PEN Centres are voices for literature and freedom of expression in their respective countries. We are present in over 100 countries, from Senegal to Japan, Russia to South Africa, Canada to Chile and Norway to New Zealand.

Above all else, centres must adhere to the ideals of the PEN Charter. However, each Centre has its own focus and priorities – campaigning for freedom of expression, for example, or pioneering education and literacy programmes. Some are leading the way in publishing their national literatures, or in promoting writing from different cultures and languages. Between them they produce publications; stage events; run prestigious literary prizes; work within and across communities; advise governments on embedding literature into policy and practice; establish and grow regional networks collaborating on key issues in their part of the world; and, above all, unite when necessary to highlight our collective strength and provide support and solidarity to individuals during difficult times.

We support and promote literature from all cultures and languages, and believe in the right of every individual to have a voice and to carry out their work freely. We are truly global in our reach and impact.

The PEN International office works to support PEN Centres around the world.