Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies — A call for contributors to the inaugural issue of a scholarly journal on one of the towering figures of American literature.
Marya: A Life - Back in Print
A Bloodsmoor Romance: back in print
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Text and Criticism

Awards and Honors


  • 2014 Best American Short Stories: "Mastiff"
  • 2014 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award
  • 2013 New York Times Notable Books of the Year for The Accursed
  • 2012 Bram Stoker Award: Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for Black Dahlia and White Rose


  • nomination, longlist, shortlist, finalist
  • winner

Awards for Individual Works

American Academy of Arts and Letters, Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award
For that work of fiction published during the preceding twelve months, which, although not a commercial success, is a considerable literary achievement.

American Theatre Critics Association, New Play Award
for a play which premiered outside New York City

Prix Bel Ami

Boston Book Review, Fisk Fiction Prize

Bram Stoker Award
Each year, the Horror Writer's Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. Any work of Horror first published in the English language may be considered for an award during the year of its publication. Lifetime Achievement Awards are occasionally presented to individuals whose entire body of work has substantially influenced Horror.

  • Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, 2012 winner: Black Dahlia and White Rose
  • Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, 2011 winner: The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares
  • Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, 2003 nomination: "The Haunting"
  • Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, 2000 nomination: "In Shock"
  • Superior Achievement in a Novel, 1996 winner: Zombie
  • Lifetime Achievement, 1994 winner

Deauville American Film Festival: Lucien Barrière Literary Award

Prix Femina

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
This prestigious international short story award in the memory of Frank O’Connor is the single biggest prize in the world for a collection of short stories. It is hoped the Award, for a complete collection of previously unpublished stories in a book collection, will play a significant role in establishing parity of esteem for the short story collection alongside the novel.

Heidemann Award for One-Act Plays

  • 1990 Co-winner: "Tone Clusters"

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Grand prix de l'héroïne Madame Figaro

Mademoiselle College Fiction Contest

  • 1959, winner: "In the Old World"

Magill's Literary Annual

Mystery Readers International Macavity Awards: Sue Feder Memorial, Best Historical Mystery

National Book Award
Recognizes the most distinguished books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry of the previous year.

National Book Critics Circle Award

National Magazine Awards

  • 2007 nominee: Fiction, Playboy (May 2006), "Suicide Watch"
  • 2006 winner: Fiction, The Virginia Quarterly Review (Fall), "Smother"
  • 2006 finalist: Fiction, The Virginia Quarterly Review (Winter), "So Help Me God"
  • 2006 finalist: Fiction, Zoetrope: All-Story, "High Lonesome"
  • 2003 finalist: Fiction, The Georgia Review, "Three Girls"
  • 2002 finalist: Fiction, Harper's Magazine, "Curly Red"
  • 1993 finalist: Fiction, Playboy, "The Premonition"
  • 1985 finalist: Fiction, Esquire, "Raven's Wing"
  • 1983 finalist: Fiction, Esquire, "Ich Bin Ein Berliner"
  • 1978 finalist: Fiction, Mademoiselle, "The Tattoo"

New York Times Notable Books of the Year

Oprah's Book Club

Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction

PEN / Faulkner Award

Playboy Editorial Award

  • 1971, short story: "Saul Bird Says: Relate! Communicate! Liberate!"

Pulitzer Prize
For distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.

  • 2001 finalist: Blonde
    "'Blonde' is audacious, excessive, unstintingly serious and even severe in what its intellectual and narrative curiosity force upon the reader. Risking self-defeat, this 'radically distilled' life of Marilyn Monroe seeks to deliver a grander vision of what is right and wrong in human conduct and motive. In its variety of fictive effects and narrative voices, its muscularity (a willingness to forego finesse and delicacy when large strokes and brazenness are called for), 'Blonde' renders history all but irrelevant in the face of the novel's outlandish authority. Marilyn Monroe, the actress, is simply (though not merely) the impetus for 'Blonde.' And if Oates's novel eventually sheds light on Monroe's life, it does so not as a subtext to history, but because of its warrant as a galvanizing act of imagination. 'Blonde' deepens our sympathies for ourselves (at a cost), it sharpens our distaste for venality, it broadens our view of what's relevant to moral judgement, and it snares us with our own indecencies." —Pulitzer Prize Jury

  • 1995 finalist: What I Lived For
    "Epic in its sweeping portrayal of the landscape of modern American culture, yet surgically precise in evoking the soul of her male protagonist, "Corky" Corcoran, Joyce Carol Oates' 24th novel, What I Lived For, is a late 20th century masterpiece—a sprawling, encyclopedic and deeply moving story of business, politics, sex, science, and morality in the '90s. With this ambitious novel Oates demonstrates, more powerfully than ever before, that even if our libraries ceased to exist future historians would be able to reconstruct the minutiae and meaning of our life and times from her expansive body of work." —Pulitzer Prize Jury

