English PEN will not be running our very popular and successful prison writing competition this year. We hope to resume this important project in late summer of 2016 and will let all new and previous participating prisons know in advance.
Since its inception four years ago, the number of entries has grown year on year and the final published winners and runners-up have been of a very high standard, with positive feedback from prisoners and staff.
We have had PEN writers as judges, from Jackie Kay to Mark Haddon. In 2014-15, the novelist Meg Rosoff judged the competition, and said in her foreword to the winning collection In A Parallel Universe:
Thank you all for sharing with me your insights, your thoughts, your humour, your despair, your wisdom and most of all, your voices.
We look forward to hearing many more voices and publishing as many as we can very soon. Watch this space!