PEN International

What is PEN International?

PEN International is a worldwide association founded in London in 1921to promote intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere.  It is among the world’s oldest human rights organizations and the oldest international literary organization.

PEN originally stood for “Poets, Essayists and Novelists” in English but has come to include those working in any format, including journalists, bloggers, cartoonists, and others engaged in creative expression using words, publishers, booksellers, and students. The association has more than 150 autonomous PEN centers in over 100 countries. PEN emphasizes the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; fights for freedom of expression; and acts as a powerful voice on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned and sometimes killed for expressing their views.