Installation: Li Dû Man (Left behind)
21–25 May, 12.00–18.00
Tate Exchange, Tate Modern

Our writer in residence Zehra Doğan will be hosting an installation as part of Who Are We 2019, in partnership with Counterpoint Arts, Tate Exchange, The Open University and Index on Censorship.

Wars take away a lot from people. But sometimes they take away the people and leave their belongings behind. As a journalist covering the clashes in Kurdish cities in Turkey, 2015 – 2016, Zehra Dogan took the small objects she found in the debris, as testimony of a war no one was talking about. This installation tells the stories of those who fled, via what they left behind. It also invites you into a conversation and to participate in the crafting and performance of stories about place and displacement.

Vigil at the Saudi Embassy in London
1-2pm, Friday 31 May / Monday 17 June

English PEN will be continuing our monthly vigils for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, the focus of our joint Speak Out campaign, and other writers in prison in Saudi Arabia. Please join them at the Saudi Embassy in London from 1 – 2pm on Friday 31 May and again on Monday 17 June, to mark seven years since Raif’s arrest.  (NB supporters are asked to meet at the Curzon Street to the Embassy)

Meet the residents: Mimi Mefo and Zehra Doğan in conversation
6.30pm, 10 June
Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

Join us for an evening with English PEN’s current writers in residence, Mimi Mefo and Zehra Doğan, in conversation with English PEN Director Antonia Byatt.

English PEN’s residency programme for international writers is an extension of our long-standing work in support of writers around the world, through our campaigns, translation and public event programmes.

We’re delighted to invite PEN members and supporters to come and hear more from our extraordinary resident writers about their lives and work.

Tickets are £5 and include a drink – book yours here.

On-the-ground reporting workshop with Mimi Mefo
12.30pm, Thursday 13 June
The Roundhouse, London

In this special one-off workshop, award-winning Cameroonian journalist Mimi Mefo will share her experiences about reporting in a local context.

Participants will explore the role of local journalism and discuss the skills and tools individual journalists need, including how to speak to different audiences, the role of social media in disseminating information, and the potential risks of being an active and engaged writer.

The event is in partnership with the Roundhouse, as part of the 2019 Last Word Festival. 

English PEN Modern Literature Festival at Greenwich Book Festival
1pm, Saturday 15 June

We’re excited to be joining forces with writers SJ Fowler and Sam Jordison to bring #penfestuk to this year’s Greeenwich Book Festival in 2019!

For three years, English PEN has been working with curator SJ Fowler to host the Modern Literature Festival, highlighting writers at risk around the world. For each event, we invite UK-based writers to create and perform a new piece inspired by and in solidarity with a current case of concern to PEN.

We’re delighted to be joining Sam Jordison to bring the festival to South East London for the first time. We’re also very grateful to our Greenwich Book Festival hosts and to the writers who will be joining us on the day, raising the voices of colleagues that others have sought to silence:

Paul Ewen for Behrouz Boochani
Ellen Wiles for Dina Meza
Sam Jordison for Narges Mohammadi
SJ Fowler for Oleg Sentsov
Sara Upstone for Dawit Isaak
James Miller for Nedim Turfent

More details coming soon.

Word Bridges
6.30pm, Monday 24 June
Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

Tickets: £5 include a soft drink

Word Bridges is a showcase of work by young refugee and migrant writers, created as part of the Royal Society of Literature’s 2019 RSL Literature Matters Awards, awarded to writer Rosemary Harris in partnership with English PEN and Salusbury World.

After featuring to acclaim in the 2018 Ten Pieces Prom at the Royal Albert Hall as Brave New Voices, the teenage writers from Capital City Academy will premier new work written for this event. They will share the stage with Rosemary, and Tanaka Mhishi.

Word Bridges celebrates creative writing as a bridge between boundaries, offering vital points of connection for young people making challenging journeys. Join us for an uplifting opportunity to support and applaud their work.


2019 PEN Ackerley Prize
7pm, Tuesday 9 July
Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

2018 winner Richard Beard

Come and hear this year’s shortlisted authors, read from and discuss their work with chair of judges Peter Parker, before the winner of the 2019 prize is announced.

The PEN Ackerley Prize is awarded to a literary autobiography of excellence, written by a British author and published during the preceding year. It is the only UK prize dedicated solely to memoir.. Previous winners include Richard Beard, Amy Liptrot, Alice Jolly, Henry Marsh, Sonali Deraniyagala, Richard Holloway, Alan Bennett, Blake Morrison, Lorna Sage and Michael Frayn.

Ticket price includes a glass of wine following the event.

PEN and Society of Authors members are eligible for a discount on tickets for this event. If you would like to know more, please email