PEN’s third prison writing anthology launched

This is the third year of English PEN’s writing competition, and we had over 400 entries from 55 prisons. The anthology of winning entries, Running to Stand Still was launched by English PEN on February 24th at the Free Word Centre.

Jackie Kay (pictured) chose the themes and observed that, ‘there are pieces that will make you think, take you back, and make you pause for thought. Writing whose honesty and bravery you might recognize and applaud.’

The anthology is available online as a pdf: Running to Stand Still



Heather Stevens,  Such A Journey, HMP Bronzefield


Robert Beck, The Best Remembered Journey,  HMP Grendon

Anonymous, My First Love, HMP Bure

Keith Pendleton, Winter’s Lament, HMP Kennet

H Kay Brewer, My First Love, HMP Styal

Maria Chandler, My First Love, HMP Low Newton


Craig Roy, Stockholm Syndrome, HMP Shotts

David Beattie, The Young Traveller, HMP Glenochil

Maurice Patrick Crossley, Alba (you’re in my heart), HMP Glenochil



Ralph Anderson, My imagination, HMP Winchester


Anonymous, A Taste of Metal, HMP Glenochil

Ian, First Light, HMP Parc

Nigel MacKenzie, I am Going Out, HMP Glenochil

Anonymous, Running to Stand Still, HMP Wakefield

Ricky Crossleg, Fences and Walls, HMP Frankland

Emma Louise Sharkey, The Magic of the World, HMP Styal


John Keenan, My First Love Affair, HMP Perth

Book review


Jeanne Wilding, The Chamber by John Grisham, HMP Low Newton


David Tattum, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist by Robert Tressell, HMP Usk

Brian Hannah, Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, HMP Low Moss

Craig Roy, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, HMP Shotts

Chinonyerem Otuonye, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, HMP East Sutton Park


Wynne Roberts, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon, HMP Frankland

Stephen Potter, ‘This be the verse!’ – The Collected Poems of Philip Larkin, HMP Preston

Ricky Toora, The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck, HMP Dartmoor

Flash fiction


Anonymous,  The Old Creepy House, HMYOI Warren Hill


Anonymous, Merlin, HMYOI Warren Hill


Anonymous, Like Father Like Son, HMYOI Warren Hill

Anonymous, 50 word life story, HMP Pentonville


3 Comments on “PEN’s third prison writing anthology launched”

  1. Thanks dear Friends of Freedom of Expression War. I am an Associate member of American PEN and Full member of Bangladesh PEN. Basically I am a RUMI Poet. My religion is Divinity. I am interested to get a copy of the anthology on payment. Plase be kind to me.
    Ershad Mazumder
    A Soldier of Freedom of Expression War

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