PEN Centres are voices for literature and freedom of expression in
their respective countries. We are present in over 100 countries,
from Senegal to Japan, Russia to South Africa, Canada to Chile and
Norway to New Zealand.
Above all else, centres must adhere to the ideals of the PEN Charter. However, each Centre has its own focus and priorities – campaigning for
freedom of expression, for example, or pioneering education and
literacy programmes. Some are leading the way in publishing
their national literatures, or in promoting writing from different
cultures and languages. Between them they produce publications;
stage events; run prestigious literary prizes; work within and
across communities; advise governments on embedding literature
into policy and practice; establish and grow regional networks
collaborating on key issues in their part of the world; and, above
all, unite when necessary to highlight our collective strength and
provide support and solidarity to individuals during difficult times.
We support and promote literature from all cultures and languages,
and believe in the right of every individual to have a voice and to
carry out their work freely. We are truly global in our reach and
The PEN International office works to support PEN Centres around
the world. If you’re interested in learning about the procedures to
set up a new PEN Centre, please write to the coordinator for your region.