Thank you for your interest in joining PEN as a Professional Member. Professional PEN Membership is for writers, translators, and publishing professionals, and we are glad that you have decided to apply.

Applications for Professional Membership are subject to review for eligibility by PEN’s Membership Committee. In considering the eligibility of new members, the Committee aims for inclusion, recognizing that a growing and vibrant membership strengthens and informs all of its efforts on behalf of writers and their readers.

PEN welcomes to its membership all writers and those belonging to the larger literary community. We ask that writers have at least one book published or be writers with proven records as professional writers; playwrights and screenwriters should have at least one work produced in a professional setting. Others should have achieved recognition in the literary field. Editors, literary agents, literary scouts, publicists, journalists, bloggers, and other literary professionals are all invited to join as Professional Members. If you feel you do not meet these guidelines, please consider joining as an Advocate Member here.

Annual Professional Membership dues are $125 (to be submitted after approval of your application).

PEN Member benefits include:

  • discounts to our public programs, including the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature
  • select invitations to exclusive Member-only receptions
  • complimentary access to the online database Grants and Awards Available to American Writers, the most comprehensive directory of its kind
  • a member profile on, where you can join an online community of writers, editors, and readers (Professional Membership only)
  • a subscription to PEN America, our award-winning journal

To apply, please fill out the below form and click submit. Do not send books, scripts, or any original material with your application.

Applications are reviewed on a weekly basis at which point you will receive a response from our Membership Committee. If you have any questions, please contact Jamie Burns, Membership Engagement Manager, at [email protected].

Candidate Information 

  • Demonstration of Eligibility

  • Should be Empty: