‘I enjoy writing because it’s a discovered talent that I love and enables me to communicate my thoughts, feelings, philosophies and create an imaginary world which is brought to reality on paper. It is important to me because it’s an effective way I can use to communicate to others I have never met across the globe and can be preserved and passed on to another generation.’
– Loliwe, Former Zambian PEN school club member
Giving a voice to young people has always been an integral part of PEN‘s work over the last 90 years. Today, recognising that engaged citizenship, reading, writing and speaking out from an early age provide the basis for healthy civil societies where literature and freedom of expression can blossom PEN Centres around the world continue to create programmes that give young people a platform through which to develop. Our Centres run school clubs, organise human rights summer schools, build school libraries, translate children literature to minority languages, hold creative writing workshops, continuing to create opportunities for young people to freely express themselves.
In addition to working directly with young people both in and outside schools on writing, reading and language skills the PEN Centre education programmes also include training teachers, campaigning with regard to the education curriculum, and developing literature resources for schools.
PEN’s education policy builds on the PEN Centres’ programmes and has three main areas of focus: improving the quality of education; widening community access to literature, in particular minority language literature; and promoting human rights education.
As part of our work with young people around the world PEN International launched the annual New Voices Award in 2013 to encourage new writing and to provide a much needed space for young and unpublished writers.
For more information on our Education policy click here or contact Sarah.Clarke@pen-international.org;
For more information on our New Voices Award click here or contact James.Tennant@pen-international.org;
For more information on our International Programmes click here or contact Romana.Cacchioli@pen-international.org.