“I believe in a fellowship of writers, more or less formally constituted, aware of how deeply and complexly we are concerned with, and foster, a literature as a civilizing force in an unstable world; a literature that gives flesh and bones and perhaps a brain to the politics that assails us; a literature that entices us to understand and value life.”

Bernard Malamud, PEN President, 1979

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Why You Should Join:

When you become a Member of PEN, you join more than 4,000 of this country’s most distinguished writers, translators, editors, and others who together comprise a worldwide literary community of PEN Members in more than 100 nations. 

PEN membership makes you a participant in the worldwide literary community. As a member, you enable PEN to act on behalf of all of us who care about the freedom to write and read. As a member, you provide PEN with greater credibility in its support for free expression around the world. You help PEN fight censorship. You join with PEN in encouraging readers and reading. But membership also means you become an advocate for the issues at the heart of writing: free expression and the right to read and write whatever you wish. By lending your name to PEN, you support the advocacy of writers’ rights everywhere. The health and growth of the worldwide literary community depends upon all of us. Please become a member of PEN. We need you, and you need us.

PEN welcomes to its membership all literary writers and those belonging to the larger literary community. Writers should have one book published; playwrights and screenwriters: one work produced in a professional setting; others should have achieved recognition in the literary field. Nominations are not necessary. While admission is at the discretion of the Membership Committee, PEN aims for inclusion, recognizing that a growing and vibrant membership strengthens and informs all of its efforts on behalf of writers and their readers.

For more information about membership benefits, eligibility, or dues, please contact:

Leslie Shipman, Interim Membership Manager