English PEN collaborates with Refugee Community Organisations to organise creative writing and translation workshops for people with refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds. We have worked in places like the Migrants Resource Centre in Westminster, the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, Migrants Organise in Ladbroke Grove, Praxis in Bethnal Green, Bristol Refugee Rights, St Chad’s Sanctuary in Birmingham, Jesuit Refugee Service in Wapping and Community Arts North West in Manchester.
In each centre, we work with participants to create an ongoing series of writing and translation workshops led by professional writers, with star guests such as Esther Freud, Mimi Khalvati, George Szirtes, Daljit Nagra, Blake Morrison and Choman Hardi.
At the end of the 6-8 week workshop series, the writers contribute to a beautifully produced book that is then launched at a public event, often at English PEN’s home, the Free Word Centre. The latest books are now available to read online.