Our vision

English PEN celebrates the diversity of literature, and envisions a world with free expression and equity of opportunity for all readers and writers.

Our mission

English PEN works to achieve our vision by:

  • Hosting events and prizes to champion international literature, showcase the diversity of writing, and celebrate literary courage.
  • Supporting writers at risk and campaigning for freedom of expression nationally and internationally
  • Supporting literature in translation into English and developing opportunities for publishers, translators and translated voices in order to encourage diversity in the literary landscape
  • Amplifying the voices of our writers, readers and our membership nationwide

Our values

English PEN’s work is based on the following key values:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Mutual respect
  • Inclusivity
  • Diversity
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Equality
  • Collaboration


All of our work is underpinned by the PEN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

English PEN is the founding member of PEN International, a network of over 100 centres worldwide.

Our impact

From supporting writers at risk and defending free expression, to celebrating international literature and great writers, read about our activities and impact in 2022/23.