PEN International awarded major UNESCO grant for Minority Language Publishing Project

PEN International is delighted to announce that it has been selected by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity to undertake a major new research and capacity building programme, working with PEN Centres in Kenya, Serbia, Haiti and Nigeria to strengthen the minority language creative publishing industries in these countries.

Entitled ‘Developing the Minority Language Creative Industry in Kenya, Haiti, Serbia and Nigeria: An Inter-Regional Research, Advocacy and Development Programme’, the project will run for 18 months from May 2014, and involve three key elements:

A one-year research project exploring how cultural policies and barriers impact writers from minority language backgrounds
Capacity-building and training with the four PEN Centres to strengthen their advocacy for linguistic rights
Support from PEN International’s Publishers Circle to PEN Centres and local publishers to strengthen minority language publishing in those countries

PEN International and UNESCO have had a long-standing collaborative relationship dating back to the late 1940s. PEN International is currently registered as an NGO partner with Associate Status at UNESCO and has received generous support for publications including the Bulletin of Selected Books (1950-1982), and then PEN International magazine (1982-2009). UNESCO also supported the development of the Free the Word! series of festivals and events.

The current project will be supported under UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The IFCD is a multi-donor fund established under Article 18 of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, aimed at promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing and least-developed countries that are Parties to the 2005 Convention.

For more information please contact –
Sarah Clarke, International Policy and Advocacy Officer: sarah.clarke[at], or:

Paul Finegan, Centres and Committees Officer: paul.finegan[at]

For information about PEN International’s Publishers Circle, please contact James Tennant, Literary Manager: james.tennant[at]