Student PEN Centres


Do you value free expression? Are you passionate about literature? Why not set up a Student PEN Group at your university and become part of the world’s oldest continuing campaign for freedom of speech?

Students from universities across the UK have set up PEN Societies on campus. These groups act as hubs for a range of activities promoting the freedom to read, and the freedom to write, including:

  • Defending academic freedom on campus
  • Debating ideas of free expression through public events or a taught ‘PEN Module’
  • Running campaigns for imprisoned writers around the world
  • Promoting creative writing in the city and at the university
  • Promoting literature in translation, and the value of learning foreign languages

Being a part of a Student PEN Centre is a fantastic way to meet people who share an interest in world literature and free speech, and provides valuable experience in human rights campaigning and event organisation.

There are already Student PEN Centres at Cambridge University, the University of East LondonKings College London, the University of Surrey, the University of York and Oxford University.


Here are some initial resources to help you get started: