International PEN, the worldwide association of writers, was founded in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers everywhere; to emphasize the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; to fight for freedom of expression; and to act as a powerful voice on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned, and sometimes killed for their views.

PEN is strictly non-political, a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO and Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

PEN is composed of Centers, each of which represents its membership and not its country, and membership of its Centers is open to all qualified writers, journalists, translators, historians, and others actively engaged in any branch of literature, regardless of nationality, race, colour or religion. Every member is required to sign the PEN Charter and by so doing to observe its conditions.

Explore the PEN World series for a glimpse into individual PEN Centers’ work and their respective countries’ literary traditions. 

PEN America Branches

Branches give a vital national presence to PEN America, and provide essential opportunities for members to directly engage regional, national, and international issues of concern to PEN. Each branch governs itself in the spirit of the PEN Charter under the supervision of the Board of PEN America and in accordance with its by-laws and any specific terms and conditions established by the PEN Board. PEN American Center currently has three branches: 

PEN New England (Boston, MA) 
PEN West (Oakland, CA) 
PEN Northwest (Oregon) 

International PEN Centers

PEN International
PEN Center USA 
Pen Clube do Brasil
Basque PEN
Belarussian PEN
Bosnian PEN
PEN Canada
PEN Catalan
PEN China
Cuban Writers in Exile
Danish PEN
English PEN
PEN Galicia
PEN Germany
Irish PEN
Italian PEN
Kurdish PEN
Macedonian PEN
PEN Mexico
Montenegrin PEN
Norwegian PEN
Philippine PEN
Polish PEN
PEN Romania
PEN Russia
PEN Scotland
PEN Slovenia
Swedish PEN
Swiss German PEN
Sydney PEN
PEN Venezuela

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