PEN International Awards celebrate established writers from around the world who continue to promote freedom of expression in the face of persecution and danger and looks to provide a platform for young, emerging writers to share their voice.
PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, the PEN Emergency Fund and Oxfam Novib each year give the Oxfam Novib/PEN International Free Expression Award to writers who continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution.
The award is given in recognitions of writers’ significant contribution to freedom of expression around the world and as a distinctions to writers and journalists committed to free speech despite the danger to their own lives.
PEN International’s New Voices Award encourages new writing in the countries in which we operate, and provides a much needed space for young and unpublished writers to promote their work. The award actively encourages entries from diverse linguistic regions and communities.
The first PEN International/New Voices Award was given on September 11 2013 to Masande Ntshanga for his short story ‘Space’. Ntshanga had been nominated by South African PEN. Writer and jury member Alain Mabanckou presented the prize in a ceremony at the Reykjavík International Literary Festival, during the 79th PEN International Congress in Iceland.