  • 1993 finalist: Black Water
    "In 'Black Water,' Joyce Carol Oates accomplishes the difficult task of turning a recent tragedy in American history—one clouded by mystery—into drama that suggests the passions, fears, and moment-by-moment decisions that produced it. Clearly, this is her boldest novel, not because her characters will be compared to Senator Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne, but rather because she has given a compelling voice to the woman who is the victim in her story, and by doing so enriches—and puts a human face on—someone marginalized in our cultural imagination. Elegantly written and haunting, 'Black Water' is that rarest of novels: a fiction that goes beneath the historical record and newspaper headlines to unearth the truth of the human heart." —Pulitzer Prize Jury

Scholastic Writing Award

Shirley Jackson Awards

World Fantasy Awards

Works In Award Anthologies

The Best American Essays

  • 2000: "They All Just Went Away" : (The Best American Essays of the Century)
  • 1999: "After Amnesia"
  • 1996: "They All Just Went Away"
  • 1986: "On Boxing"

The Best American Mystery Stories

  • 2009: "Dear Husband,"
  • 2008: "The Blind Man's Sighted Daughters"
  • 2007: "Meadowlands"
  • 2006: "So Help Me God"
  • 2004: "Doll: A Romance of the Mississippi"
  • 2003: "The Skull"
  • 2002: "High School Sweetheart"
  • 2001: "The Girl with the Blackened Eye"
  • 1999: "Secret, Silent"
  • 1998: "Faithless"
  • 1997: "Will You Always Love Me?"

The Best American Nonrequired Reading

  • 2011: "A Hole in the Head"

The Best American Poetry

  • 1991: "Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, 1942"

The Best American Short Plays

  • 2001-2002: When I Was a Little Girl and My Mother Didn't Want Me
  • 1993-1994: The Interview
  • 1991-1992: Tone Clusters

The Best American Short Stories

  • 2014: "Mastiff"
  • 2011: "I.D."
  • 2005: "The Cousins"
  • 1996: "Ghost Girls"
  • 1992: "Is Laughter Contagious?"
  • 1991: "American, Abroad"
  • 1985: "Raven's Wing"
  • 1984: "Nairobi"
  • 1982: "Theft"
  • 1981: "Presque Isle"
  • 1978: "The Translation"
  • 1977: "Gay"
  • 1973: "Silkie"
  • 1970: "How I Contemplated the World From the Detroit House of Correction, and Began My Life Over Again"
  • 1969: "By the River"
  • 1967: "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (This volume dedicated to Joyce Carol Oates)
  • 1965: "First Views of the Enemy"
  • 1964: "Upon the Sweeping Flood"
  • 1963: "The Fine White Mist of Winter

The Best Little Magazine Fiction

  • 1971: "Through the Looking Glass"
  • 1970: "Unmailed, Unwritten Letters"

Best Mystery and Suspense Stories

  • 1993: "The Model"

Horror: The Best of the Year

  • 2007: "Babysitter"

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror

  • 15th (2004): "The Haunting"

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror

  • Twenty-first Annual Collection, 2008: "Valentine, July Heat Wave"
  • Twentieth Annual Collection, 2007: "Landfill"
  • Eighteenth Annual Collection, 2005: "Stripping"
  • Eleventh Annual Collection, 1998: "The Sky-Blue Ball"
  • Ninth Annual Collection, 1996: "Black Box"
  • Eighth Annual Collection, 1995: "Brothers"
  • Sixth Annual Collection, 1993: "Martyrdom"
  • Fourth Annual Collection, 1991: "Ladies and Gentlemen:"
  • Third Annual Collection, 1990: "Family"
  • First Annual Collection, 1988: "Haunted"

Prize Stories: The O Henry Awards
The year's best stories published by American authors in American periodicals.

  • 2001: "The Girl with the Blackened Eye"
  • 1996: "Mark of Satan"
  • 1995: "You Petted Me, and I Followed You Home"
  • 1993: "Goose-Girl"
  • 1992: "Why Don't You Come Live With Me It's Time"
  • 1991: "The Swimmers"
  • 1990: "Heat"
  • 1989: 2nd Prize: "House Hunting"
  • 1988: "Yarrow"
  • 1987: "Ancient Airs, Voices"
  • 1986: Special Award For Continuing Achievement: "Master Race"
  • 1985: "The Seasons"
  • 1983: 2nd Prize: "My Warszawa"
  • 1982: "The Man Whom Women Adored"
  • 1981: "Mutilated Woman"
  • 1979: "In the Autumn of the Year"
  • 1978: "The Tattoo"
  • 1976: "Blood-Swollen Landscape"
  • 1973: 1st Prize: "The Dead"
  • 1972: 2nd Prize: "Saul Bird Says: Relate! Communicate! Liberate!"
  • 1971: "The Children"
  • 1970: Special Award For Continuing Achievement: "Unmailed, Unwritten Letters" and "How I Contemplated the World From the Detroit House of Correction, and Began My Life Over Again"

