PEN Greetings 2018: write to a writer at risk

Every year, PEN asks members and supporters around the world to send seasonal greetings to writers at risk and their families. Past recipients have told us about how these cards can provide much-needed moral support, and a crucial reminder that they have not been forgotten; others have told of how they were afforded better treatment by prison guards as a result of cards flooding in from all over the world.

You give me great strength to resist.
I thank you all very much for your friendship, for giving me an excuse to say aloud that ‘Yes, indeed, there are friends’ and for making me feel among friends in this empty cell.

Writer Ahmet Altan, serving life in prison in Turkey, thanks English PEN supporters for their solidarity

This year, we are asking supporters to send messages of support to imprisoned writers including the winner of the 2018 PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who remains detained in Saudi Arabia; Oleg Sentsov, currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in Russia; and imprisoned Kurdish journalist and artist Zehra Doğan,

We hope that many of you will continue to send cards and messages of support to your chosen writer in 2019 and beyond – and if you’re not already a member of English PEN, please consider joining today and supporting our work defending the freedom to write and the freedom to read all year round.

Please email cat@englishpen.org to request this year’s Season’s Greetings list.

The list contains details of writers at risk, alongside addresses  and instructions regarding what to send. We recommend that you include a return address but if you would prefer to use English PEN’s office address you are very welcome to do so: Writers at Risk Programme, English PEN, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA.

We ask that you please do not to publish the list as it contains personal addresses, but we very much encourage you to share photos of any cards you send (before adding the address) on social media with the hashtags #PENgreetings and #imprisonedwriter and tagging @englishpen.

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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