PEN Charter Quote: “Members of PEN pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class, and national hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in the world... and since freedom implies voluntary restraint, Members also pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood, and distortion of facts for political and personal ends.”

Why Should I Join?

Our strength is our Membership—a nationwide community of novelists and nonfiction authors, journalists, editors, poets, screenwriters, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other literary professionals, and an even larger network of devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.

As a PEN America Member, you have a unique part to play in the defense of free expression, celebration of literary excellence, amplification of marginalized voices, and the fostering of dialogue across political and ideological boundaries. We need your voices and support now more than ever. Working together, we will defend our most precious freedoms.

PEN America Members:

  • Celebrate Literary Excellence
  • Defend Free Expression
  • Protect Persecuted Writers
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For published or produced writers, editors, translators, dramatists, screenwriters, and other writing professionals.

Button to purchase a Reader Membership

For anyone who advocates for the freedom to write.

Interested in a student Membership discount? Contact us!

Already a Member? Renew your Professional Membership or Reader Membership today! 



“At a time when freedom is being rewritten at home and abroad, I value my role as a story-teller to push back—for both the right to tell stories and the right to report the truth. I want to support others who feel the same.”

—Kirk R, Professional Member

“I’ve appreciated for decades what PEN America does, taking comfort in its mere existence. Having been on the receiving end of a threat sparked by my writing, I identify more personally with PEN America’s mission. How can I not support what you’re doing in these increasingly precarious times?”

—Dave W, Professional Member

“I am deeply committed to supporting freedom of expression and revel in the power of story. PEN America’s consistent push to protect free press and recognize the power of shared stories inspires me to be more engaged on every level.”

—Tanya G, Professional Member

Member Benefits

Be part of an active and vocal community of advocates working to protect free expression worldwide.

panelists at PEN Across America event in Detroit

Build PEN America in your community with support from PEN Across America and the Press Freedom Incentive Fund.

PEN America members at the 2019 New Years New Books party

Engage with a national network of writers and receive select invitations to Members-only events in your community.

Membership Table At On Fascism Event

Access Members-only discounts to Times Literary Supplement, Feminist Press, n+1, and other publications and resources for writers.

Claudia Rankine and Layli Long Soldier signing books at a PEN Out Loud event

Receive free or discounted tickets to PEN America public programs and the PEN World Voices Festival.

Join a closed Facebook group for PEN America Members, where you can post and share news with other Members.

Membership Table Swag

Learn more about the Writers’ Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to professionally published writers and editors facing acute financial crisis.

Faking News report cover

Receive first access to PEN America resources that explore the impact of government policy and public sentiment on free expression and provide guidance on how to effect real change.

Meet Our Team

Rebecca Werner Photo

Rebecca Werner

Director, Membership

Alejandro Heredia

Alejandro Heredia

Manager, Community Outreach

Rachel Roseman

Rachel Roseman

Coordinator, Membership and National Outreach

Get the Free Speech News You Need

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PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.