REASONS FOR WRITERS TO JOIN PEN BEFORE THIS YEAR IS OUT, AND NEXT YEAR TOO
1. Because writers need to stick together, and for me, sitting at my computer cosily writing fiction can sometimes mean I forget I’m part of the real world too. And just how lucky I am to have the choice.
2. Because PEN works “to promote literature and human rights. From defending the rights of persecuted writers to promoting literature in translation and running writing workshops in schools, English PEN seeks to promote literature as a means of greater understanding between the world’s people.” It also has cracking debates, events and possibly one of the best parties.
3. Because its current and recent campaigns include reforming the Libel Laws and challenging the Chinese authories to release prisoners jailed for expressing their opinion on air or in print. In addition, it supports writing in prisons, reading programmes with socially excluded groups including children, and supports literary translation in the UK.
4. Because their Seasons Greetings campaign, which organises seasonal greetings to imprisoned writers throughout the world to ensure they know they are not forgotten, reminded me just what a great organisation this is and how I’ve been meaning to post about it for some time.