Charity information

English PEN

The founding centre of a worldwide fellowship of writers, we promote the freedom to write and the freedom to read.

Founded 1921

  • Mission statement

    English PEN works to promote, encourage and ensure the freedom to read and the freedom to write in the UK and around the world.

    English PEN is the leading free speech, human rights and literature charity in the UK. We cover a lot of different areas of activity. These include: campaigning for the safety of the 1000+ writers around the world who are imprisoned or tortured, or at risk of both, as a result of what they have written; promoting translation of foreign language books in the UK and promoting the reading of international titles to the general public; curating public literature events, bringing writers together with their readers in innovative ways, often through debate and dialogue; programming creative writing and reading workshops in refugee centres and prisons in the UK, reaching over a 1000 marginalised people each year; looking after the free speech laws in the UK and expressing concern as and when: for example our recent highly visible libel reform campaign plus recent successes with criminal memoir and blasphemy legislation.

  • Overview

    Established: October 1921

    Registered Charity Number: 1125610

    Phone number: 020 7324 2535

    View charity accounts on the Charity Commission website
  • Writers in Prison

    There are over 900 writers around the world who are imprisoned for what they've written. W... More
  • Writers in Translation

    We want to support and promote literature in translation here in the UK. We celebrate book... More
  • Writers in Public

    We want to bring the best writers working today - from the UK and all over the world - in ... More
  • Readers & Writers

    We want to create a writing and reading culture in the UK's refugee centres and prisons. L... More