This annual series produces four author readings, panels, and on-stage conversations designed to reach and teach high school students. These events are both compatible with school curriculum and interesting to young students. The events feature established and emerging authors, reading excerpts, speaking, answering audience questions, and signing books. 

Young Scholars and Literature events explore themes suggested by schools. They take place in attractive, easily-reached Manhattan venues, and their vitality relies on the presence and involvement of the young attendees. To that end, PEN sends limited numbers of featured titles to schools in advance of the event, for the attendees to read, keep, and present to the author for an inscription. In addition, Readers & Writers requires that Partner Schools attend no fewer than two Young Scholars & Literature events per year, selecting between twenty and forty students (plus teachers) to attend each event. 

Readers & Writers believes that traveling to literary events, in and of itself, can change attendees’ lives: each trip allows a safe, structured exploration of the New York landscape, a window into its diversity and dynamism. Once encouraged to develop their competency as city explorers, youths soon develop courage and confidence to explore other opportunities: new neighborhoods, social and cultural engagement, higher education and careers, even opportunities outside of the city.

PEN produces one Young Scholars and Literature event in the fall, one in the winter, as well as two spring events affiliated with the annual PEN World Voices Festival.