Organizational Description:

PEN Center USA (PEN USA) mobilizes approximately 1,000 professional writers to promote freedom of speech and the literary arts in a variety of ways. Our programs include: public literary forums, writer residencies in underserved public high schools, a mentorship fellowship for diverse aspiring writers, instructional seminars on the writing profession, human rights campaigns on behalf of censored and imprisoned writers, and an annual literary awards competition.

Services Provided:

  • Collect and issue domestic and international action alerts regarding threats to freedom of expression
  • Organize letter writing campaigns on behalf of writers in prison or in danger around the world
  • Organize local events to raise awareness of censorship and intimidation of writers around the world
  • Assist writers in danger and in exile to continue their work unimpeded.
  • Use advocacy and individual correspondence to assist writers unjustly imprisoned

Primary Issues of Focus:

  • Censorship and intimidation of writers internationally and domestically
  • Book banning in classrooms and libraries
  • The rights of journalists, international and domestic
  • Writers in prison internationally
  • Defamation and insult laws internationally
  • Killing with impunity of writers and journalists internationally

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