(LOS ANGELES) — PEN America today announces the launch of a new series of Emerging Voices Workshops in Los Angeles, starting in June 2024 and made possible through the generous support of the Unlikely Collaborators Foundation.

An extension of the long-running PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship, this new series will provide a twice-yearly, in-person, multi-genre writing workshop for early-career writers in Los Angeles. The program will center on writers traditionally underrepresented in the literary world, providing them with connections and tools critical for publication.

“We are thrilled to bring this much-loved resource back to Los Angeles,” said Allison Lee, managing director of PEN America Los Angeles. “PEN America’s Emerging Voices programs share the goal of diversifying the publishing and media industries by providing practical information, connections, and mentorship to writers underrepresented in the publishing industry. As book bans continue to disproportionately impact writers from LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities, these programs have never felt more urgent.”

“We are genuinely thrilled to join forces with PEN America in their pursuit of amplifying voices and perspectives that might otherwise remain unheard,” said Elizabeth R. Koch, the founder of Unlikely Collaborators. “The availability of new and diverse perspectives for consideration is paramount to our mission, centered on helping people expand their Perception BoxTM, transcend limiting beliefs, and ushering in novel ways of both perceiving and being perceived.”

PEN America expects to announce the opening of the application process later this month.

The workshops will take place at Unlikely Collaborators’ headquarters in Los Angeles and partner collaboration space in Santa Monica. The program will offer stipends, mentorship, intensive craft workshops, and community-building for writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQ+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

PEN America’s Los Angeles office brings together writers and readers for conversations, readings, workshops, and celebrations. The office is a beacon for free expression advocacy in the Greater Los Angeles area, engaging in student advocacy, research projects, and educational events. We connect the unique needs of the community of Los Angeles and greater California to PEN’s mission. Sign up for updates here: https://mailchi.mp/pen/laupdates

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057