    "It is a great pleasure to announce that the publishers of the series have established this year a new prize in connection with it: a Special Award for continuing achievement by a writer of established reputation. The award will be made at the discretion of the editor at such times as seem appropriate; and I am very pleased that it should be given for the first time to Joyce Carol Oates, a gifted writer whose achievements and reputation are a part of the history of the American short story in the 1960s." —William Abrahams

  • 1969: 2nd Prize: "Accomplished Desires"
  • 1968: "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
  • 1967: 1st Prize: "In the Region of Ice"
  • 1965: "First Views of the Enemy"
  • 1964: "Stigmata"
  • 1963: "The Fine White Mist of Winter"

The Pushcart Prize

  • XXXIV: "Bonobo Momma" (fiction)
  • XXXII: "Nowhere" (fiction)
  • XXVIII: "Three Girls" (fiction)
  • XXVII: "The Instructor" (fiction)
  • XXV: "The Sharpshooter" (fiction)
  • XXIII: "Faithless" (fiction)
  • XX: "The Undesirable Table" (fiction)
  • XVI: "The Hair" (fiction)
  • XIV: "Party" (fiction)
  • XII: "Against Nature" (nonfiction)
  • VIII: "Notes on Failure" (nonfiction)
  • VII: "Detente" (fiction)
  • I: "The Halucination" (fiction)

Career Awards

  • 2014 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award
    Established in 1996, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards celebrate authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Nominations are solicited from past winners, other prominent writers, members of the publishing community, and Poets & Writers' Board and staff. These nominations are reviewed and winners selected by a committee comprised of current and past members of the Board of Directors. Title of the award has been given to Barnes & Noble in appreciation of their extraordinary support of Poets & Writers

    Poets & Writers is pleased to recognize Joyce Carol Oates's dedication to promoting emerging writers, through the Ontario Review and Ontario Review Press, which she founded with her late husband Raymond J. Smith, and the Pushcart Prize anthology, for which she served as a founding editor.

  • 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Lifetime Achievement

  • 2012 Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement

  • 2012 Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities (Princeton University)

  • 2012 Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix

  • 2012 New Jersey Hall of Fame

  • 2012 New York State Writers Hall of Fame

  • 2012 Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement

  • 2010 National Humanities Medal

  • 2010 Fernanda Pivano Award for American Literature

  • 2009 National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2009 Syracuse University George Arents Award for Excellence in Letters

  • 2009 National Arts Club Medal of Honor in Literature

  • 2009 Man Booker International Prize: shortlist

  • 2008 Mary McCarthy Award, given by Bard College in recognition of engagement in the public sphere by an intellectual, artist, or writer.

  • 2007 Humanist of the Year Award, American Humanist Association

  • 2006 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for Lifetime Achievement

  • 2005 Thomas Cooper Medal for Distinction in the Arts & Sciences, University of South Carolina

  • 2004 Fairfax Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts

  • 2003 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement

  • 2003 Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service (Literature)

  • 2002 Carl Sandburg Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement

  • 2002 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award

  • 1998 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature; administered by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society

  • 1996 PEN / Malamud Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Short Story

  • 1994 Bram Stoker Award for Life Achievement

  • 1990 Bobst Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fiction

  • 1990 Alan Swallow Award for fiction

  • 1990 Rhea Award for the short story

  • 1988 St. Louis Literary Award

  • 1975 Lotos Club Award of Merit

  • 1967 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
    Provides grants for men and women of high intellectual and personal qualifications who have already demonstrated unusual capacity for productive scholarship or unusual ability in the fine arts.

  • 1966, 1968 National Endowment for the Arts grants

Honorary Degrees

  • 2011 Honorary Degree from University of Pennsylvania: Doctor of Humane Letters

  • 2010 Honorary Doctorate from Bloomfield College

  • 2007 Honorary Degree from Brandeis University

  • 2006 Honorary Degree from Mount Holyoke College: Doctor of Humane Letters

  • 2006 Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters, Bucknell University

  • 2000 Honorary Degree from Syracuse University: Doctor of Letters

  • 2000 Honorary Doctorate Degree from Northwestern University

  • 1999 Honorary Degree from Lawrence University: Doctor of Letters

  • 1997 Honorary Degree from Rutgers University: Doctor of Humane Letters

  • 1996 Honorary Doctorate from Ursinus College

  • 1993 Honorary Doctorate from Bethany College

  • 1992 Honorary Degree from the University of Michigan: Doctor of Humane Letters

  • 1990 Honorary Degree from Trenton State College

  • 1985 Honorary Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison: Doctor of Letters