the spirit of the late director Mike Nichols Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990) and Closer (2004) …)

“It’s been a lifelong dream to have my name associated in any way with the great Mike Nichols,” Fey said in a statement. “Thanks to this award, I can stop working on my ‘Silkwood’ reboot.”

The actress was a writer and cast member of the long-running comedy variety show, Saturday Night Live from 1997 to 2006, leaving to write and star in the hit comedy series, 30 Rock. Her credits also include Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008) and Date Night (2010) and she recently appeared in a recurring role in Only Murders in the Building as well as taking on writing and other behind-the-scenes roles on titles such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Mr. Mayor.

As well as co-hosting the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler four times, Fey was nominated for six Golden Globes (including two wins) for Best Actress in a TV Comedy, 30 Rock and as sole creator of the series, which was nominated four times for Best Musical/Comedy Series (with one win in 2009).


“The PEN America Literary Awards celebrates both the joy and essential hard truths writers deliver,” CEO of PEN America, Suzanne Nossel explained in a statement. “With her unabashed comic sensibilities, multilayered jokes and heightened reflection of our off-kilter world, Tina Fey has brought indispensable laughter and insight to audiences and readers. We couldn’t be happier to share this award with such a singular and pioneering artist, who, like the great Mike Nichols, understands the depth and social import of humor.”

Founded in 1963 and supported by the HFPA as a grant recipient, the PEN America Literary Awards honor the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. 54 writers were announced as finalists and over $370,000 will be handed out across 20 awards.

Fey’s award, which confers a prize of $25,000, will be presented by her SNL co-star, Rachel Dratch. She succeeds previous honorees George C. Wolfe, Kenneth Lonergan, Tom Stoppard and Elaine May.