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Project information

Writers in Public

We want to bring the best writers working today - from the UK and all over the world - in touch with their readers. We aim to build new audiences for literature through exciting bookish events open to everyone. We want to ensure that anyone can attend our events through subsidised tickets.

Our project is ongoing

Charity information: English PEN

English PEN logo
  • Need


    We are trying to solve the problem of access to literature, writers and books. Literature is an underfunded art form in the UK and needs organisations like English PEN to help boost it through live literature events around the UK. We would like to extend our literature programme across England, to ensure literature gets to as many different places as possible.


    We will solve this problem through innovative live literature events, open to the public. The events are ticketed but we raise money to ensure we can give away at least 20 tickets per event to people who could not afford to attend otherwise. We also want to solve the problem by sourcing new technology to help us record our events - in audio and video format - and host them online. This means our events become nationally and internationally available.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To open literature up to everybody through innovative live literature events


    » We run at least 80 live literature events a year across the UK

    What success will look like

    The success of our programme is demonstrated by over 5000 people attending our events each year and through great evaluation of our events.

  • Impact


    Our project will increase access to and understanding and appreciation of Britain's diverse literature through author events and innovative live literature events that stimulate debate. We will create new readers and audiences for often overlooked writers and books, particularly international authors who only represent 3% of the published output in the UK.


    The risks of this project include writers pulling out of our programme and audiences - and new audiences - not turning up to our events. We will ensure we reduce this risk through well organised events and highly publicised and well marketed events.


    We will report to donors through our monthly email - if they would like to receive this.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £16,000 Free tickets For people on low income (20 x per event)
      £4,000 Recording equipment To enhance access to our live events and debates
  • Background


    Our events are all around the UK but mostly in London. We would like to extend our reach using the funds.


    People of all kinds come to our English PEN events but we would like to ensure we can offer 20 free places to people on low or no income per event.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    English PEN was founded in 1921 after the First World War, when it was felt that the devastation caused by war could have been averted if nations had encouraged better dialogue through literature. English PEN began as an events organisation back then and still is one to this day. English PEN has, in this way, pioneered the literature event for 90 years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sarah Hesketh

    Writers in Public Manager