PEN America works tirelessly to defend free expression, support persecuted writers, and promote literary culture. Here are some of the latest ways PEN America is speaking out.

    • Bestselling authors Laurie Halse Anderson, David Baldacci, Brit Bennett, Richard Blanco, Judy Blume, Ruby Bridges, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins, Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn, Amanda Gorman, Nikki Grimes, Daniel Handler, Khaled Hosseini, David Levithan, Casey McQuiston, Brad Meltzer, Todd Parr, James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Kathy Reichs, Nora Roberts, Reshma Saujani, and Mo Willems joined with PEN America to establish a presence in Florida to defend the freedom to read and learn in a state on the frontlines of the fight for free speech nationally. Join them and Stand With the Banned.

Brooklyn Book Festival

PEN America’s Jonathan Friedman (l) stands with authors Casey McQuiston and Cheryl Wills at the PEN America booth after their panel discussion at the Brooklyn Book Festival.


  • PEN America held several events around Banned Books Week, including at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where Jonathan Friedman moderated a discussion with authors Casey McQuiston and Cheryl Willis Hudson, with a live performance by Grammy-winning musician Joanie Leeds. Suzanne Nossel joined a conversation with playwright and screenwriter Richard Dresser as part of the Big Tent USA “Under the Tent” Speaker Series. Debi Goldman moderated a discussion with Brad Meltzer and Camryn Garrett in Miami. Allison Lee spoke in Los Angeles withAnthony Christian Ocampo, Carrie Bloxson of Hachette Book Group, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, and Pickle of Drag Queen Story Hour Los Angeles. In New Jersey, Kasey Meehan appeared with librarian Martha Hickson and Brielle Winslow-Majette, deputy director of Garden State Equality. Summer Lopez appeared virtually with Ipek S. Burnett, Becky Calzada, Leela Hensler, and Nic Stone. Friedman appeared again in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with Deborah Mikula and Karsonya Wise Whitehead. PEN Utah held an event with Carmen Maria Machado in conversation with Jeremy Rosen. Meehan appeared again in Philadelphia with Sigal Ben-Porath and Samantha Hull.
  • PEN America launched a new online resource for journalists, Facts Forward: A Journalist’s Guide to Combating Disinformation that provides tools, tips, and best practices to help journalists detect and report on disinformation. 
  • Allison Lee called it a “shocking overreaction” for the superintendent of California’s Escondido Union School District decided to close all libraries to audit the entire collection after a book with allegedly sexually explicit content was reported to staff.
  • Kristen Shahverdian, senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America, called the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society’s removal of a panel from their annual meeting program that focused on biological sex and gender identity in anthropological research “a drastic and concerning measure.”
  • Moira Marquis, senior manager of PEN America’s Freewrite Project, criticized the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s  apparent implementation of an “approved vendor” policy for its prisons, a type of censorship that PEN America opposes because it can seriously limit the flow of books to incarcerated people.

See previous PEN America updates