About the programme

The primary aim is to support international writers facing persecution or censorship by providing them with the time, a safe space and funds to relax and work on their own projects.

We work with a range of organisations to create a bespoke package designed to address the needs of the writer concerned; whilst some writers may benefit from being embedded in an active network, others may prefer private and safe time to write and relax. Previous residents have benefited from the involvement of arts organisations including Arvon, academic institutions including the London College of Communication and London School of Economics, and the media.

" It was not an easy decision for me to leave my children. But I was feeling exhausted, empty, and unable to cope with many things. I was sick and tired of living in violence, of being full of bad news, war, death, threats, humiliation… Here, I am focusing on my English classes and meeting with many organisations which work to support freedom of speech, journalism and human rights."

Nurcan Baysal, Kurdish writer and human rights defender

The programme is not currently open to new applications. Instead, English PEN works with colleagues at PEN International, ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Free Word to identify writers who would benefit.