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.

  • PEN America released a new white paper, Cracks in the Facade, which shows how a groundswell of activism has helped the fight against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ aggressive push to upend basic rights — the freedom to read, learn, and speak, among others.

  • Our new report, The Power of Peer Support, calls on the journalism industry to invest in spaces where journalists under attack online can find the support they need, especially from peers who share their background and lived experience.

  •  PEN American announced 12 debut writers chosen for originality, craft, and pushing the boundaries of the genre as winners of the $2000 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Their exceptional short stories will be published by Catapult in the annual anthology Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize.
  • The U.S. cyber-defence agency launched an initiative this week to support communities at heightened risk of digital security threats because of their work, which features PEN America’s resources.
  • Freedom to Learn Program Director Jeremy C. Young and researcher Jeffrey Sachs wrote that government-mandated campus neutrality laws inevitably create not neutrality, but government censorship. 
  • Following the Georgian Dream party’s reintroduction of the draft law on foreign agents, Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Center, warned that the move would “undermine the essential and independent work of writers, cultural figures, and journalists.”
  • PEN America Fellow Katrina Sommer interviewed disinformation expert Yaël Eisenstat about her biggest concerns ahead of the 2024 election.
  • In response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing he would shut down Al Jazeera in Israel after the Israeli Knesset passed a bill authorizing him to do so, PEN America said banning Al Jazeera is a clear violation of free expression and press freedom.
  • Deputy CEO  Eileen Hershenov gave a keynote address on building resilience in the age of disinformation at Connecticut State Community College in Norwalk.
  • Freedom to Read Program Director Kasey Meehan likened the ongoing fight against legislation intended to restrict what teachers can teach to a game of whack-a-mole.

See previous PEN America updates