The PEN International Publishers Circle is a group comprising publishers who support the promotion of free expression, literature and intellectual collaboration among publishers, writers and translators worldwide. Its members, like those of the Writers Circle, believe that literature and freedom of expression are at the heart of a strong, vibrant society.
PEN International is renowned for its commitment to promoting writing and a love of reading through learning and outreach programmes; fostering linguistic diversity; supporting access to literature through publishing initiatives; literature events in collaboration with its Centres, international festivals and book fairs.
Read PEN International Principles on Authors’ Moral Rights and Copyright, here.
‘PEN’s efforts to promote free speech and protect free thinkers around the world are more than an honourable cause. It is an essential one, and putting our weight as a global publishing company behind those efforts is a natural extension of our commitment to our authors, and one that was long overdue.’
Arnaud Nourry, CEO, Hachette Livre
‘The right to freedom of expression, which we take for granted in the literary cultures in which most publishers work, remains in jeopardy in many countries that have both a literary heritage and a vibrant creative culture. Publishers, and writers, must play their part in extending that freedom where we can.’
John Makinson, Chairman, Penguin Random House
‘As long-time supporters of and participants in the activities of the PEN American Center we are privileged to be given the opportunity to extend our relationship on a global level with PEN International through our commitment to the PEN International Publishers Circle. With PEN, and with and our fellow publishers, we will offer ever-greater affirmation and urgency for our authors’ freedom of expression worldwide.’
Markus Dohle, CEO, Penguin Random House
Albert Bonniers Forlag
Dar El Shorouk
Finnish Book Publishers Association
Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore
Gyldendal Norsk Forlag
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Natur & Kultur
Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
Simon & Schuster
Yapı Kredi Culture Arts and Publishing
How can publishers become involved?: Advocacy
The advice of Publishers Circle members will be highly valued in strengthening PEN International’s support of publishers and writers under threat.
The advice and collaboration of Publishers Circle members is crucial to the development of projects supporting publishing and literature in countries in which PEN International operates.
Members of the Publishers Circle can help PEN International face emergency situations such as in the case of Salman Rushdie in 1989, when a consortium of publishers came together to publish his book despite the threat of violence, thus helping to ensure the freedom to write and read.
Members of the Publishers Circle meet once a year to discuss current issues, strengthen the work of the group and propose new goals and projects. This meeting is also be an occasion to introduce the Circle to potential new members and welcome new affiliates. During this event, PEN International will report on its work and make members aware of how they have contributed to the organisation’s achievements.
International Book Fairs
To sustain PEN International’s work in ways other than financially, members of the Publishers Circle can make a valuable contribution by organising or hosting readings. For example, the works of imprisoned writers and publishers may be read, helping to promote awareness and support PEN International’s advocacy campaigns.
Newsletter and updating
Members of the Publishers Circle will receive regular updates on PEN International’s projects specifically aimed at supporters of the Circle; yearly case lists; electronic versions of the Annual Report; and invitations to PEN International events.
Members of the Publishers Circle will be fully acknowledged in all PEN International communications, programmes and publications, as well as on our website.
You are free to consult the following documents:
If you are interested in joining the Publishers Circle, please contact James Tennant, PEN International’s Literature & Strategic Partnerships Manager:
Tel.: +44 74 05 03 38